The Blackbyrds was a rhythm and blues and jazz-funk fusion group, formed in Washington, D.C. in 1973. The group was led by trumpeter Donald Byrd and featured some of his Howard University students: Kevin Toney (keyboards), Keith Killgo (vocals, drums), Joe Hall (bass guitar), Allan Barnes (saxophone, clarinet), and Barney Perry (guitar). Orville Saunders (guitar), and Jay Jones (flute, saxophone) were later members of the group. They signed to Fantasy Records in 1973. They are best known for their 1975 hit "Walking in Rhythm", which received a Grammy nomination.
Born "Sonia Clarke" in London, England in 1968, of Trinidadian parentage. She was sort of written-off at school but had shown talents in sports. She dreamed of becoming a successful pentathlete up to the time ending up only second in a race. Then she turned to the music scene, dancing at clubs etc. and joined a reggae band as a singer at the age of 17. She was homeless in these times. Her band went defunct the same year, but she got a solo record deal leading to an immediate club hit in the UK.
Ruth Brown (1928
Norman Connors (born March 1, 1947 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American jazz drummer, composer, arranger, producer, and headliner, who has led some influential jazz and R&B groups. He had some big R&B hits of the day, especially in the area love ballads and songs with a positive statement in both titles and lyrics. Connors became interested in jazz as a child, and began playing drums early, once sitting in for Elvin Jones at a John Coltrane performance he attended while in middle school.
Barrence Whitfield (born Barry White, raised in New Jersey) has been singing with The Savages for decades. They first appeared on record with a self-titled debut in 1984 (Mamou label, since reissued by Ace UK). Their most recent releases are Savage Kings (Munster 2011) and Dig Thy Savage Soul (Bloodshot 2013). Their specialty is capturing the energy of early rock 'n' roll, R&B, and jump blues. Barrence continues to appear and record with the Savages.