The Floaters

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The Floaters
Origin Detroit, Michigan
Genres Smooth R&B
Years active 1976-82
Labels ABC (1976-78)
MCA (1979-80)
Associated acts The Detroit Emeralds
Past members James Mitchell
Paul Mitchell
Larry Cunningham
Charles Clark
Ralph Mitchell

The Floaters were an American R&B vocal group, from the Sojourner Truth housing projects in Detroit, Michigan, that formed in 1976. The group are best known for their 1977 song "Float On", which reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart, and No. 5 on the Irish Singles Chart.


The band was formed by the former Detroit Emeralds' singer James Mitchell, with his brother Paul Mitchell, Larry Cunningham, Charles Clark, and the unrelated Ralph Mitchell. Most of The Floaters were from the Sojourner Truth housing project on Detroit's Eastside.

James Mitchell wrote the band's one major hit, "Float On", with Arnold Ingram and Marvin Willis. The lyrics spotlight each member of the band, who introduced themselves with their name, astrological sign, and ideal type of romantic partner.[1] The song was produced by Woody Wilson. It became a worldwide hit in 1977 on ABC Records, reaching No. 1 on the US R&B chart, No. 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, and No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart (for a single week in August that year).[2]

Follow-ups such as "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" (No. 28 Billboard R&B chart) were not as successful. The group continued to record, releasing four studio albums over the next few years.

A new recording of the song "Float On" was recorded in 2001 for the album Still Standing by the group Full Force [1] and Cheech and Chong did a take-off of the song called "Bloat On".

This song was also sampled by Canadian hip-hop recording duo Dream Warriors, in their song of the same name.


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
U.S. 200 U.S. R&B
  • Released: 1977 (1977)
  • Label: ABC
10 1
  • Released: 1978 (1978)
  • Label: ABC
131 27
Float Into The Future[3]
  • Released: 1979 (1979)
  • Label: MCA
Get Ready For The Floaters & Shu-Ga
  • Released: 1981 (1981)
  • Label: Fee Records

Chart singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Positions
US Pop[4] US
1976 "I Am So Glad I Took My Time"
1977 "Float On" 2 1 1 5
"You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" 28
1978 "I Just Want to Be with You" 36
"Magic (We Thank You)"
1979 "Levitation"
1981 "Get Ready"

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Float On: The Best of The Floaters - 1998 - MCA International[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b biography
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 206. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ discography
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2003). Top Pop Singles 1955-2002 (1st ed.). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 250. ISBN 0-89820-155-1. 
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). Top R&B Singles: 1942-1995. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 151. ISBN 0-89820-115-2. 
  6. ^ Betts, Graham (2004). Complete UK Hit Singles 1952-2004 (1st ed.). London: Collins. p. 286. ISBN 0-00-717931-6. 
  7. ^ "The Best Of The Floaters - Float On". Retrieved 2012-12-28. 

External links[edit]