Oliver Sain Biography

1 March 1932, Dundee, Mississippi, USA, d. 28 October 2003. Working out of St. Louis, saxophonist Sain first established himself as a band leader and producer, but later in his career made a name for himself as a disco star. After forming his band in St. Louis in 1960, he developed a considerable local reputation playing at all the clubs in the city and across the Mississippi in East St. Louis and other communities. Members of his band have included Fontella Bass, Bobby McClure and Little Milton. He made his first records in 1962 for the tiny Bobbin label, featuring Fontella Bass on vocals and piano and Little Milton on guitar. In 1966 he founded Archway Studio and occasionally recorded himself as well as a host of St. Louis/East St. Louis acts.

Sain never achieved any national recognition, however, until the early 70s, when he began recording instrumentals for the Nashville-based Abet label, establishing himself as an unlikely disco star. His most renowned hits were ‘Bus Stop’ (number 47 R&B) in 1974 and ‘Party Hearty’ (number 16 R&B) in 1976. His last chart record a year later was ‘I Feel Like Dancin’’ (number 74 R&B). Sain’s albums, unlike his singles, were broader than disco in appeal, containing, besides rousing dance grooves, some warm, southern-style, soulful saxophone playing. During the 80s and 90s he established himself as a producer of blues acts, notably Larry Davis, Eddie Kirkland, David Dee and Johnnie Johnson.

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