The Ohio Players still on ‘Fire’

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Today’s musical landscape shifts as fast as the blink of an eye so it’s not uncommon for bands to fade into oblivion. Some manage to withstand and the Ohio Players, who’ve been recording for over 30 years, has maintained its position com

Today’s musical landscape shifts as fast as the blink of an eye so it’s not uncommon for bands to fade into oblivion. Some manage to withstand and the Ohio Players, who’ve been recording for over 30 years, has maintained its position comfortably.

Friday, the “funk masters” – who originated in Dayton, Ohio – opened this year’s African Festival of the Arts and continue to keep their name out there by remaining on the touring circuit.

“We’ve been touring and performing at festivals, casinos and other engagements across the country,” the bands drummer, James “Diamond” Williams told the Defender.

The band continues to enjoy a faithful following since it’s heydays in the ‘70s. Throughout its high time, players came and went but the hits, from 1973 to 1976 were nonstop. The Ohio Players had seven top hits during that time, including "Fire," which was No. 1 for weeks on the charts.

Throughout their extensive touring schedule, they’ve found time to record some new material. “We’ve been working on a new album and our first single, "This Is Your Night," is coming out this week. We are expanding musically with some other ideas that deal with gospel, some light jazz and other idioms of music. We don’t have a title for our new album, but we are looking to release it the first of year,” Williams, also an original member, explained.

Like many bands that came during their era, The Ohio Players has been introduced to a new crop of fans through hip hop and R&B artists sampling the band’s music. Many artists have sampled from The Ohio Players extensive catalog and replicated its famous sexually provocative album covers, which are still widely popular.

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