Fatback Band

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Fatback Band
Also known as Fatback
Origin New York City, United States
Genres Funk, disco, R&B, post-disco[citation needed]
Years active 1970–present[1]
Labels Perception Records
Cotillion Records
Website www.fatbackband.com
Members Bill "Fatback" Curtis
Cordell "Pete" Everett
Ed Jackson
Isabella Dunn Gordon
Ledjerick Todd Woods
George Williams
Darryl McAllister
Bob "Zoot" James
Past members Earl Shelton
Gerry Thomas
Johnny Flippen
Johnny King
Billy Hamilton
Wayne Wilford

The Fatback Band (later, simply Fatback) is an American funk and disco band. Most popular in the 1970s and 1980s, The Fatback Band is most known for their R&B hits, "(Do The) Spanish Hustle", "I Like Girls", "Gotta Get My Hands on Some (Money)", "Backstrokin'" and "I Found Lovin". Their 1979 single "King Tim III (Personality Jock)" is sometimes considered the first hip hop single.


Formed in New York City in 1970, The Fatback Band was the concept of Bill Curtis, an experienced session drummer, inspired to merge the "fatback" jazz beat of New Orleans into a funk band. In addition to Curtis, the band's initial line-up included guitarist Johnny King, bassist Johnny Flippin, trumpet player George Williams, saxophonist Earl Shelton, flautist George Adams, and keyboardist Gerry Thomas. The band specialized in playing "street funk". The group also later included conga player Wayne Woolford, vocalists Jayne and Gerry, Deborah Cooper saxophonist Fred Demerey, guitarist Louis Wright and George Victory.

The Fatback Band signed to Perception Records and had a hit single that summer with "Street Dance". The single reached the Top 30 on the US Billboard R&B chart, but failed to cross over to the pop chart, a pattern the group would follow for the rest of their career. The band released the albums Let's Do It Again, People Music, and Feel My Soul before signing to Event Records in 1974.

In the mid-1970s, the band incorporated jazz elements and moved more towards a disco sound resulting in the singles, "Keep On Steppin'", "Yum, Yum (Give Me Some)", and "(Are You Ready) Do The Bus Stop". The singles proved popular in dance clubs, but did not do as well on R&B chart until the spring of 1976 when "(Do The) Spanish Hustle" came close to the Top Ten. "(Are You Ready) Do The Bus Stop" birthed the development of line dancing.[citation needed]

Now recording for Spring/Polydor, the group continued with the singles, "Party Time", "The Booty", and "Double Dutch". Late 1977 brought a name change to Fatback, and in 1978 they found their first Top Ten single with "I Like Girls". The song "King Tim III (Personality Jock)" is often considered to be the first commercially released rap single, having shipped just a week before The Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" in October 1979.[2]

In 1980, Fatback had a pair of their biggest hits with "Gotta Get My Hands On Some (Money)" and "Backstrokin'". Also finding the charts in the 1980s were "Take It Any Way You Can't It", "I Found Lovin'", and "Spread Love", with singer Evelyn Thomas, in 1985. Whilst American pop success proved elusive, the group made regular appearances in the UK Singles Chart, including the Top Ten twice with "(Do The) Spanish Hustle" and "I Found Lovin'".[3]

Keyboardist Gerry Thomas was simultaneously a member of The Jimmy Castor Bunch, so the band elected to remain close to the New York area instead of extensive touring. They had substantial success in South America, especially in Brazil (with "Money", and "Backstrokin'").

Band members[edit]


  • Bill "Fatback" Curtis – drums (1970–present)
  • George Williams – trumpet (1970–present)
  • Ledjerick Todd Woods – trumpet (2002–present)
  • Ed Jackson – saxophone (early 1980s–present)
  • Cordell "Pete" Everett – bass, vocals (1998–present)
  • Bob "Zoot" James – keyboard
  • Darryl McAllister – guitar
  • Isabella Dunn Gorgon – vocals


  • Billy Hamilton – organ, keyboard (1970–1972)
  • Earl Shelton – saxophone (1970–1979)
  • Johnny King – guitar, vocals (1970–1979)
  • Johnny Flippen – bass, percussion, vocals (1971–1983)
  • Gerry Thomas – keyboard (1971–1985)
  • George Adams – flute (1972–1974)
  • Wayne Wilford – percussion (1973)
  • Fred Demery – saxophone (1977, 1979–1981)
  • Louis Wright - guitar (1976-1977)
  • George Victory – guitar (1977, 1979–1981, 1983)
  • Deborah Cooper – backing vocals (1977–1979)
  • Michael Walker – vocals (1981, 1983)
  • Robert Damper – keyboard (1983–1987)
  • Linda Blakely – vocals (1983–1987)




  • "Soul March" (1973), Perception - #69 US R&B
  • "Street Dance" (1973), Perception - #26 US R&B
  • "Njia (Nija) Walk" (1973), Perception - #56 US R&B
  • "Keep On Steppin'" (1974), Event - #50 US R&B
  • "Wicki Wacky'" (1974), Event - #94 US R&B
  • "(Hey I) Feel Real Good (Part One)" (1975), Event
  • "Yum Yum (Gimme Some)" (1975), Event - #80 US R&B; #40 UK
  • "(Are You Ready) Do The Bus Stop" (1975), Event - #37 US R&B; #18 UK
  • "(Do The) Spanish Hustle" (1976), Event - #12 US R&B / #101 US Pop; #10 UK
  • "Party Time" (1976), Spring - #84 US R&B; #41 UK
  • "Night Fever" (1976) - #38 UK
  • "The Booty" (1976), Spring - #32 US R&B
  • "Double Dutch" (1977), Spring - #22 US R&B; #31 UK[3]
  • "Master Booty" (1977), Spring - #88 US R&B
  • "I Like Girls" (1978), Spring - #9 US R&B / #101 US Pop
  • "Freak the Freak Funk (Rock)" (1979), Spring - #36 US R&B
  • "You're My Candy Sweet" (#67 R&B)/"King Tim III (Personality Jock)" (1979), Spring - #26 US R&B
  • "Love in Perfect Harmony" (1979), Spring - #59 US R&B
  • "Gotta Get My Hands On Some (Money)" (1979), Spring - #6 US R&B
  • "Backstrokin'" (1980), Spring - #3 US R&B
  • "(To be) Without Your Love" (1980), Spring
  • "Let's Do It Again" (1980), Spring - #55 US R&B
  • "Angel" (1981), Spring - #67 US R&B
  • "Take It Anyway You Want It" (1981), Spring - #19 US R&B
  • "Kool Whip" (1981), Spring - #64 US R&B
  • "Rockin' to the Beat" (1981), Spring - #50 US R&B
  • "She's My Shining Star" (1982), Spring - #76 US R&B
  • "The Girl is Fine (So Fine)" (1983), Spring - #28 US R&B
  • "Is This the Future?" (1983), Spring - #43 US R&B
  • "I Found Lovin'" (1984) - #7 UK (and #55 UK in 1986)
  • "Call Out My Name" (1985), Cotillion - #70 US R&B
  • "Lover Undercover" (1985), Cotillion
  • "Girls on My Mind" (1985), Cotillion - #79 US R&B; #69 UK
  • "Spread Love" (1985), Spring - #88 US R&B[3]
  • "The Legendary Fatback Band-Second Generation" (2005)[3]


  1. ^ The Fatback Band. The Fatback Band. Retrieved on 2012-05-12.
  2. ^ Icons of hip hop: an encyclopedia of the movement, music, and culture, Volume 1, Mickey Hess, p.xxii, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007, ISBN 0-313-33903-1, ISBN 978-0-313-33903-5
  3. ^ a b c d Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 196. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

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