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The Gap Band

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The Gap Band -- Ronnie, Charlie, and Robert Wilson

Biography Discography Videos


P Music Group
Soul Patrol

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Lineup: Charlie Wilson, lead vocals, keyboards; Ronnie Wilson, trumpet, keyboards; Robert Wilson, bass, vocals; James Macon, guitar; Richard "Moon" Calhoun, drums; Tommy Lokey and Chris Clayton, horns. Macon, Lokey, Calhoun and Clayton left circa 1977. From 1979 to 1983, studio records featured John Black and Greg Phillinganes, keys; Glenn Nightingale, guitar; Raymond Calhoun, drums; Malvin "Dino" Vice contributed arrangements and occasional trumpet - they were never credited as full band members. Oliver Scott, keyboards, vocals, joined around 1983 but was never credited.

The first major hit for the Gap Band was a snazzy juke toon called "Shake." Just prior to the completion of their first album, Charlie Wilson cited the song for his brothers, thinking they might ridicule the lyric. His brothers loved it though, and the song was a smash number four single on the R&B charts, elevating the group to national status.

Born and raised in Tulsa, OK, the Wilson brothers began singing and playing in their father's Pentecostal church, and it was also mandatory they practice their music lessons at home as well. They learned various instruments which primarily included the piano. As much as they despised the lessons at the time, it proved to be a value tool for all three.

With Ronnie being the oldest, he established his own band by the age of 14. Charlie, a few years younger, joined a rival band a couple of years later. One night the two bands were performing across the street from one another. Ronnie stopped by to check out Charlie grooving on the organ. While there, Ronnie asked Charlie to join his band for 50 dollars over what he was making. Though Charlie bandmates doubled his offer, he joined his brother's band, as Ronnie gave him no choice.

At a gig not too long after the two had joined forces, the group's bass player quit and Ronnie and Charlie summoned their younger brother Robert, barely 14, to the group to play bass. For a short while, the band performed without a name. Finally they began going by the name the Greenwood, Archer and Pine Streets Band. As advertising such a name on posters became too lengthy, the group shortened the name to the G.A.P. Street Band. Due to a typographical error, the group was advertised as Gap Band and it stuck.

They performed at various venues around the Tulsa area, including country & western joints, tennis clubs, rock clubs, and wherever else called on their services. However, by the middle of the 1970s, Charlie became interested in Los Angeles and left Tulsa to explore his possibilities. A short time later, Charlie convinced his brothers to join him. The group floundered about L.A., hitting and missing on record deals, gigs, and the like. Still maintaining their interest, the group met entertainment businessman Lonnie Simmons through their friend, singer/musician D.J. Rogers. Simmons owned a nightclub and a recording studio at the time and signed the group to his company. (He would later start up a record label.)

The Top Five single "Shake" followed in 1979, along with "Steppin' Out" (number ten) and "I Don't Believe You Want to Get Up and Dance (Oops, Up Side Your Head)" (number four) in 1980. The latter was inspired at a concert in Pittsburgh where some kids were chanting the groove and the Gap Band picked up on it. In December of 1980, the trio dropped its first number one single with "Burn Rubber (Why You Wanna Hurt Me)" and followed it with the Top Five ballad "Yearning for Your Love" (1981).

The group went on to score three more number one songs ("Early in the Morning" and "Outstanding" in 1982 and "All of My Love" in 1989), three more number two songs ("You Dropped a Bomb on Me" in 1982, "Beep a Freak" in 1984, and "Going in Circles" in 1986) and a horde of Top Ten hits. They also did the soundtracks for Leon Isaac Kennedy's Penitentiary III and Keena Ivory Waynans' I'm Gonna Get You Sucker. The group was given only 24 hours notice to complete the title song.

In 1984 Ronnie became a born-again Christian and started pastoring. He joined Melba Moore and David Peaston in the touring play Mama, I'm Sorry. Charlie has been one of most sought-after vocalists in the music industry. He has worked with Quincy Jones, Ray Charles, Eurythmics, Snoop Dogg, and scores of others. The Gap Band has recorded for various labels, including Mercury and Capitol Records. The group has remained together, enduring the good with the bad. They are still actively recording and touring the U.S. and abroad.

Their youngest brother, Robert, the bass player, passed away on Monday August 16, 2010, at age 53.

-- Craig Lytle, All Music Guide


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You Dropped the Bomb on Me You Dropped the Bomb on Me
Early In The Morning Early In The Morning
Burn Rubber On Me Burn Rubber On Me

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1974Magician�s Holiday
1977The GAP Band
1979The GAP Band (1979)
1979The GAP Band II
1980The GAP Band III
1982GAP Band IV
1983GAP Band V: Jammin�
1983Strike A Groove {Remixes}
1985The GAP Band VI
1986The GAP Band VII
1987The GAP Band VIII
1988Straight From The Heart
1989Round Trip
1994The Best Of The GAP Band
1995Ain�t Nothing But A Party
1996Live & Well
1999Y2K: Funkin� Till 2000 Comz

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1974 Magician�s Holiday

01. I-Yike_It
02. Backbone
03. After All Is Said And Done
04. Fontessa Fame
05. You Can Always Count On Me
06. Bad Girl
07. Easy Life
08. Loving You Is Everything
09. Tommy�s Groove
10. Magician�s Holiday

1977 The GAP Band

01. Out Of The Blue (can you feel it)
02. Stand Up And Dance With Me
03. Not Guilty
04. God Is Watching You
05. Little Bit Of Love
06. Hang On (to yourself)
07. Knuckle Head Funkin�
08. Thinking Of You
09. Silly Grin

1979 The GAP Band (1979)

01. Shake
02. You Can Count On Me
03. Open Up Your Mind (wide)
04. Messin� With My Mind
05. Baby Baba Boogie
06. I�m In Love
07. Got To Get Away
08. I Can Sing

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1979 The GAP Band II

01. Steppin� Out
02. No Hiding Place
03. I Don�t Believe You Wanna Get Up And Dance (oops!)
04. Who Do You Call
05. You Are My High
06. Party Lights
07. The Boys Are Back In Town

1980 The GAP Band III

01. When I Look In Your Eyes
02. Yearning For Your Love
03. Burn Rubber On Me
04. Nothing Comes To Sleepers
05. Are You Living
06. Sweet Caroline
07. Humpin�
08. The Way
09. Gash Gash Gash

1982 GAP Band IV

01. Early In The Morning
02. Season�s No Reason To Change
03. Lonely Like Me
04. Outstanding
05. Stay With Me
06. You Dropped A Bomb On Me
07. I Can�t Get Over You
08. Talkin� Back

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1983 GAP Band V: Jammin�

01. Introduction: Where Are We Going?
02. Shake A Leg
03. I�m Ready (if you�re ready)
04. You�re My Everything
05. Jammin� In America
06. Smile
07. Party Train
08. Jam The Motha
09. I Expect More
10. You�re Something Special
11. Someday

1983 Strike A Groove {Remixes}

01. Not Guilty
02. Silly Grin
03. Knucklehead Funkin�
04. Listen To The Music
05. Party Down
06. I Can Sing
07. Strike A Groove
08. Merry-Go-Round

1985 The GAP Band VI

01. The Sun Don�t Shine Everyday
02. Video Junkie
03. Weak Spot
04. The Sun Don�t Shine Everyday (inst. Interlude)
05. I Believe
06. I Found My Baby
07. Beep A Freak
08. Don�t You Leave Me
09. Disrespect
10. The Sun Don�t Shine Everyday (vocal)

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1986 The GAP Band VII

01. Desire
02. Going In Circles
03. Automatic Brain
04. L'il Red Funkin' Hood
05. Ooh, What A Feeling
06. I Want A Real Love
07. Bumpin' Gum People
08. I Know We'll Make It
09. I Need Your Love

1987 The GAP Band VIII

01. Big Fun
02. I Can�t Live Without Your Love
03. Get Loose, Get Funky
04. Don�t Take It Away
05. Going In Circles
06. Keep Holding On
07. I�ll Always Love You
08. Bop-B-Da-B-Da-Da
09. I Owe It To Myself

1988 Straight From The Heart

01. Come And Dance
02. Sweeter Than Candy
03. All The Way Yours
04. I�m So Satisfied
05. Straight From The Heart
06. That�s It, I Quit
07. You Told Me That
08. I Will Never Leave You

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1989 Round Trip

01. All Of My Love
02. Addicted To Your Love
03. We Can Make It Alright
04. It�s Our Duty
05. Wednesday Lover
06. I Like It
07. I�m Dreaming
08. Antidote (to love)
09. No Easy Out
10. Jam
11. Let�s Talk About Love

1994 The Best Of The GAP Band

01. Early In The Morning
02. Shake
03. Outstanding
04. Burn Rubber On Me
05. Yearning For Your Love
06. Open Up Your Mind (wide)
07. You Dropped A Bomb On Me
08. You Can Count On Me
09. I Don�t Believe You Wanna Get Up And Dance (oops!)
10. Steppin� Out
11. Humpin�
12. The Boys Are Back In Town
13. Party Train

1994 Testimony

01. Testimony
02. Confess Your Love
03. Come Into My Love Life
04. Outside Looking In
05. Gap�s Jam
06. Based On G. A. P.>
07. Everybody Knows
08. I Can Make You Dance
09. Gimme Lovin� Everyday
10. Funky Bass Man

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1995 Ain�t Nothing But A Party

01. Where�s My Glasses?
02. First Lover
03. Closing The G. A. P.
04. Got It Goin� On
05. You Dropped A Bomb On Me (remix)
06. Love At Your Fingertips
07. Shake Dat Booty
08. Here We Go
09. Over The Funkin� Hill (w/George Clinton)
10. Closing The G. A. P. (ext. club remix)
11. Why You Wanna Funk Around
12. Got It Goin� On, Pt. II

1996 Live & Well

01. Intro
02. Gap Band Party
03. Wide
04. Oops Upside Your Head
05. Outstanding
06. Humpin�
07. No Hiding Place
08. Burn Rubber On Me
09. Gotta Get Up
10. Early In The Morning
11. Party Train
12. Drop The Bomb
13. Yearning For Your Love
14. Yearning (reprise, shooby doo mix)
15. Mega Mix (gotta get up mix)

1999 Y2K: Funkin� Till 2000 Comz

01. Funkin� Till 200 Comz
02. Baby I Remember Your Face
03. Good Old Fashioned Lovin
04. Untouchable
05. Scandalous
06. No Color Lines
07. Messin� With My Flow
08. For The People
09. Style & Grace
10. Otta Be Like This
11. Good Old Fashioned Lovin� (ac mix)
12. Funkin� Till 200 Comz (millennium mix)

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graphics by YSM

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