Skyy

Skyy

Virtually the definition of an "Unsung" act, Skyy lit up the soul and dance charts from the late 70s until the early 90s with a string of hits, often accompanied by surprisingly long gaps in between. The Brooklyn funk/soul group was formed by guitarist Soloman Roberts and Brass Construction leader Randy Muller in the late 70s with the vision of creating a self-contained band that could bridge the line between dance and funk, and would feature the beautiful vocal tones of sisters Bonny, Delores and Denise Dunning.

With Muller in the background, writing some of the material and performing keyboards on the albums, the group boasted a talented set of musicians, including guitarist Roberts, keyboardist Larry Greenberg, bassist Gerald Lebon, guitarist Anthony Sierra and drummer Tommy McConnell, laying the foundation under the Dunning sisters' performances.

Skyy first hit the charts in 1979 on Salsoul Records with the aptly titled "First Time Around" but had their biggest crossover smash three years later with the funky #1 hit "Call Me." However, with the sudden end of the disco era, Skyy found itself a hitmaking band in limbo. After a half dozen albums, Skyy was sputtering Salsoul shut its doors. Unfortunately, while Skyy had a lot of great music ahead, it never really again had a label then went "all in" on the group. Capitol signed Skyy in 1986 and immediately scored a top ten hit with "Givin' It (To You)," but lack of promotion torpedoed the album, and Skyy was again without a contract.

It took three more years before the group emerged on Atlantic Records, where they surprisingly landed two #1 hits, the bouncy "Start of A Romance" (the album's title track), and a now-classic slow jam, "Real Love." Unfortunately, Atlantic didn't know what it had with Skyy, and retooled the group's sound for the follow up album for more electronic instrumentation and an edgier urban sound. 1992's Nearer to You sounded unlike a Skyy album, and prematurely ended the group's recording career.

With no more records coming, Skyy broke up in the mid 90s, but by the end of the decade the Dunning sisters regrouped as The Ladies of Skyy, and began performing in multi-act shows around the world, continuing to this day.

By Chris Rizik

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