Ohio Players

With some of the sexiest, most infectious funk grooves of the 1970s, the Ohio Players created a cacophonous melting pot of jazz, disco, soul and rock and produced a run of platinum-selling albums that hugely influenced hip hop's strutting back beats. Formed in Dayton, Ohio in 1959 as the Ohio Untouchables, they started out as a backing band for Wilson Pickett's group The Falcons, playing up-tempo R&B pop, but changed direction after hearing the revolutionary sounds of Sly & The Family Stone in the late 1960s. Led by key members Clarence "Satch" Satchell (saxophone, flute, vocals), Robert Ward Snr (guitar, vocals), Ralph "Pee Wee" Middlebrooks (trumpet, saxophone) and Cornelius Johnson (drums), their breakthrough came when single Funky Worm became regarded as one of the classic funk tracks of the era and was later sampled by hip hop stars NWA, Ice Cube, Xzibit and even on Fresh Prince's hit Boom! Shake The Room. Fifth album Skin Tight (1974) marked the band's turning point before their signature tune Fire - and the album of the same name - both topped the US charts. Love Rollercoaster (later covered by the Red Hot Chili Peppers) gave them their second Number 1 single and album Honey reached Number 2, but the pop charts moved away from funk and disco sounds towards the end of the decade and their popularity dwindled on Contradiction (1976), Angel (1977) and Jass-Ay-Lay-Dee (1978). Known for their raunchy record sleeves, the band continued to occasionally tour into the 2010s despite the death of several members and were inducted into the R&B Hall of Fame in 2013.

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Stations Featuring Ohio Players

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