|Genres||R&B, funk, soul|
|Associated acts||Gass, Gloria Jones, Freddie King, Hummingbird, The Olympic Runners|
|Past members||Bobby Tench
Steve Waller (deceased)
Geoffrey "Bud" Beadle
Roy Davies (deceased)
Viola Wills (deceased)
Ron Carthy (deceased)
Sergio Castillo (deceased)
Gonzalez were a British R&B and funk band. They became well known as a backing band for touring R&B, funk and soul stars. Their eponymous album was released in 1974 and they recorded a total of six albums before disbanding in 1986, and are best known for their 1977 single success with their worldwide Disco hit, "I Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet".
The original band was formed by Godfrey McLean and Bobby Tench in 1970 and included other members of Gass, with the line-up of Tench as vocalist and guitarist, drummer Godfrey McLean, bassist Delisle Harper and percussionist Lennox Langton. At the end of May 1970, Tench left Gonzalez to became a member of The Jeff Beck Group and the band formed a new core membership, with saxophonists Michael 'Mick' Eve (born 21 December 1937, Walthamstow, East London), Chris Mercer,Steve Gregory, Geoffrey "Bud" Beadle (born 27 March 1947), keyboardist Roy Davies and guitarist Gordon Hunte. Later George Chandler, Glen LeFleur, Cliff Lake and Delisle Harper were included whilst simultaneously members of The Olympic Runners. Vocalist Lenny Zakatek joined in 1974 and they released their first album Gonzalez (1974), which featured a heavy funk sound. This album made them Queen bassist John Deacon's favourite band in the middle 1970s. Our Only Weapon is Our Music (1975) followed, released on EMI's sister label, Capitol.
By 1977 they had found an audience among disco enthusiasts, with the Gloria Jones song "Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet" which reached #26 on the Billboard Hot 100. A remix of the song reached #7 on the US Club Play chart and #15 in the UK Singles Chart. The band's third and fourth albums, Shipwrecked and Move It to the Music, were produced by Jones. Eve and Hunte left before "Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady" was released.
In 1980 and after five years with the band Lenny Zakatek left to sing vocals with The Alan Parsons Project. The band's follow-up singles and their fifth album Watch Your Step, were not successful and the group lost its major label status. Gonzalez then worked with Pye Records and concentrated on live performances, usually backing R&B, funk and soul stars, such as Freddie King.
- Steve Waller (Steven Charles Waller) died on 2 June 2000 aged 48. He had also worked with Roger Ruskin Spear, Kevin Coyne and Manfred Mann's Earth Band.
- Roy Davies died in 1986.
- Viola Wills died on 6 May 2009, aged 69, from cancer.
- Former drummer Sergio Castillo died on March 10, 2012, also from cancer, aged 57.
- Trumpet player Ron Carthy is also reported to be deceased, but details are sketchy.
- Gonzalez (EMI), (1974)
- Our Only Weapon Is Our Music (Capitol), (1975)
- Shipwrecked (Capitol), (1977)
- Haven't Stopped Dancin' (Capitol), (1979) - reissue of Shipwrecked - US #67
- Move it to the Music (Capitol), (1979)
- Watch Your Step (Capitol), (1980)
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- "Gonzalez". Allmusic.com.