The Floaters

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

The Floaters
OriginDetroit, Michigan
GenresSmooth R&B
Years active1976-1982
LabelsABC (1976-1982)
Associated actsThe Detroit Emeralds
 
Jump to: navigation, search
The Floaters
OriginDetroit, Michigan
GenresSmooth R&B
Years active1976-1982
LabelsABC (1976-1982)
Associated actsThe Detroit Emeralds

The Floaters were an African-American R&B vocal group, from the Sojourner Truth housing projects in Detroit, Michigan, that formed in 1976.

Contents

Career

The band was formed by the former The Detroit Emeralds' singer James Mitchell, with his brother Paul Mitchell, Larry Cunningham, Charles Clark, and the unrelated Ralph Mitchell. Most of The Floaters were from the Sojourner Truth housing project, on Detroit's Eastside.

James Mitchell apparently came up with the idea and tune for their one major hit, "Float On", in a dream. The lyrics spotlighted each member of the band, who introduced themselves with their name, astrological sign, and ideal type of romantic partner. "Float On" was tracked in a garage recording studio called Pac 3.[1] The song was written by Arnold Ingram, Marvin Willis and James Mitchell Jr., and produced by Woody Wilson. It became a world wide hit in 1977 on ABC Records, reaching #1 on the US R&B chart, #20 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, and #1 in the UK Singles Chart (for a single week in August that year).[2]

Follow-ups such as "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" (#28 Billboard R&B chart) could not duplicate the idiosyncratic charm of "Float On", but, with some changes in the line-up, the group remained active for several years releasing four studio albums of disco orientated dance music and romantic sweet soul. They were largely unable to shake off their one-hit wonder tag.

The Floaters returned to Pac 3 to record a new version of "Float On" with Full Force for the Brooklyn, New York based group's summer 2001 TVT debut album, Still Standing.[1]

Parody

A skit was made for Sesame Street in which David (Northern Calloway), Bob (Bob McGrath), Gordon (Roscoe Orman) and Luis (Emilio Delgado) were attired in in 1970's-style sky-blue tuxedos with a number five on each palm of their gloves and performed a song entitled "Gimme Five". Each character explained what they loved about the number five before singing lead on the chorus of the song. David loved the number five because of the way it looks, Bob appreciated the number because it's easy to count up to, Gordon loved the number because it's the same as his fingers on each hand, and a Spanish-speaking Luis loved the number because three and two make five, as do four and one.

Cheech & Chong did a parody of the song, retitled "Bloat On featuring The Bloaters". It appears on their compilation album, Where There's Smoke There's Cheech & Chong.

On an episode of Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Jewel and Jazz DJ Jazzy Jeff got married and this song was playing when they were walking down the aisle.

"Float On" was also parodied on the British TV comedy series, The Lenny Henry Show. The clip shows a Top of the Pops appearance, with Lenny himself as lead vocalist.

The song was also parodied on the Barron Knights hit Live In Trouble in 1977.

Album discography

Studio albums

Compilation albums

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Allmusic.com biography
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 206. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  3. ^ Allmusic.com discography
  4. ^ "The Best Of The Floaters - Float On". Discogs.com. http://www.discogs.com/Floaters-The-Best-Of-The-Floaters-Float-On/release/1830282. Retrieved 2012-12-28.

External links