Kool & The Gang — the longest continuously performing rhythm and blues band — will receive the 2,560th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Thursday, 50 years after its creation.
Original band members Robert “Kool” Bell, Ronald Bell, Dennis “Dee Tee” Thomas and George Brown will be joined by producer Vincent Herbert in speaking at the 11:30 a.m. ceremony at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Sycamore Avenue.
The Bells, who are brothers, joined Thomas, Brown and fellow Jersey City, New Jersey, neighborhood friends Robert “Spike” Mickens, Ricky Westfield and Charles Smith in 1964 to create the band, known for a unique sound blends jazz, soul and funk.
The band has sold more than 70 million albums and had 25 top 10 R&B hits, nine top 10 hits and 31 gold and platinum albums.
Early in its career, Kool & The Gang was a supporting act for comedians Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor. It released its self-titled debut album in 1969, which included its first Billboard R&B charted single, “Kool and the Gang.”
The band had a string of hits in the 1970s, including “Jungle Boogie,” “Funky Stuff,” and “Summer Madness,” which was featured on the Grammy- winning soundtrack of the Oscar-winning film “Rocky.”
The band’s “Open Sesame” was featured on the Grammy-winning soundtrack for “Saturday Night Fever,” the top-selling movie soundtrack.
The late disc jockey Casey Kasem chose Kool & The Gang as the band of the 1980s for “Celebration,” “Ladies Night,” “Get Down on It” and “Joanna.”
—City News Service