A funk music dream realized by 98.6 after 40 years in the vaults

(September 4, 2020) A dream deferred. That’s what the album Time Will Tell was for a talented group of performers from DC that called themselves 98.6. In the mid-70s, they were the next big thing from a city known for both its adult soul artists and its GoGo scene. Their mix of Afro, Latin, funk, dance and soul anticipated some of the music that would dominate radio for the remainder of that decade.

Signed to the H&L label of legendary hitmakers Hugo & Luigi, 98.6 recorded a much anticipated debut album in 1978-9, in between road gigs working with some of the biggest acts of the era. But fate – and the financial collapse of the label – tied up the album’s release for an interminable period, until the band finally split up, with the members each going their own way.

(September 4, 2020) A dream deferred. That’s what the album Time Will Tell was for a talented group of performers from DC that called themselves 98.6. In the mid-70s, they were the next big thing from a city known for both its adult soul artists and its GoGo scene. Their mix of Afro, Latin, funk, dance and soul anticipated some of the music that would dominate radio for the remainder of that decade.

Signed to the H&L label of legendary hitmakers Hugo & Luigi, 98.6 recorded a much anticipated debut album in 1978-9, in between road gigs working with some of the biggest acts of the era. But fate – and the financial collapse of the label – tied up the album’s release for an interminable period, until the band finally split up, with the members each going their own way.

Four decades later, one of the band members, then a successful lawyer, was able to get the rights back to this long vaulted album, and now it is available, more than four decades after it was recorded. Group members George W. Porter, L. Steve Arnett, David Sinkfield, Kenny Jones, Tony Smith, Willie Jolley, Gary Thomas, Charlie Williams, Bradley A. Thomas and Ronald K. Thomas are finally having their day. A dream realized.

For our latest First Listen, we present the much delayed title song to the Time Will Tell. Featuring a full-bodied sound with hot rhythm and horn sections, it is a quintessential 1979 dance cut – and certainly the kind of song that could have been a radio hit at that time.

Check out “Time Will Tell” and welcome 98.6 – at last – to SoulTracks.

By Chris Rizik

98.6 – “Time Will Tell”

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