L.T.D. (Love Togetherness and Devotion)

L.T.D. (Love Togetherness and Devotion)

    Love Togetherness and Devotionf (later shortened to L.T.D.) was one the best and most popular self-contained Soul groups of the 70s, and was the springboard for the great Soul balladeer Jeffrey Osborne.  Formed in 1968 at Greensboro, North Carolina, the group was "super-sized" by the time it signed with A&M Records in 1973, with members Carle Vickers (trumpet/sax/flute), Toby Wynn (sax), Abraham "Onion" Miller (sax), Arthur Lorenzo Carnegie (sax, flute, guitar), Jeffrey (drums and vocals) and brother Billy Osborne (keyboards), Henry Davis (bass, flute, keyboards), Jimmy Davis (keyboards and musical director), guitarist Johnny McGhee and horn player Jake Riley.

    The group spent the next few years searching for its own sound, ultimately finding it in a tasty mix of funky party tunes alternating with sweet ballads, all fronted by Jeffrey Osborne's rich, romantic baritone.  After a couple false starts, L.T.D. landed a #1 Soul hit in 1976 with the now-classic love song "Love Ballad" (later remade, in discofied format, by George Benson) and the album Love to the World.  They topped the charts again the following year with the funky dance cut "Back In Love Again" and the #1 album Something To Love. The group continued to score over the next three years with a series of wonderful Osborne ballads, including "Stranger," "Where Did We Go Wrong" and "We Both Deserve Each Other's Love."

    Both Osbornes left the group in 1980 (Jeffrey went on to a huge solo career and Billy formed the duo Osborne and Giles).  The defections turned out to be fatal for the group.  New vocalists Leslie Wilson and Andre Ray were brought in for the first post-Osborne album, 1981's Love Magic, a solid album that unfortunately failed to reach a substantial audience (it spawned minor hits with the dance number "Kickin It" and the ballad "April Love").  Lost to the indifferent public was Wilson's outstanding performance on the title cut -- one of the best Soul performances of that year.  Their next album, 1983's For You, stiffed, and the group members decided to split.

    Fifteen years later, an alternate version of LTD was created, with Osborne sound-alike Greg Henneghen as lead vocalist.  The new group cut 1999's Marry You, an album containing remakes of some of the group's biggest hits as well as a half dozen new Henneghen compositions, the best of which was the title cut, a solid ballad tailor-made for June ceremonies everywhere.  A legal battle followed, the rights to to the name being won by the more familiar version of the group. 

    LTD beginning late in the first decade of the new millennium, LTD began performing again, with the group consisting of Carnegie, Jimmy Davis, Vickers, McGhee, Henry Davis and Ray along with new members Richard Moorings (vocals / keys / trombone), and Tefere Hazy (drums/vocals). Sadly, Davis died in January of 2012.

    By Chris Rizik

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