The S.O.S. Band

The S.O.S. Band were an Atlanta-based R&B and electro-funk outfit that scored a handful of hits in the early 80s under the wing of legendary producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Formed in Atlanta in 1977, the band was initially composed of keyboardist Jason Bryant, saxophonists Billy Ellis and Willie “Sonny” Killebrew, guitarist Bruno Speight, bass player John Alexander Simpson, drummer James Earl Jones III, and vocalist Mary Davis. After making the rounds at the city’s underground nightclub circuit as Santa Monica, the group swiftly signed to Tabu Records and renamed themselves The S.O.S. Band (S.O.S. standing for Sounds of Success) by request of producer Sigidi Abdullah. “Take Your Time (Do It Right),” the band’s first single, was released in 1980 and stayed at the top of the R&B charts for five consecutive weeks. That same year, an eponymous studio album entered the R&B charts at Number 2 and obtained gold certification after selling more than 800,000 copies. A world tour ensued as the band added trumpeter and vocalist Abdul Ra'oof to their ranks and delivered Too, their sophomore effort, in 1981. Their first collaborative effort with Jam and Lewis arrived in 1982 under the title III, reaching Number 27 on the R&B charts aided by lead single “High Hopes.” Preceded by the Number 2 single “Just Be Good To Me,” fourth album On The Rise (1983), entirely produced by the songwriting duo, managed to hit Number 7 in the US and went gold shortly after. Further albums Just The Way You Like It (1984) and Sands of Time (1986) met a similar fate, rapidly positioning themselves in the R&B Top 10. Following Mary Davis’ departure from the band in 1986, S.O.S contributed a track to the soundtrack of Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987) and released two full-lengths that failed to meet their earlier success before splitting up in 1991.

Related Artists

Stations Featuring The S.O.S. Band

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