Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band
Originally conceived as an instrumental group, Bernard Blackman (guitar), Raymond Jackson (trombone), John Rayford (1943; tenor saxophone), Melvin Dunlap (bass) and James Gadson (drums), were still known by their former name, the Soul Runners, when a 1967 release, Grits N Corn Bread, reached the US R&B Top 40. Having changed their name in deference to the Watts district of Los Angeles, they enjoyed further success with Spreadin Honey the same year. The group also backed comedian Bill Cosby, whose influence helped secure a recording contract with Warner Brothers Records. The new signings then acquired a featured vocalist, Charles Wright (b. 1940, Clarkdale, Mississippi, USA), and following two 1969 singles, Do Your Thing and Till You Get Enough, the bands name was changed to Charles Wright And The Watts 103rd Street Band. Subsequent singles Express Yourself (1970) and Your Love...