Soul And / Or Related Artists
the fatback band

The Fatback Band

The group, at various times, comprised of:

Bill Curtis (drums)

Johnny King (guitar)

Johnny Flippin (bass)

George Williams (trumpet)

Earl Shelton (saxophone)

George Adams (flute)

Gerry Thomas (keyboards)

Wayne Woolford (conga's)

Fred Demerey (saxophone)

Louis Wright (guitar)

Saunders McCrae (keyboards)

Richard Cromwell (trombone)

Deborah Cooper (vocals)


George Victory

The Fatback Band are one of the most influential Funk bands spanning the last five decades.

The were originally formed in 1970 by Bill Curtis, who was a session drummer at the time in New York City.

Bill had served in the armed forces during the period from 1951 to 1954, later working with various R&B performers including Big Maybelle, Bill Doggett and Clyde McPhatter.

As with the Brass Construction band, the Fatback Band were very much a Street Funk outfit.

The group signed to the Perception imprint, where they charted with an early single entitled 'Street Dance'.

Let's Do It AgainPeople MusicFeel My SoulKeep On Steppin'

let's do it again - 1972 / people music - 1973 / feel my soul - 1974 / keep on steppin' - 1974

At Perception The Fatback Band released the albums 'Let's Do It Again', (in 1972 featuring 'Street Dance') 'People Music' (in 1973 featuring 'Njia Walk'), and 'Feel My Soul' (in 1974) before signing to the Event Records imprint in 1974.

Yum YumRaising Hell

yum yum - 1975 / raising hell - 1975

Incorporating a more dance orientated aspect to their funk sound, the Fatback Band achieved success with several albums including 'Keep On Steppin' (in 1974 featuring 'Wicky Wacky'), 'Yum, Yum (Give Me Some)' (in 1975 featuring 'Yum Yum' and 'If You Could Turn Into Me'), and 'Raising Hell' (in 1975 featuring '(Are You Ready) Do The Bus Stop', 'Spanish Hustle' and 'Groovy Kind Of Day').

The Fatback Band

Although their popularity had been evolving in the Night Clubs, chart success really arrived in 1976, when '(Lets Do The) Spanish Hustle' was released as a single and subsequently climbed the national pop charts.

'(Are You Ready) Do The Bus Stop' (also taken from the 'Raising Hell' album) followed and created an interest in 'crowd choreographed' nightclub dancing styles.

The group had relocated to the Spring/Polydor imprint by this stage, releasing several popular dancers, including 'Party Time', 'The Booty', and 'Double Dutch.

Night FeverNYCNYUSAMan With The BandFired Up N'Kickin

night fever - 1976 / mycnyusa - 1977 / man with the band - 1977 / fired up n'kickin' - 1978

Also in 1976, the group released the album 'Night Fever' (which featured the title track (not the tune made famous by the BeeGees).

In 1977, the Fatback Band released the albums 'NYCNYUSA' and 'Man With The Band' (featuring 'Mile High'), after which the group would become known simply as 'Fatback'.

Under the new name, 'Fired Up N Kickin' followed in 1978.

Bright Lites Big CityXIIHot Box14 Karat

bright lites, big city - 1979 / XII - 1979 / hot box - 1980 / 14 karat - 1980

One Fatback song, 'King Tim III (Personality Jock)' (from the 1979 album 'XII') has been credited as the first Rap Music single.

At the turn of the Eighties, the Fatback's hit the charts with two singles, namely, 'Gotta Get My Hands On Some (Money)' and 'Backstrokin' (taken from the album 'Hot Box' in 1980).

Tasty JamGigoloOut On The FloorIs This The Future?

tasty jam - 1981 / gigolo - 1981 / out on the floor - 1982 / is this the future? - 1983

In 1982, the Fatback's released 'Out On The Floor', which was notable for the Soul Stepper 'She's My Shining Star', popular on many Soul Stations at the time.

The group were backed by the female vocal trio 'Wild Sugar' between 1981 and 1982, and Evelyn Thomas also provided the lead vocal for 'Spread Love' in 1985, their last song for the Spring imprint.

Their success continued in the early Eighties, with several fine releases including 'Kool Whip', 'Is This The Future?', 'Take It Anyway You Want It' and one of their biggest club tunes 'I Found Lovin'.

PhoenixSo Delicious

phoenix - 1984 / so delicious - 1985

Accompanying these singles were some of the group's finest album releases, including 'Is This The Future? (in 1983), 'Phoenix' (in 1984) and 'So Delicious' (in 1985)

They were signed to the Cotillion label during the mid Eighties.

The Fatback's were huge in the U.K. nightclubs, with '(Lets Do The) Spanish Hustle' and 'I Found Lovin' (taken from 1983's album 'With Love') both charting nationally.

Keyboardist Gerry Thomas was also a member of The Jimmy Castor Bunch, which kept the group close to a New York base.

The Fatback's are still currently touring and actively recording new material.

The Fatback Band

The Fatback Band

Real Player


Let's Do It Again (Perception Records 1972)

People Music (Perception Records 1973)

Feel My Soul (Perception Records 1974)

Keep on Steppin' (Event Records 1974)

Yum Yum (Polydor Records 1975)

Night Fever (Polydor Records 1976)

Raising Hell (Polydor Records 1976)

NYCNYUSA (Spring Records 1977)

Man with the Band (Spring Records 1977)

Fired up and Kickin' 'n' Ready to Go (Polydor Records 1978)

XII (IMS Records 1979)

Bright Lites, Big City (Spring / Polydor Records 1979)

14 Karat (Polydor Records 1980)

Hot Box (Spring Records 1980)

Tasty Jam (Spring Records 1981)

Gigolo (Spring Records 1981)

On the Floor with Fatback (Spring Records 1982)

Is This the Future? (Polydor Records 1983)

With Love (Polydor Records 1983)

Phoenix (Cotillion Records 1984)

So Delicious (Cotillion Records 1985)

Live (Start Records 1987)

Gigolo (Spring Records 1993)

Brite Lites, Big City (Southbound Records 1996)

Feel My Soul (Deep Beats Records 1997)

Tonite's An All Night Party (Ace Records 2002)

Remixes (Southbound Records 2003)

Six Twelves - The Extended Fatback Band (Southbound Records 2003)

Second Generation (Fatback Records 2004)

Live In Tokyo (Fatback Records 2007)

Plays House Music (Fatback Records 2008)

top of the page

SoulwalkingStart HereThe ArtistsListen Out ForThe ChartBeen MissedRespectReal AudioOpinionNetworkJazz & FusionLinksMotown