Growing up with a Pentecostal minister father, the Wilson brothers formed the Greenwood, Archer, and Pine Street Band in 1967, with Tuck Andress (later of Tuck and Patti). Early on, the group took on a funk sound more reminiscent of the early 70s. This style failed to catch on, and their first two LP's, 1974's Magician's Holiday and 1977's The Gap Band (Not to be confused with their 1979 album) failed to chart or produce any charting singles. However, they were introduced to LA producer Lonnie Simmons, who signed them to his record label, Total Experience Records. Simmons had recently gotten a distribution deal with Mercury/Polygram. When Lonnie signed them, the group had twelve musicians. The group dropped most of their personnel. Raymond Calhoun (writer "Outstanding"), Oliver Scott (co-writer "Yearning For Your Love), and arranger/producer Malvin Dino Vice (co-writer "Boys Are Back in Town") were retained as members of the backing band and major contributors to the Gap Band's later recordings. On their first Simmons-produced album, The Gap Band, they found chart success with songs such as "I'm in Love" and "Shake", the latter becoming a Top 10 R&B hit in 1979.
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