Grammy-winning band Kool & the Gang, whose hits include such great tunes as “Ladies’ Night,” “Jungle Boogie” and “Celebration,” have something of their own to celebrate: more than 50 years of togetherness and induction into the New Jersey Hall of Fame and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Robert “Kool” Bell, Ronald “Khalis Bell,” Dennis “Dee Tee” Thomas, and George “Funky” Brown were honoured with the 2,560th star at 7065 Hollywood Boulevard.
Their star is alongside musicians Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Parker Jr., The Funk Brothers, Herbie Hancock, John Denver and many others.
Here are five fun facts about the funk-pop group.
1. Founder Robert “Kool” Bell went by the name Tamango until he met a guy who went by the name of Cool. Bell borrowed the name but spelt it with a K.
2. Members of Kool & the Gang have known each other since grade school in Jersey City, New Jersey.
3. Previous band names include the Jazz Birds, the Jazziacs and Kool & the Flames.
4. Band member Dennis “Dee Tee” Thomas is a self-taught sax player who—not knowing better—originally played with the mouthpiece upside down.
5. The original name for the 1983 hit “Joanna” was “Dear Mom.”