Tower of Power to receive SoulTracks Lifetime Achievement Award

(November 5, 2018) Fifty years of excellence, and a discography that is second to none. That is the punchline for the legendary group, Tower of Power. With their iconic horn and rhythm sections and a funky sound that took them from Oakland to the rest of the world, TOP is truly one of a kind. And the group is the deserved winner of this year’s SoulTracks Lifetime Achievement Award, to be awarded as part of the SoulTracks Readers' Choice Awards, scheduled for December 10.

(November 5, 2018) Fifty years of excellence, and a discography that is second to none. That is the punchline for the legendary group, Tower of Power. With their iconic horn and rhythm sections and a funky sound that took them from Oakland to the rest of the world, TOP is truly one of a kind. And the group is the deserved winner of this year’s SoulTracks Lifetime Achievement Award, to be awarded as part of the SoulTracks Readers' Choice Awards, scheduled for December 10.

Tower's 50 year odyssey actually began in 1968 when Emilio Castillo met Stephen "Doc" Kupka in July of that year. When Doc auditioned during a band rehearsal at Emilio's house, Emilio's father called him into the kitchen and offered the following advice: "Hire that guy, he's got something." Doc and his signature baritone sax sound were now in the band, and on August 13, 1968, Tower of Power, as we know them today, began playing gigs, and soon became very well known in the area.

Many other bands came out of the San Francisco Bay area in the late 60's. Bands like The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Big Brother, Journey, Cold Blood and others all helped to define the "San Francisco Sound." Tower of Power has always claimed Oakland, California as their hometown. Playing area venues and making a name for themselves, Tower of Power's big break was just around the corner.

After playing at a Tuesday night audition at the Fillmore in 1970, Tower was signed to Bill Graham's San Francisco records and their first album, East Bay Grease, was recorded. All of the compositions were original tunes written by Castillo and Kupka. Their next album, Bump City, was recorded on the Warner Brothers label, and this led to a string of hits and memorable albums that include many of the songs that TOP fans come out in force to hear, even to this day. Over the years, the Tower of Power Horns have recorded with hundreds of artists as diverse as Aerosmith, Elton John, Little Feat, Phish, Santana, Heart, and many others, forever infusing the radio airwaves with Tower's musical DNA.

Since the beginning, Tower of Power has never stopped touring and recording. Always in demand, the band never fails to entertain and amaze their fans. Tower is truly blessed to have a dedicated following that often travels to see the band, and in many cases fans will plan their vacation or work schedule around an appearance of TOP.

Earlier this year, TOP celebrated 50 by releasing Soul Side Of Town, a critical winner that also show all the way to #1 on the Billboard jazz charts. It was a fitting reminder that Tower of Power remains both relevant and POWERful, five decades after bursting on the scene.

We’re proud to present Tower of Power with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of a career that just seems to keep getting better, 50 years on. Congratulations, Gentlemen!

If you haven't checked out the nominees for this year's SoulTracks Readers' Choice Awards, click here and don't forget to sign up to receive your ballot!

 
Choice Cut - Kenya - "Favorite Things"
Choice Cut - Sy Smith - "Camelot"
Featured Album - Conya Doss - CLEAR
See The Nominees! - SoulTracks Readers' Choice Awards

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