Bill McGee is celebrating over 38 years in the music industry. His professional musical journey started in Atlanta where he attended Booker T. Washington High School (Martin Luther King, Jr., Gladys Knight, Jean Carne) and Morris Brown College (Drum Line, Stomp The Yard), where he was one of the original members of the group Hellaphenalia (Their first single in 1971-72 "Ain't Nothing Superstar About Me" was released on Ray Charles' Tangerine Records), the group reorganized in to the super group BRICK, by that time Bill had moved back to Virginia to finish his degree in music at Virginia State College. At Virginia State Bill helped to form the eclectic funk/rock group TRUSSEL. After years of performing at colleges and clubs all over the east coast, Trussel eventually became Evelyn Champagne King's first touring band. After Evelyn, the group signed with Elektra/Aslyum and had the Fred Wesley produced top 20 hit "LOVE INJECTION" The group had three charted hits off of the only album for Elektra and were nominated for Billboard's "Best New R&B Group of the year 1980". (Ray, Goodman and Brown formerly The Moments won)
Bill would later work with the studio horn section Chops led by his close friend Marvin Daniels and saxophonist, Darryl Dixon. With Chops, Bill recorded on some of the most recognizable hip hop and rap records ever made. You can hear him on the radio everyday as lead trumpet on Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five's mega hit "FREEDOM". He also played lead trumpet on "APACHE" and Let' Dance. Bill recorded as one of the Sugarhill Records regulars on songs featuring Spoonie Gee, DJ Starsky, DJ Hollywood, The Funky Four + 1, The Treacherous Three, Angie Stone's groupSEQUENCE and many others including Kool Moe Deewhen he was with his group. During this time the horn section worked closely with the Sugarhill Records Rhythm Section, Doug Wimbush, Gary Henry, Jiggs Chase, Skip "Lil Axe" McDonald and Keith "TackHead" LeBlanc and the late Dwayne Mitchell. Bill has two Gold Records on his wall from his days at Sugarhill Records "Freedom" and "8th Wonder". The horn group CHOPS later worked as one of the horn sections for Kenny Gamble's Philadelphia International Records. During this time Bill recorded as lead trumpet with The O'Jays, Leon Huff, The Stylistics and Pattie LaBelle. Three members of CHOPS (Marvin, Darryl and Dave) also toured with the POLICE. Bill and the late great trombonist, Melvin "Boonie" El played on other Philly International Recordings and toured with Ray, Goodman and Brown while the other members of CHOPS were touring with The Police.
In the mid 1980's Bill worked with Joyce "Fenderella" Irby and the super all-girls group Klymaxx who were managed by Ron Sweeney. Bill McGee eventually left the music industry to teach music in Richmond, Virginia where he became a mentor to D'Angelo, Mad Skillz, Lonnie B. and Danja Mowf. Re-started his label FUNTOWN RECORDS and produced their group The SupaFriendz (on the imprint 804 Flava label). They had several underground hits and a certified platinum hit with the unauthorized remix of "Are You That Somebody" with Aliyah. He eventually negotiated the signing of Danja Mowf to the Missy Elliot label "Gold Mine Records". Bill McGee also engineered, co-wrote and produced Jo Doja with Danja Mowf and had three songs on the Martin Lawrence/DannyDeVito MGM movie soundtrack"What's The Worst That Can Happen", along with a cult hit called Cadi Man.
In 2000 Bill McGee began pursuing a Solo Career in the Smooth Jazz genre, his third solo CD CHASE THE SUNSET was recently released and has charted as atop 50 hit on the SmoothJazz.Com chart. The CD has also made the top 15 chart for Independent Smooth Jazz releases in 2007, on this CD the trumpeter, flugelhornist, and multi-instrumentalist adds five (5) smooth originals to a blend of seven (7) R&B/Soul cover songs. The CDCHASE THE SUNSET is a great collection of classic covers; including Stevie Wonder's - "I Wish", and a classic Quiet Storm version of The Dramatics "Go Outside In the Rain". "Outside in the rain" alone makes this CD well worth the purchase. The title song "Chase The Sunset" is a a smooth mood setter featuring Bill's long time co-writing partner, Tom Reaves on Guitar. Bill's cover of "I Like The Way You Move", featuring Neo-DooWop group Bak N Da Day and James Saxsmo Gates on sax is one of the most downloaded versions of this Outkast song according to Itunes. The album also features Bill with his good friend James Holden (Soprano Sax) on "Stop, Look, Listen To Your Heart", this is a fantastic version of the classic Stylistics (Thom Bell) hit. Another great song, "The Groove" features Hannon Lane and James "Saxsmo" Gates and was inspired by the TV show 24 featuring Keiffer Sutherland. The undisputed star of this CD is "GOLD BABY", a groove as classic as "Mister Magic". This song is dedicated to the late Bill McGee Sr. of Chicago, IL, nick named Gold Baby at birth. From the movie "Shall We Dance", the song "SWAY"was recorded as a treat for Mrs. Wanda McGee. "SWAY" is the classic dance song recorded by The Pussy Cat Dolls and featured in the movie starring Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez. Bill's version features "the man", the late Joe Taylor on flute and Bill performing all of the brass and rhythm instruments. "What's Going On", the Marvin Gaye classic is performed to perfection on this CD by Saxsmo and Joshua Hodari (vocals). Another great track is the Earth, Wind and Fire Classic"Keep Your Head To The Sky" featuring the beautiful and talented Shawn Chappelle (who also appears on Bill's "People Make The World Go Round" from his first CD "This One's 4U"). Inspiration for this song came from the arrangement by Maysa Leake (Incognito). The songs"Chill" featuring popular smooth jazz guitarist and recording artist, Jim Adkins and "Kickin & Screamin"featuring pianist Debo Dabney, are just as note worthy... the entire album is EXCELLENT MUSIC, professionally recorded by seasoned professionals. If you like Rick Braun, Chris Botti, Kirk Whalum, Norman Brown, Bob Baldwin, or Joe Sample, "CHASE THE SUNSET" will work well in your CD player. Click on the Buy it link below.... you won't be sorry!