Stories behind memorable albums of the 1970s as told by the artists

Month: April 2018

A collectively creative effort: Kool & the Gang still celebrating good times

Ronald Bell was sitting at the piano one day when his brother Robert “Kool” Bell walked in.

“You got anything for me?” said Ronald Bell.

“Yeah, I got two things for you,” said Robert Bell. “Hanging out. And ladies night.”

“A lot of people hang out,” said Robert. “But Ladies Night, man there’s one of those everywhere in the world. That’s gotta be a hit.”

The brothers and other founding members of Kool & the Gang had experienced some success with the group’s fourth studio album, “Wild and Peaceful,” in 1973. The album produced the band’s first three Top 10 singles – “Jungle Boogie,” which got to No. 2 on the Billboard R&B chart and No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles charts; “Funky Stuff,” which made it to No. 5 on the R&B chart and No. 29 on the singles chart; and “Hollywood Swinging,” which topped the Billboard … Read more

With Judy Collins and Stephen Stills, ‘There were sparks right away’

Judy Collins and Stephen Stills were driving around one day in Malibu, California, when Stills had an idea.

“He said, ‘You know, we need another song on this album,’” Collins says.

It was mid-1968 and Collins was coming off the success of her sixth studio album “Wildflowers,” which reached No. 5 on the Billboard Pop Albums charts after its release in October 1967. The album featured Collins’ Top 10 hit cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now.”

Stills’ band Buffalo Springfield had just broken up in May, 1968. When Collins and producer David Anderle were planning the next album, “Who Knows Where the Time Goes,” they decided to record it in Los Angeles.

“This was an opportunity to go to California and I was thrilled to be able to do that,” Collins says. “My producer said, ‘I want to bring you to California to make sort of a live album.’”… Read more

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