The Gap Band mainly comprised of three brothers:
Charles Wilson - keyboards, vocals (a.k.a. Charles Kent 'Charlie' Wilson, b. 29th January 1953, Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.A.)
Ronnie Wilson - trumpet, keyboards
Robert Wilson - bass, vocals (b. Robert Lynn Wilson 21st December 1956, Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.A., d. 15th August 2010, Palmdale, California, U.S.A.)
The Gap Band were originally known as the Greenwood, Archer and Pine Street Band in the late Sixties.
The group hail from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and later changed their name to The Gap Band in 1973.
Charlie, Ronnie (the oldest) and Robert Wilson were brought up in a religious household and are cousins of Bootsy Collins.
Their father was a minister in the local church and insisted his children learn various musical instruments, predominantly the piano.
The Greenwood, Archer, and Pine Street Band were formed in 1967, and also featured Tuck Andress, who was later to achieve success as part of the duo Tuck and Patti.
The name proved to be too long for many advertising purposes, so the brothers shortened the name to the G.A.P. Street Band, which led to their future group title.
Their first album, released under the Gap Band name, reflected a raw funk sound.
shelter church studio's in 1974
magicians holiday - 1974 / the gap band - 1977
Released on the Shelter Records imprint 'Magicians Holiday' had some minor success, however the group were to relocate to Tattoo Records in 1977 for a second album release entitled 'The Gap Band' (which featured the likes of D.J. Rogers, Reverend James Cleveland, Chaka Khan, Leon Russell, and Les McCann artistically).
the gap band in 1974
At this time the group consisted of Charlie, Robert and Ronnie, along with Tom Lokey, Buddy Jones, O'Dell Stokes, Roscoe Smith, Alvin Jones, Carl Scoggins and Chris Clayton.
After Charlie had, initially, relocated to Los Angeles, the brothers were them introduced to the Los Angeles based producer Lonnie Simmons, who relocated the group from Tattoo to his Total Experience Records (a subsidiary of Mercury/Polygram) imprint in 1977.
By now the group featured 12 musicians, some of whom were released with the brothers retaining the services of Raymond Calhoun, Oliver Scott and arranger/producer Malvin Dino Vice.
the gap band - 1979 / the gap band II - 1979
The first release on Total Experience Records, turned out to be a second self titled album, which featured the tracks 'Shake' and 'I'm In Love'.
'Gap Band II' was released in 1979 (and featured 'I Don't Believe You Want to Get Up and Dance (Oops!)', which reached number 4 on the R&B charts), followed by 'Gap Band III' in 1980, the same year the brothers provided background vocals for Stevie Wonder on his 'Hotter Than July' set on the song 'Ain't Gonna Stand For It'.
gap band III - 1980 / gap band IV - 1982
'The Gap Band III' realised a change in musical style, epitomised by the mellower number 5 R&B song "Yearning for Your Love'.
The album also featured the songs 'Burn Rubber on Me (Why You Wanna Hurt Me)' and 'Humpin'.
1982 saw the release of 'Gap Band IV', which reached number one on the R&B charts and featured the songs 'Early In The Morning', (number 1 R&B and number 24 Hot 100 and covered by Robert Palmer), 'You Dropped A Bomb On Me' (number 2 R&B and number 31 Hot 100), and the club anthem 'Outstanding' (number 1 R&B).
The same year the former Brides of Funkenstein singer Dawn Silva joined them when the group went on tour.
gap band V - 1983 / gap band VI - 1984 / gap band VII - 1985 / gap band 8 - 1987
The following year saw the release of 'Gap Band V: Jammin', which featured the song 'Someday' that included Stevie Wonder on vocals.
'Gap Band VI' was released in 1985, and featured 'Beep A Freak', 'I Found My Baby' and 'Disrespect'.
Charlie Wilson collaborated, at this time, with the Zapp front man the late Roger Troutman on the hit single 'Computer Love'.
1986's 'Gap Band VII' featured the song 'Going In Circles', however, greater success followed with the release of 1987's album 'Gap Band 8', which featured the club hit 'Big Fun' (reaching number 4 on the U.K. singles charts).
straight from the heart - 1988 / round trip - 1989
1988's album 'Straight from the Heart' turned out to be the group's last recording for Total Experience.
The same year, the group featured in the movie soundtrack to the film 'I'm Gonna Get You Sucka', contributing 'You're So Cute' to the recordings.
Relocating from Total Experience to the Capitol Records imprint, the group released 'Round Trip', which featured their final R&B number one hit 'All Of My Love', along with the songs 'Addicted To Your Love' and 'We Can Make It Right'.
The Gap Band then left Capitol and took a 5 year break from recording.
The 1990's saw three further album releases, along with 2 live albums.
In 1992, Charlie Wilson pursued a solo career, whilst the Gap Band album 'Live & Well', reached number 54 R&B in 1996.
Ronnie Wilson became a born-again Christian and pastor in 1984.
Robert Wilson sadly died of a heart attack at his home in Palmdale, California on the 15th of August 2010, shortly before a scheduled performance at the Tulsa Timeless Music Festival.
The Gap Band's records have been sampled by many Soul and Rap artists including: Nas, 69 Boyz, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Jermaine Dupri, Da Brat, Notorious B.I.G., II D Extreme, Blackstreet, Shaquille O'Neal, Mia X, and Mary J. Blige.
Magician's Holiday (Shelter Records 1974)
The Gap Band (Tatoo Records 1976)
The Gap Band (Mercury Records 1977)
The Gap Band 11 (Mercury Records 1978)
The Gap Band 111 (Mercury Records 1980)
The Gap Band 1V (Total Experience Records 1982)
Gap Band V - Jammin' (Total Experience Records 1983)
Strike A Groove (Passport Records Records 1983)
The Gap Band V1 (Total Experience Records 1985)
The Gap Band V11 (Total Experience Records 1986)
The Gap Band V111 (Total Experience Records 1986)
Straight From The Heart (Total Experience Records 1987)
I'm Gonna Git You Sucka - Soundtrack (1989)
Round Trip (Capitol Records 1989)
Live And Well (Intersound Records 1996)
Love At Your Fingatips (9th Floor / Universal Records 2001)