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In the ‘70s, THE CO-FOUNDER, co-producer, writer and guitarist of the pop soul group The Commodores, Thomas McClary's ambition was to form a group that would be heralded as “the black Beatles.” That thought danced in his head while in line to enroll at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama in 1968, when he heard a young man behind him whistling a song from jazz saxophonist Eddie Harris.Are you a musician?” McClary asked. “No, no” the young man said. They chatted a while, then agreed to meet at the house of the young man’s grandmother. “She lives across the street from the campus. “ I’ll have some guys you can choose from to put your band together.” The shy kid ended up making the cut, too. His name was Lionel Richie. At that moment, when Thomas met Lionel, the nucleus for one of the world’s most legendary musical Pop, R&B groups of the ‘70’s was formed. These two freshmen did not stop until they found William King, Milan Williams, Ronald LaPread, and last but certainly not lease, Walter Orange to complete the mission of putting a legendary Group together, the Commodores. The rest is history.
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