It was an honor and a pleasure sitting down backstage and talking with Robert”Kool”Bell original founder of [lastfm]Kool And The Gang![/lastfm]
As a disc jockey over the last 35 years these are the kind of defining moments you embrace for years to come. In a brief interview I asked Robert Bell about those early days in Jersey City, New Jersey starting with high school, which we graduated the same year, putting the band”The Jazziacs”together with five of his friends. In 1967, upon graduation, they changed their name to “Kool And The Flames”. That lasted two years until 1969 when the name “James Brown’s Famous Flames” caused too much confusion. Robert decided on the name[lastfm]“Kool And The Gang”[/lastfm]. No confusion there, but a contract with Gene Redd and his new record label De-Lite Records gave [lastfm]Kool And The Gang[/lastfm] their first hit on the pop charts with the release of their first album”Eponymous! In 1973 came the album “Wild And Peaceful” with the hits “Jungle Boogie” and “Hollywood Swinging”. The 1974 album”Light Of Worlds” and the album “Spirit Of The Boogie” in 1975 were seen as the greatest achievements of the band with the single “Summer Madness” gaining much attention.The late 70′s saw a lull in [lastfm]Kool And The Gang.[/lastfm] In 1979 “J.T.”Taylor joined the group and the hits began to roll. “Ladies Night” in 1979 and “Celebration” in 1980 with other hits like “Big Fun”, “Get Down On It”, “Joanna” and in 1984The Emergency album produced four top 20 hits including “Fresh” and “Cherish”. Their song “Jungle Boogie” was featured in the Quentin Tarantino move “Pulp Fiction” All I know is [lastfm]Kool And The Gang[/lastfm] still rocks after forty plus years. I asked Robert about family and he smiled and said”I have two”. I replied “two kids” and he said yes two grand kids..a boy and a girl and both have musical talent! Portions of my interview with Robert Bell will be on koolradio.com soon!