R&B -Funk

Play That Funky Music Pittsburgh
R&B superstars and one hit wonders from P-Town

One the biggest R&B hits of all time "Could It Be I'm Fallin in Love" was penned by brothers Melvin and Mervin Steals. Known as Mystro and Lyric the Steal brothers as part of Gamble and Huff's Philadelphia International label wrote hits for 
First Choice, Gloria Gaynor, Major Harris, Lee McDonald, Eddie Kendrick,  Ecstacy, O.C. Smith, the Trammps and other recording artists.  They also wrote the song. "Love Thang".for Pittsburgher Chuck Jackson,who became a solo performer after being a member of the Del Vikings. Chuck Jackson scored a million-selling hit with the tune "Any Day Now". 

Syreeta Wright, a Motown singer and songwriter, co-wrote the all time classic "Signed, Sealed Delivered I'm Yours" with Stevie Wonder, her former husband. She also recorded the hit duet "With You I'm Born Again" with Billy Preston. 

Bassist Bob Babbitt as a member of the legendary Funk Brothers band played on dozens of Motown hits.  He was the most recorded bass player in the history of popular music. Over 100 million copies of records that feature Bob’s bass have been sold.  He performed on over 200 top 40 hits earning 25 gold records and several platinum awards.  In Detroit during the 1960s Bob Babbitt's signature sound was heard on the Capitols’ “Cool Jerk,” Smokey Robinson’s “The Tears of a Clown” and Stevie Wonder’s “Signed Sealed Delivered I’m Yours”, Gladys Knight’s “Midnight Train To Georgia”, Diana Ross’ “Touch Me In The Morning”, and War" by Edwin Starr. Babbitt is featured on Motown biggest selling album Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Goin’ On”. As part of the Philadelphia soul scene in the 1970s Babbitt played on the Spinners hits “Then Came You” and “Rubberband Man”. Working in New York he was heard on Gloria Gaynor’s “Never Can Say Goodbye” and Robert Palmer’s “Every Kind Of People”.

One of the most talented singers born in Pittsburgh was diva Phyllis Hymann. Her many hits include "Somewhere In My Lifetime", "You Know How To Love Me", "Can't We Fall In Love Again", "Old Friend", "I Refuse To Be Lonely", and the number one hit "Don't Want to Change the World" .

Singer and song writer Shanice scored two Top 5 Billboard hits with the sunny infectious single "I Love Your Smile" in 1991 and the 1993 single "Saving Forever for You".  

Johnny Daye is an outstanding white soul singer who recorded the classic Stax Records R&B tracks “What’ll I Do”, “Stay Baby Stay”, “I Need Somebody” and ”I Love Love” backed by Steve Cropper, Issac Hayes and members of Booker T and the MGs. His mentor Otis Redding took him on tour on the Chitlin and college frat circuit in the late 1960s. A dynamic singer and dancer Daye won the praise of James Brown and Jackie Wilson .During his 1960’s music career Johnny Daye released 12 great R&B songs on Stax, Johnny Nash’s Jomada Records, Parkway-Cameo Records, and Blue Star Records. Daye came out of retirement in 2007 to sing the lead on two tracks on Robert Peckman’s solo CD “Stirrin Up Bees”.  Several music publications rate Johnny Daye as one of the best blue eyed soul singers of all time.

Classified as one hit wonders were Wild Cherry with "Play That Funky Music", the Jaggerz with the no 2 hit "The Rapper", and Q with "Dancin Man".
Pittsburgh R&B Funk Hits
Phyllis Hyman