Throughout the 20th century the State of Ohio has truly been blessed with a diverse array of world class musical talent to hail from within its boundaries, Doris Day, Nancy Wilson, Macy Gray, The O’Jays, The Isley Brothers, The James Gang, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Bootsie Collins, Marilyn Manson, Devo, Thugs n Harmony, Nine Inch Nails, Art Tatum, The Breeders, Guided By Voices. All this amazing talent from a state the size of Ohio and the list doesn’t stop there!
In 1959, came the legendary funk bank The Ohio Players who had its beginning in Dayton, OH as the Ohio Untouchables, led by vocalist/lead guitarist Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner – one of R & B’s most unique vocal stylists. By the early 1970’s the group had evolved into what would be a virtual “hit making machine”, a musical potpourri of classic lyrics, funky music and sexy album covers – a formula for success if there ever was one! Throughout the years the band has received numerous gold and platinum awards.
The Ohio Players combined the genres of funk, rock, jazz and soul to craft a new sound, one that would be best described as “Street Funk” –a music that would eventually pave the way for the success of both Rap and Hip Hop. In fact, many of today’s younger artists have covered Ohio Players hits and earned gold and platinum awards on their own. Among them are Red Hot Chili Peppers, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Salt and Pepa, Alex Bugnon, Primus, D’Angelo and the legendary Tupac Shakur. Even the television and film industries can’t resist the lure of Ohio Players music as it has been featured in some of today’s top TV programs and movies.
In 1999, the City of Dayton inducted The Ohio Players into its Walk of Fame, a project created to recognize and celebrate the lives and accomplishments of individuals from Dayton and the surrounding Miami Valley. Some of the past inductees include TV talkshow host Phil Donahue, Yellow Pages creator Loren Berry, poet Paul Laurence, Dunbar, actor Martin Sheen, “pop top” can inventor Ermal Fraze, comedian Jonathan winters, columnist Erma Bombeck, Olympian Edwin Moses, cartoonist Milton Caniff and airplane inventors Orville and Wilbur Wright.
The Ohio Players’ immense popularity spans across all races, ages, and economic backgrounds, enabling the group to perform its infectious ’70s funk music in a diverse array of musical settings. This year (2005) has already spawned a variety of engagements that indicate The Ohio Players’ universal appeal:
The hard-hitting Ohio Players continue to mesmerize fans all over the world, performing pop/funk classics including “Fire”, “Love Rollercoaster”, “Heaven Must Be Like This”, “Skintight”, “I Want To Be Free”, “Sweet Sticky Thing”, “O-H-I-O”, “Honey”, “Pain” and “Live Turkey”.