How do KOOL AND THE GANG just, always, slay?

Kool & the Gang on Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Friday, May 24, 2019.Carb Day Concerts 2019 With Foreigner And Kool And The Gang At Indianapolis Motor Speedway In Indiana Ahead Of Indy 500 May 24 2019

As a little kid, I can VIVIDLY remember being in the back seat of my Grandma’s 80s era Ford Thunderbird, when the calming sound of seagulls and waves came on the radio, and I immediately knew it was “Cherish” by Kool and the Gang.

What was it – even at the age of 6 or 7 – that drew me, and so many of us, into Kool & the Gang’s ability to capture the moment…and just… slay?

A couple things.

  1. They’re a band with two lives who wasn’t afraid to adapt their sound.  The first incarnation of Kool & the Gang, founded in 1969, gave us hits like “Funky Stuff,” “Jungle Boogie,” and “Hollywood Swinging.”  Inventive, playful, and FUNKY, they had a niche who loved them.  But as music evolved in the late ’70s into more melodic grooves, the band added James “JT” Taylor to sing lead, and it gave them a second life with “Celebration,” “Joanna,” “Cherish,” and more.
  2. They LOVED a soundtrack, even well after their release.  “Summer Madness,” originally sampled in “Rocky” in 1976, got new life with DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince sampled it in “Summertime.”  That lead to another synch for the song in 2002’s “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City” – and a whole new generation of fans.
  3. They weren’t afraid to take a chance on tour.  In 2012, perhaps one of the greatest odd couple tours was announced, as Kool & The Gang agreed to open for Van Halen.  It seemed like a complete mismatch.  Yet somehow, the “odd couple” moment WORKED.  They showed us, while they weren’t rocking as hard as Van Halen – they could still ROCK and tantalize the audience with some amazing music.


So whether you’re turning up a great K&TG love song…


…or something a little more FRESH…


…enjoy these songs again today, and remember that COOL is always best…when spelled with a K.

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