Hurley’s NYC was recently once again host to a

Fame-Wall event, this time in honor of legendary funk band Kool the Gang.

Taking time from their busy touring schedule, founding members Robert “Kool” Bell, Dennis Thompson and Ronald Bell were in attendance for the first annual Fame-Wall Summer in the City Celebration.

As always Fame-Wall Executive Producer and Host, Dale Badway regaled the crowd  to an enthusiastic frenzy as a backdrop to the latest unveiling of a Jim Warren portrait, which drew inspiration from over 40 years of music and 70 million album sales.

The group's main members over the years included brothers Robert Bell (known as "Kool") on bass and Ronald Bell on tenor saxophone, lead vocalist James "J.T." Taylor, George Brown on drums, Robert Mickens on trumpet, Dennis Thomas on alto saxophone, Claydes Charles Smith on guitar, and Rick Westfield on keyboards. The Bell brothers' father was an acquaintance of Thelonious Monk, and the brothers were friends with Leon Thomas.

In 1964, Robert formed an instrumental band called the Jazziacs with five high-school friends.[citation needed]They changed their name to Kool & the Gang and were signed by Gene Redd to his new record label De-Lite Records in 1969.[3] They first hit the pop charts with the release of their debut eponymous album.

Though none of the three singles from the album went far on the pop charts, their R&B success was swift and massive. Several live and studio albums followed, with 1973's Wild and Peaceful breaking into the mainstream with "Jungle Boogie" and "Hollywood Swinging". Many reviews see the Gang's 1974 album Light of Worlds and 1975 album Spirit of the Boogie as the greatest achievements of the band, with the 1975 single "Summer Madness" gaining much attention. However, after the release of those albums the band abandoned deep funk music and switched to pop-funk.

The late 1970s saw a lull in Kool & the Gang's except for the album Open Sesame which yielded the title track "Open Sesame" which achieved some success in the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. Then came new lead singer James "J.T." Taylor who joined the group — with 1979's Ladies' Night. Their number one hit in 1980's "Celebration", from Celebrate!, co-produced by Eumir Deodato. More international hits followed in the early 1980s, including "Big Fun", "Get Down on It", and "Joanna". Their 1984 album Emergency yielded four top-20 pop hits, including "Fresh" and "Cherish". Their chart presence stopped after Forever. Taylor left the group amicably to pursue a solo career.

Of Kool & the Gang's original members, the Bell brothers, Brown and Thomas are still touring together and continue to keep the funk alive.

Celebrating good times...