The 1970s and 1980s are coming to the Poconos in full swing, with Kool & the Gang on the summer stage at Mt. Airy Casino. This stunning live performance will make you want to Get Down On It.
Kool & the Gang originated in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1964, according to koolandthegang.com. A band of brothers Robert Kool Bell and Ronald Bell, along with Dennis Dee Tee Thomas, Robert Spike Mickens, Charles Smith, George Brown, and Ricky West. Through various lineup changes and exploration of numerous musical styles, Kool & the Gang have evolved into what we know today. Genres such as jazz, soul, funk, rock, and pop music, Kool & the Gang are a multi-genre band with an unwavering sense of musical style and creativity.
The Early Days
The group later signed to De-Lite Records after settling on their name with their 1969 self-titled debut album, Kool & the Gang, with Let The Music Take Your Mind being their biggest hit. According to koolandthegang.com, in 1970, their Live at the Sex Machine (Live Album) peaked #6 on the Billboard top R&B chart with three hit singles: Funky Man, Who’s Gonna Take the Weight, and I Want to Take You Higher. The hit track Get Down On It was released in 1970 as well.
Saturday Night Fever
With each proceeding album, Kool & the Gang’s popularity grew. Taking off with 1973s gold disc, Wild & Peaceful, put the group into the upper echelon of music and entertainment, being #6 on the Billboard R&B and #33 Pop. Immortal party anthems such as Funky Stuff, Hollywood Swinging, and the infamous Platinum track, Jungle Boogie. Other Hits like Higher Plane reached #1 on the R&B Billboard chart. Tracks were even featured on a movie with a Grammy-winning soundtrack Rocky, with the classic song Summer Madness and the hit movie and track, Saturday Night Fever, earning the group their second Grammy in 1977. Ending the 70s with a bang, Kool & the Gang released Ladies Night in 1979. Along with the hit song Celebration.
Kool & the Gang Helped Propel Rap Into The Mainstream
The 90s was the golden decade of Hip Hop, with Kool & the Gang’s music becoming sampled in rap music heavily. Second, only to James Brown, as a source of rap music samples, Kool & the Gang have left their mark in multiple genres across the decades. Groups like the Beastie Boys, Jay-Z, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Cypress Hill, and P.Diddy, used Kool & the Gangs music as samples due to their signature drum beats, bass, guitar, and horn lines.
The Modern Era
According to koolandthegang.com, in 2014, they were honored with a BET Soul Train Lifetime Achievement Award. In October 2015, in Hollywood, they sang about one of their earliest hits, “Hollywood Swinging,” Kool & the Gang felt honored to be taking their place among American musical icons with a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 2016, they released a single, “Sexy (Where’d You Get Yours),” which rose to #15 on the Billboard Adult R& B chart. The song modernized the unique and riveting sounds of Kool & the Gang. For the first time in a decade, a track of theirs hit the airwaves. Between dance floor emphasized bass grooves and the fleet of unmistakeable horns, their new music was an evolution of what made their older stuff great.
A Perfect Re-Union
In 2021, Kool & the Gang released their latest album, Perfect Union, their first one since 2011, according to Pitchfork, a music website highlighting past and upcoming music. In August 2021, they released this album through Omnivore/Ru-Jac Records. They released the single Pursuit of Happiness along with an animated music video. Perfect Union, produced by Robert Kool Bell’s brother, Ronald Khalis Bell, passed away in 2020, with the music securing his legacy.
Date: September 3, 2022
Time: Doors open at 5 pm | Show begins at 7 pm
Cost: 59$ | 69$ | 79$ prices vary by seating
Location: Mount Airy Casino Resort, 312 Woodland Rd, Mt Pocono, PA 18344 Swiftwater, PA on the Summer Stage