It was 1969 when Maurice White formed The Salty Peppers, soon to become Earth, Wind and Fire. In 1971 and ’72 the band released a couple of albums on the Warner Bros. label with marginal success, but their move to Columbia Records began the period that separated them from the various funk and soul bands of their day. The album Head To The Sky, released in 1973, made it to number two on the R&B chart thanks to the tunes “Evil” and “Keep Your Head To The Sky.” However, it was their 1974 album Open Our Eyes that earned the band their first number one. The album contained the single “Devotion” (a favorite sample among hip-hop artists) and the single “Mighty Mighty,” which made it to number four R&B chart and twenty-nine on the pop chart. After that the hits just kept on coming, and to this day Earth, Wind and Fire can still get the crowd moving as they continue to entertain audiences across the globe. How can they lose with a set list that includes crowd pleasing cuts like “Shining Star,” “Sing A Song,” “Serpentine Fire,” and “Boogie Wonderland; and classic ballads such as “That’s The Way Of The World,” “Can’t Hide Love,” “After The Love Has Gone” and “Reasons?” And let’s not forget dance floor favorites like “Let’s Groove” and “September.” Now with over 40 years and more than 30 albums under their belt, the music of Earth, Wind and Fire has influenced artists of every genre. Their songs have been covered and sampled by countless artists and the band has received tons of awards and accolades including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, numerous Grammy and American Music Awards and membership in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Montrose Cunningham is an independent funk/rock/soul artist and devoted music aficionado residing in Dallas, Texas. When he isn’t digging through the crates–digital and analog–he’s jamming with his band or hanging with his daughter, sometimes at the same time. Purchase his latest release “Inertia” at www.MontroseMusic.com, visit him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter @MontroseC.