The Gap Band

The Gap Band was an R&B and funk group formed in 1967 by Charlie (born 1953), Ronnie (born 1948), and Robert (born 1956) Wilson, the sons of a Pentecostal minister. The group first adopted the funk style indelibly associated with them in the early 1970s. Their roots were in the Greenwood, Archer & Pine Street Band, which Ronnie Wilson had formed with Tuck Andress a few years earlier before they took The Gap Band name from a Tulsa intersection. They failed to ignite much interest until LA producer Lonnie Simmons signed them to his Total Experience label and masterminded a more streamlined style with the R&B hit singles “I'm In Love” and “Shake”. Their breakthrough album Gap Band II (1979) produced their signature track “I Don't Believe You Want To Get Up And Dance (Oops!)”. The song became one of the ultimate funk anthems, a seminal party track - also known as “The Boat Race Song” - that triggered a new seated dance craze that continues to be popular at weddings and other functions. The Wilson brothers continued to define a cutting-edge funk sound through the 1980s with the hits “Early In The Morning”, “You Dropped A Bomb On Me” and “Outstanding”. Other 1980s hits included “Going In Circles” and “Big Fun”. In 1992, singer Charlie Wilson departed to go solo. He did reunite with his brothers in 1996 and released a live greatest hits album, but tragedy struck with the death of Robert Wilson from a heart attack on August 15, 2010, at the age of 53. Ronnie Wilson died on November 2, 2021, following a stroke at the age of 73.

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