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Champaign (band)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

OriginChampaign, Illinois, U.S.
GenresR&B, soul
Years active1981–1984, 1990–1991, 2008–present
MembersPauli Carman
Rena Day
Dana Walden
Michael Reed
Rocky Maffit
Howard Reeder
Past membersMichael Day

Champaign is an American R&B band, best known for their 1981 hit, "How 'Bout Us".[1]


The septet, who named themselves after their hometown of Champaign, Illinois, United States, included Pauli Carman and Rena Jones (later Day) on vocals; Michael Day and Dana Walden on keyboards; Leon Reeder on guitar; Michael Reed on bass; and Rocky Maffit on percussion and drums.[1][2]

The origins of Champaign can be traced back to a group called The Water Brothers Band. Their lineup comprised Dana Walden on keyboards and vocals, Howard "Leon" Reeder on vocals, lead and rhythm guitars, Keith Harden on vocals, lead and rhythm guitars, Scott Karlstrom on bass, and Bobby Carlin on drums.[3][4] They recorded a single, "Have You Ever Been Lonely?" backed with "How 'Bout Us" that was released on Sky Records NR6668. The single did not chart.[5][6] Members Walden, Reeder and Day would eventually become part of Champaign.[3][4]


The title track from their 1981 debut album, "How 'Bout Us," was a hit single, reaching No. 5 in the UK Singles Chart,[7] No. 4 on the US Billboard R&B chart, and No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100.[2] Reed had left the group by the release of their second album, Modern Heart, which appeared in 1983 and contained the No. 2 R&B hit "Try Again" (No. 23 on the Hot 100).[2] Another follow-up, 1984's Woman in Flames, included the Top 10 R&B song "Off and On Love".[1][2] Other songs include "Party People" and "Walkin'".

In 1982, Rena Jones, Leon Reeder and Dana Walden took a break from the band and collaborated with writer Pat McBride to create children's records for the Kid Stuff Records label. These included Pac-Man Christmas Album and Donkey Kong Goes Home.[8]

Carman released his first solo album, Dial My Number in 1986. The title track was an R&B hit, peaking at No. 26. His second album, It's Time was released the following year. It featured the single "In the Heat of the Night", which peaked at No. 72 on the R&B charts.[9]

Rena Jones and Michael Day eventually married.[10]

In 1990, Champaign (including Carman) reconvened to record, and the Champaign IV album was released the following year.[2] In addition to Carman, the album featured contributions/production from Michael Lane (MicoWave), Rena and Michael Day, Dana Walden, and Rocky Maffit.[10] Although the album was not widely successful, it did herald a brief return to the US R&B chart, with the single "Trials of the Heart".

Former band member Michael Day died of cancer on June 7, 2001.[11]

In 2003, a greatest hits compilation album was released and included most of the group's hits, though several (most notably "Try Again") were absent.

By 2008, Pauli Carman, the original lead singer, continued to represent the group. The Carma album, released in 2008, included original songs along with a remake of The Beatles' "And I Love Her" and the Stevie Wonder track "I Love, I Love." In 2010, Get Back 2 Love was released (included a remaster of "How 'Bout Us"). The title track "Get Back 2 Love" made reference to Champaign's top hits. The same year, the single "Mercy" was released (a remake of the Marvin Gaye hit "Mercy Mercy Me"). This single was to assist those affected by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A portion of the proceeds was donated to various agencies assisting with the clean up and restoration in the area.

In November 2010, Carman produced The Pauli Carman Show (a television pilot online show). In 2011, the single "Share"[12] was released. In 2013, the CD album Love Kind[13] was released.

On September 15, 2013, Pauli Carman was presented the National R&B Music Society 'Unsung Hero Award'.[14][15]

In 2014, the album Eyes of the Spirit was released.[16]

In 2022, the singles "When Your Heart Beats with Mine"[17] and "Can't Let You Go" were released.[18]


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Peak chart positions
1981 How 'Bout Us 53 38
1983 Modern Heart
1984 Woman in Flames 45
1991 Champaign IV 72
2008 Carma
2010 Get Back 2 Love
2013 Love Kind
2014 Eyes of the Spirit
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.


Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications Album
US Pop
1981 "How 'Bout Us" 12 4 1 24 5 How 'Bout Us
"Can You Find the Time"
"I'm on Fire"
1983 "Try Again" 23 2 6 Modern Heart
"Let Your Body Rock"
1984 "Off and on Love" 104 10 76 Woman in Flames
"This Time" 43
"Intimate Strangers"
1990 "Trials of the Heart" 64 Champaign IV
"All My Love"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

Compilation albums[edit]

  • 2003: Greatest Hits


  1. ^ a b c Ruhlmann, William. "Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 451. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  3. ^ a b "Michael Day & His Unreleased Solo Album (1973)". Down State Sounds. October 24, 2020. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  4. ^ a b "Record Details, Artist: The Water Brothers Band". 45cat.com. September 6, 2021. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  5. ^ "Have You Ever Been Lonely? / How 'Bout Us". Rate Your Music. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  6. ^ Battistini, Pete (2010). American Top 40 with Casey Kasem: The 1980s. Bloomington, Indiana: AuthorHouse. p. 101. ISBN 978-1-4520-5038-6.
  7. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 99. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  8. ^ Colantonio, Giovanni (July 24, 2023). "This forgotten 1983 vinyl made Mario history, but it could never be created today". Digital Trends. Retrieved December 31, 2023.
  9. ^ "Pauli Carman Top Songs / Chart Singles Discography". Music VF. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  10. ^ a b Champaign - Trials of the Heart (Liner notes). Malaco Records. 1991.
  11. ^ Rust, Catherine. "Mike Day (Deceased), Bloomington, IL Illinois". Bhsraiders1971.com. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  12. ^ "Champaign: "Share" (2011)". Amazon.com.
  13. ^ "Love Kind by Champaign Pauli Carman". Apple Music. October 30, 2013.
  14. ^ "Past Honorees: 2013 Black Tie Gala & Honorees". Rnbmusicsociety.com.
  15. ^ "National R&B Music Society". Champaignband.com.
  16. ^ "Eyes of the Spirit by Champaign". Apple Music. May 2, 2014.
  17. ^ "When Your Heart Beats with Mine by Champaign Pauli Carman". songlink/WYHBWM.
  18. ^ "Can't Let You Go by Champaign Pauli Carman". Champaignband.
  19. ^ a b c d "Champaign - Chart history". Billboard. Archived from the original on October 27, 2014.
  20. ^ a b "CHAMPAIGN | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  21. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 59. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  22. ^ "Champaign - How 'Bout Us". bpi.co.uk. Retrieved February 21, 2022.

External links[edit]