Fat Larry's Band

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Fat Larry's Band
OriginPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
GenresFunk, R&B
Years active1976–1987
LabelsWMOT, Stax, Fantasy, Omni, Society Hill / EMG
Past members"Fat" Larry James
Art Capehart
Doug Jones
Jimmy Lee
Ted Cohen
Tony Middleton
Freddie Campbell
Terry Price
Darryl Grant
Larry La Bes
Erskine Williams
Alfonso Smith
Bryan Hudson

Fat Larry's Band was an American R&B and funk band from Philadelphia, which enjoyed some commercial success in the late 1970s and early 1980s, particularly in the United Kingdom.[1]


Formed by drummer and vocalist "Fat" Larry James (August 2, 1949 – December 5, 1987[1]) in 1976, the band included trumpeter/flautist Art Capehart, guitarists Ted Cohen and Tony Middleton, vocalists Freddie Campbell (1952 – January 19, 2013) and Darryl Grant, keyboardist Terry Price, vocalist Alfonso Smith, saxophonist Doug Jones, bassist Larry La Bes, trombonist/alto saxophonist Jimmy Lee, and keyboardist Erskine Williams.[2][3]

The band's biggest hits were "Act Like You Know" (which appears on the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City soundtrack) and "Zoom", which reached number 2 on the UK Singles Chart in October 1982, and number 10 on the Australian Singles Chart.[4] Fat Larry's Band had three other hits in the UK: "Center City", "Boogie Town", and "Lookin' for Love".[5]

On December 5, 1987, James died from a heart attack at the age of 38.[6] As a result, the band folded.

The opening drum break from "Down on the Avenue", from the band's first album, Feel It (WMOT Records, 1976), has been sampled by many musicians, including N.W.A, Ice-T, Jungle Brothers, Depeche Mode, and Run-D.M.C.[7]



Year Title Peak chart positions
1976 Feel It
1977 Off the Wall
1978 Spacin' Out
1979 Lookin' for Love
1980 Stand Up 72
1982 Breakin' Out 58
1983 Straight from the Heart
1986 Nice
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

Compilation albums[edit]

  • The Best of Fat Larry's Band (1994)
  • Greatest Hits (1995)


Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications
US Dance
1976 "Center City" 31
"Fascination" 39
1977 "Peaceful Journey" 94
1978 "We Just Can't Get It Together"
1979 "Boogie Town" 43
"Here Comes the Sun" 39 44
"Lookin' for Love Tonight" 27 47 46
1980 "Can't Keep My Hands to Myself"
"How Good Is Love" 78
1982 "Act Like You Know" 24 67
"Be My Lady"
"Traffic Stopper"
"Zoom" 89 10 2
1983 "Stubborn Kind of Fellow" 83
"Straight from the Heart" 88
"Don't Let It Go to Your Head" 93
1986 "Nice"
"Sunrise Sunset"
"Teach Me (There Is Something About Love)"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b McAleer, Dave; Gregory, Andy; White, Matthew (November 15, 2010). The Virgin Book of British Hit Singles, Volume 2. Random House. p. 173. ISBN 9780753522455.
  2. ^ Wynn, Ron. "Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  3. ^ "Fat Larry's Band Page". Soulwalking.co.uk. Retrieved September 27, 2021.
  4. ^ a b "FAT LARRY'S BAND - full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 196. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  6. ^ "Fat Larry James". Brainyhistory.com. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  7. ^ "Search Results for ""Down on the Avenue""". Whosampled.com. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  8. ^ "Fat Larry's Band - Awards". AllMusic. Archived from the original on February 8, 2016. Retrieved March 25, 2022.
  9. ^ a b "Fat Larry's Band Top Songs / Chart Singles Discography". Music VF. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  10. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 110. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  11. ^ "Fat Larry's Band - Zoom". bpi.co.uk. Retrieved January 15, 2022.

External links[edit]