Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band was a highly acclaimed and influential R&B/funk/soul band that became famous during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Their best known songs include the swaggering "Do Your Thing" (1969), the romantic and upbeat "Love Land" (1970), and the funk classic, "Express Yourself" (1970), which has been featured in many movie soundtracks and commercials over the years.
Born April 6, 1940 in Clarksdale, Mississippi on a cotton plantation, Charles Wright moved with his family to Los Angeles when he was 12. After hearing Jesse Belvin on the radio, he sought out the famed singer who urged the young Wright to find his own sound and later helped him launch his music career during the 1950s. Wright played the guitar and sang with The Twilighters, The Shields, The Gallahads, and several other doo-wop groups and also served briefly as A&R Director for Del-Fi Records where he was responsible for the 1961 smash, "Those Oldies But Goodies (Remind Me Of You)" by Little Caesar & The Romans. By 1964, Wright had formed Charles Wright & The Wright Sounds whose original members included saxophonist John Raynford and Daryl Dragon (later of Captain & Tennille). For the next several years, he continued to add more members, and by 1967, they had become known as the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band. Wright served as the group's frontman and main songwriter through its dissolution in the mid 1970s.
The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band debuted in 1967 on both the R&B and Pop/Rock charts with "Spreadin' Honey." Their fame took off in 1969 with "Do Your Thing," which made the Top 20 on both charts, followed by several other smashes that include "Till You Get Enough" (1969), "Love Land" (1970), and their greatest hit, "Express Yourself" (1970). The band's other hits, which continued through 1971 on both charts, also include "Must Be Your Thing" (1969), "Solution For Pollution" (1971), and "Your Love (Means Everything To Me)" (1971).
Charles Wright continued to record solo to well into the 21st century and in 2016, published "Up: From Where We've Come." This gripping autobiography covers his early years battling poverty and racism in the South and his rise to fame.
- For more info about Charles Wright's career and remarkable life, visit expressyourself.net.
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Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band
- Do Your Thing 1969
Charles Wright And The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band
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