One of the most tripped out music bands back in the 70’s, this was during my older sisters’ time when they were basically in high school. I was in the single digit age bracket region trying to tag along with them everywhere they would go LOL.
One day they were hanging out with their friends, and I was on my own spying on their friends (I Really Liked Their Friends Tracey Pace) hiding in the closet.
They were in our old house in Chicago at the time, and we had a huge basement haha… You could literally almost lose yourself in it if you weren’t too careful.
But as I hid in the closet with the door slightly cracked, I was watching them and their friends laughing and talking then Leslie their other friend took out a record.
Leslie went over to the record player (LOL That’s Sounds So Ancient Today Even CD’s Now Are Starting To Go Out-Of-Style), and put on this song.
So here I’m thinking to myself, “Oh man this is going to be boring probably, I was wrong on all accounts.”
In fact it was like nothing I ever heard at the time, and for a kid to take full notice of music like that was rare.
So on about this group called “Heatwave.”
Now people might confuse it with the “Supremes” LOL, but there is no comparison to this music group, which was founded by Johnnie Wilder Jr. back in 1975.
Wilder was stationed out in Germany at the time, he was in the Army and winded up getting the boot from the service (He Got Discharged). But he decided to stay out in Germany anyway.
He first started out just singing in nightclubs & residential taverns occasionally with different bands that performed at the club as well.
Then wilder did some music touring though London at nightclubs calling his group “Chicago’s Heatwave” , this was during the mid 70s. They had an assortment of sounds to their songs that involved some funk & groove elements mixed in with a disco style type setting.
Wilder decided to call his brother into the action of playing with his group, but his brother also had a music group out in Dayton, Ohio at the time.
But his brother went the other way and joined up with Johnnie anyway, they were paired in the studio with GTO house where they met up with Barry Blue (Guitarist) and a rhythm guitarist named Jesse Whitten.
Whitten unfortunately met his end due to a fatal stabbing incident, and was replaced by Roy Carter shortly after. From there they created their first album “Too Hot To Handle” , in late 76′.
Then other tracks started to follow in series of progression:
- “Boogie Nights”
- “Always & Forever”
- “The Groove Line“
- “Ain’t No Half Steppin’
Now backup to when my sister’s friend Leslie was playing the record on the player, well she was playing “Ain’t No Half Stepping,” which was uniquely different of a song seriously different LOL.
But I liked the sound of it no doubt.
Now during the end of the 70’s the band itself started to shift, starting with Eric Johns a member of the group that quit.
After Johns quit, a replacement guitarist named Billy Jones took his spot. Then Rod Temperton had walked out of the group. Temperton had written out some of the tracks for the group, and continued to do so but he also wrote for other groups like Chaka Khan‘s “Rufus”.
Or even Micheal Jackson‘s Thriller song, “Off The Wall”, and “Rock With You spanning a 3 year venture.
But the group still managed to go on despite the fact of the introduction of new band members,
There were more tragic encounters that the band faced as they came to an end in 1984.
But hey there are the memories right, so here one for the record books as you can preview for yourself two great songs by “Heatwave”.
“Ain’t No Half Steppin” / “Boogie Nights”
(By: Jaye Irons)
Till Then My Motto: Stay calm, cool, collective, knowing that the only thing that keeps you from making a difference in life is yourself strive for the best!
- Michael Jackson Songs: The 20 Most Loved (contactmusic.com)