- Andrew Flory
Funk and rhythm-and-blues group formed during the late 1960s at the Tuskegee Institute in Georgia. Its core members included William King (b 30 Jan 1949; drums), Ronald LaPread (b 4 Sept 1950; bass guitar and trumpet), Thomas McClary (b 6 Oct 1950; guitar); Walter Orange (b 10 Dec 1947; vocals and drums), Lionel Richie (b 20 June 1949; saxophone and vocals), and Milan Williams (b 28 March 1949; keyboards). After signing with Motown Records, they released their first album, Machine Gun, in 1974. Their early output was dance oriented and featured Orange as lead singer. They achieved funk hits including “Machine Gun” (1974), “Slippery When Wet” (1975), and “Brick House” (1977). In contrast with these up-tempo singles, the group also released several ballads as singles featuring Richie as vocalist, notably “Easy” (1977), “Three Times a Lady” (...