Celebrated for their R&B hits, Brickhouse, Easy and Just to Be Close to You, the Commodores
were one of the leading groups during their storied tenure at Motown. The band is credited with a string of Top 10 hits and
a repertoire of over 50 albums.
The group is still going strong today and currently have performances scheduled for
the Pala Casino in Pala, California; and the Avalon Ballroom At Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
The Commodores were established in 1967 at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. The group was
born out of the demise of two other bands, the Jays and the Mystics. The Commodores originally came together to meet women
and to simply play as a way to pass the time.
The initial lineup was comprised of Milan Williams (keyboards), Lionel
Richie (saxophone), William King (trumpet), Thomas McClary (guitar), Ronald LaPread (bass) and Walter "Clyde" Orange (drums).
The members were beside themselves trying to come up with a name for the band. As a last-ditch effort, Orange gave King a
dictionary and asked him to select a name - and the result was the Commodores.
With their new name in place, the Commodores
started to get the word out by playing their music in Montgomery, Tuskegee and Birmingham.
After achieving results with
securing gigs in their own home turf, the band set out for the Big Apple for a performance at Smalls Paradise. As the story
goes, the club owner told them that their sound wasn't hip. But as fate would have it, the band was asked to fill in for an
That night, family and friends of the Commodores came out in droves to show their support, as
they played in front of a standing-room-only audience. Oblivious to the planned audience, the owner ended up booking the band
for two additional weeks.
The Commodores' lengthy ties with Motown arose when they opened for the Jackson 5 in 1971.
The opportunity came about when the Commodores auditioned in New York City for an obscure, yet high-profile show. They made
their debut appearance in the esteemed support slot and held onto it for over two years. Their captivating shows landed them
a contract with Motown. They premiered with Machine Gun, an upbeat instrumental dance number. Penned by Milan Williams, its
Top 10 placement gave the group instant attention. The Top 20 single, I Feel Sanctified, followed it, which led to their third
single, Slippery When Wet, which also turned about to be their first-ever No. 1 album. It didn't take long for the Commodores
to heat up the charts and the airwaves with their Southern funk brand of music.
Just to Be Close to You cam out in the
fall of 1976, which was their second No. 1 single and a No. 7 pop hit. Fancy Dancer followed and was also a Top 10 hit. The
tune, Easy, was also released and strayed away from their signature sound, but still managed to score the No. 1 spot on the
charts. The ballad set the tone for the style of ballads the group became recognized for.
One concession to their ballad
approach came in the form of Brickhouse. What became the band's anthem, slid into the No. 4 slot on the Top 10. It wasn't
long after that the Commodores released Three Times a Lady and Still, which was the last track the group did with Richie as
a group member.
After Richie's departure, the band enlisted J.D. Nicholas (formerly of Heatwave). With Nicholas on board,
the Commodores cut what would become their biggest hit, Nightshift. The tune honored Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson. For four
weeks in a row it burned up the charts, and the song also garnered the Commodores their sole Grammy.
In 1985, the Commodores
separated from Motown. They inked a deal with Polydor and came out with Goin' to the Bank. Throughout the '90s, the group
was reduced to three members: King, Nicholas and Orange. They continue to take the stage the world over and manage their own
record label, Commodore Records.
Commodores Hit Albums
Since the early '70s, the Commodores have come
out with a number of hit albums like Machine Gun (1974); Caught in the Act (1975); Movin' On (1975); Hot on the Tracks (1976);
Commodores (1977); Commodores Live! (1977); Zoom (1977); Natural High (1978); Midnight Magic (1979); In the Pocket (1981);
Rock Solid (1988) and more!
Did you know the Commodores made a surprising comeback on
the U.K. chart when their hit single Easy was utilized for a TV commercial in 1988? The ad was for the Halifax Building Society,
and Easy landed at No. 15.
Commodores Concert Experience
From romantic ballads to funky, soul-driven beats,
an evening with the Commodores promises to keep you entertained with a variety of hits like The Bump, Brick House, Easy, Three
Times a Lady and Too Hot ta Trot.
There's nothing like anticipating the arrival of a band like the Commodores. The Commodores
are no strangers to the stage, and it is second nature for them to put on a show, brimming with energy and excitement.
miss out, and reserve your tickets now through StubHub for one of the most iconic groups around!