Vaughan Mason & Crew
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|Vaughan Mason & Crew|
Vaughn Mason (left) & Crew
|Genres||Funk, hip hop, boogie|
|Associated acts||Zapp & Roger|
|Past members||Vaughan Mason, Jerome Bell, Greg Buford, Ben Epps|
Vaughan Mason & Crew was an American funk and post-disco based group, best known for their single "Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll", which reached #5 on the US Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart in 1980, riding the crest of the roller disco wave that was popular at the time. In 1981, Vaughan Mason released the single "Jammin' Big Guitar", which charted at #65. "Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll" has since been used in various samples by De La Soul, Mr. Magic and Daft Punk.
In 1979 Vaughan Mason had an idea to write, produce and engineer a song about roller skating. According to the Wall Street Journal in the summer of 1979, 300,000 pairs of roller skates were being sold every month. Vaughan Mason called down to John Freeman a fellow recording engineer in Washington, D.C. to request that he supply a bongo player, guitar player, lead vocalist and John to play the keyboards for the song "Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll" and Vaughan supplied the drummer. Vaughan had written the music and the hook while the male vocalist Jerome Bell came up with the verses. Vaughan Mason gave the drummer a share of the writer's credit even though he did not write any part of the song. After recording the record Ray Daniels, vice president of Brunswick Records, offered Vaughan Mason a recording deal.
There was no band, just Vaughan Mason and a crew of musicians he would put together when the time was right. Jerome Bell was the only person other than the drummer to want to go on the road when Vaughan was approached by Norby Walters Booking Agency to go on tour as the opening act for Prince and Rick James. In 1980, Vaughan's second single on Brunswick Records was "Roller Skate" that he wrote with Jerome Bell. The song started climbing up the Billboard Singles Chart until Billboard realized it was not a single, but part of an album.
Vaughan went into the studio outside of Atlantic City, New Jersey and played the drums and wrote the music and lyrics to the song "Jammin' Big Guitar." He hired musicians to learn the song and go back on tour.
Also in 1982 Vaughan Mason & Butch Dayo teamed up to deliver "You Can Do It" on Salsoul Records along with "Party On The Corner" in 1983 from the EP Feel My Love. When working with Butch Dayo the only song Vaughan Mason has ever sung on was "Feel My Love" as well as rapping on "Party On The Corner."
In his early years Vaughn Mason was recording, engineering, producing and managing bands when he went to Howard University in 1969. In the mid '70s he was managing and doing live sound for the band "21st Century" out of Harrisburg PA as their sound company. The group BT Express from Brooklyn New York came to Harrisburg PA riding on their hit song "Do It ('Til You're Satisfied)". The 21st Century was hired to open for BT Express. BT Express's manager, King Davis, asked whether Vaughan would let them use his sound system because they came with a PA that consisted of some Sam Ash columns. BT Express members loved the live sound Vaughan produced for them and hired him as their sound company. Vaughan traveled the US and Japan with BT Express. Eventually BT Express put Vaughan in their act. Columbia records executives came to the Nassau Colliseum in Long Island to see BT Express because Vaughan Mason was billed as a black Alice Cooper. Vaughan used an eight-foot reticulated python in his act. King Davis told Vaughan five years after the signing that BT Express had been signed to Columbia Records because of Vaughan.
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