Crown Heights Affair

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Crown Heights Affair
OriginCrown Heights Brooklyn, New York, United States
GenresR&B, disco, dance, funk
Years active1967–1984;[1] 2013
LabelsDe-Lite, RCA (United States)
Past membersBen Iverson
Arnold "Muki" Wilson
Bert Reid (deceased)
Darryl Gibbs
James "Ajax" Baynard (deceased)
Phillip "Flip" Thomas
Raymond Rock
William Anderson
Raymond Reid (deceased)
Howard Young

Crown Heights Affair are an American R&B / funk / disco group from Brooklyn, New York City, founded in 1967.[1]


Originally known as Ben Iverson and the Nue Dey Express on Britne Records, founded by then-bassist Donnie Linton, the group was renamed for a neighborhood in Brooklyn. The line-up consisted of Phillip Thomas (vocals), William Anderson (guitar/vocals), Howard Young (keyboards), Bert Reid and James "Ajax" Baynard (trumpets), Raymond Reid (trombone), Arnold 'Muki' Wilson (bass), Julius Dilligard Jr. (trombone), and Raymond Rock (drums, percussion). Under contract to RCA they recorded their self-titled first album in 1974, featuring their first single "(You Can't Bend My) Super Rod".[1]

Personnel changes followed, along with a shift in 1975 to De-Lite Records. The record label's subsequent liaison with Polygram Records saw the group gain worldwide audiences for singles such as "Dreaming a Dream", "Every Beat of My Heart", "Foxy Lady" and "Dancin'".

"Dreaming a Dream" reached Number one on the US Hot Dance Club Play chart in 1975, (plus US Billboard Hot 100 #43); and they topped out at #2 on the US Dance Chart later that year with "Every Beat of My Heart" (Billboard Hot 100 #83).[2] In the UK Singles Chart they made the top 40 in 1978 with "Galaxy of Love", and #10 in 1980 with "You Gave Me Love". Both tracks were huge disco hits in the UK, with a powerful brass section on "Galaxy of Love" and strong chorus vocals on "You Gave Me Love".[3]

Their follow-up album, Do It Your Way, contained the tunes "Dancin'", "Far Out" and their answer to New Birth's song "Gotta Get a Knutt', "(Do It) The French Way". In the 1980s they were successful record producers for some Prelude Records acts like France Joli ("Gonna Get Over You"), and they produced two songs for Amii Stewart in 1981. Crown Heights Affair disbanded in 1984.[1]

On 22 June 2013, they reunited to play at the Coronet in London, as part of the Streetsounds Summer Ball.[4]

Bert Reid died of lung cancer on December 12, 2004, at the age of 48.[5] Thomas joined the Flamingos in 2007.

Raymond Reid (born on November 30, 1952 in New York) died of cancer on May 21, 2013. He was 60.[6]

Trumpeter James "Ajax" Baynard died on February 20, 2015, after a car crash in South Jamaica, New York. He was 63.[7] The news of his death was posted on the Crown Heights Affair Facebook page.[8]


Studio albums[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions

1974 Crown Heights Affair
1975 Dreaming a Dream 121 28
1976 Foxy Lady 59
1977 Do It Your Way 41
1978 Dream World 56 40
1979 Dance Lady Dance 40
1980 Sure Shot 148 50
1982 Think Positive!
1983 Struck Gold
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.


Year Title Peak chart positions


1974 "Leave the Kids Alone" 96
1975 "Dreaming a Dream" 43 5 1
"Every Beat of My Heart" 83 20 2
1976 "Foxy Lady" 49 17
1977 "Dancin'" 42 16 6 58[A]
"Do It the French Way" 60
1978 "Galaxy of Love" 24
"Say a Prayer for Two" 41
"I'm Gonna Love You Forever" 47
1979 "Dance Lady Dance" 20 44
1980 "You Gave Me Love" 102 74 12 10
"Sure Shot" 72
"You've Been Gone" 44
1982 "Somebody Tell Me What to Do" 31
1983 "Rock the World" 76
1989 "I'll Do Anything" 43 83
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chart position is from the official UK "Breakers List".
  1. ^ a b c d Jason Ankeny (December 12, 2004). "Crown Heights Affair | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Crown Heights Affair - Awards". AllMusic. Archived from the original on June 16, 2014. Retrieved February 20, 2022.
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 128. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  4. ^ "Street Sounds – Summer Ball". Timeout. June 4, 2013. Retrieved February 20, 2022.
  5. ^ Doc Rock. "2004 July to December". The Dead Rock Stars Club. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  6. ^ "Respect 2013". Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  7. ^ "R.I.P. Crown Height Affair's James "Ajax" Baynard | SoulTracks - Soul Music Biographies, News and Reviews". SoulTracks. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  8. ^ "Crown Heights Affair". Facebook. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  9. ^ a b "CROWN HEIGHTS AFFAIR - full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 20, 2022.

External links[edit]