The Commodores formed at Tuskegee Institute, Alabama, USA, in 1967, when two groups of students merged to form a six-piece band. Lionel Richie (20 June 1949, Tuskegee, Alabama, USA; keyboards, saxophone, vocals), Thomas McClary (b. 6 October 1950; guitar) and William King (b. 30 January 1949, Alabama, USA; trumpet) had been members of the Mystics; Andre Callahan (drums), Michael Gilbert (bass) and Milan Williams (b. 28 March 1948, Mississippi, USA, d. 9 July 2006, Houston, Texas, USA; keyboards) previously played with the Jays. Callahan and Gilbert were replaced, respectively, by Walter Clyde Orange (b. 10 December 1947, Florida, USA) and Ronald LaPread (b. 4 September 1950, Florida, USA), before the Commodores moved to New York in 1969, where they became established as a club band specializing in funk instrumentals. A year later, they recorded an album for Atlantic Records, left unissued at the time but subsequently released as Rise Up, which included...
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