The Commodores, one of the most successful recording acts of all time, will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's SoulTracks Readers' Choice Awards, to be broadcast on Tuesday December 7th. The trio consisting of Walter Orange, J.D. Nicholas and William King will be honored, as will past members Lionel Richie, Ronald LaPread and Thomas McClary, as well as deceased member Milan Williams. The broadcast will include an interview of the group by SoulTracks publisher Chris Rizik.
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... READ MORE