Soul Tracks - Tracking the World's Greatest Soul Music

Happy Birthday Walter "Clyde" Orange

     

Happy birthday to Walter "Clyde" Orange of the Commodores, born December 9, 1946.

Formed by a bunch of funk-loving friends at Alabama's Tuskegee Institute, the Commodores became one of the major crossover acts of the 70s and launched the career of the biggest male solo star of the 80s. At the early end of the trend for self-contained funk bands, the group, consisting of Lionel Richie on saxophone, Walter Orange on drums, William King on trumpet, Ronald LaPread on bass, Milan Williams (who died in July 2006) on keyboards and Thomas McClary on guitar, found success principally playing local gigs in Alabama before scoring a major coup by successfully auditioning to serve as the warm-up band for the Jackson Five's 1971 tour.

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