Champaign Biography

Based in Champaign, Illinois, USA, this self-contained pop-funk band came together in 1981 and took their name from their home city. A white instrumental unit fronted by two black vocalists, Champaign was a merger of veterans of previous bands and comprised Michael Day (guitar/keyboards), Rocky Maffit (drums), Leon Reeder (guitar), Dana Walden (keyboards), Michael Reed (bass), Pauli Carman (vocals) and Rena Jones (vocals). In the UK the group was known only for ‘How ’Bout Us’, a delightful ballad that hit number 5 in 1981, while in the USA the song reached number 4 in the R&B chart and the national Top 30. The group had follow-ups in the USA, hitting the charts with another strong ballad, ‘Try Again’ (number 2 R&B, 1983), and a strong dance groove, ‘On And Off Love’ (number 10 R&B, 1984). Although the group issued three albums before their break-up in 1985, Champaign’s success remained only with singles. Following the group’s break-up, Carman had a moderately successful solo career. A reunion of Champaign in 1990 proved short-lived, but their fourth album briefly made the charts in 1991.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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