Formed, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A., in 1977. A funk/R&B ensemble from Atlanta, Georgia, the S. O. S. (Sound Of Success) Band broke through in 1980 with their massive #1 hit, "Take Your Time (Do It Right)," on the Tabu label. Original group members included Willie "Sonny" Killebrew (saxophone), Billy Ellis (flute), Jason "T.C." Bryant (keyboards), Bruno Speight (guitar), John Simpson (bass),and James Earl Jones III (drums), surrounding the stunning voice of Mary Davis (lead vocals, keyboards). Between 1983 and 1986 the group enjoyed four more Top 10 hits: "Just Be Good To Me," "Tell Me If You Still Care," "Just The Way You Like It," and "The Finest," all written and produced by famed production team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Mary Davis began a solo career in 1986, and was replaced by Pennye Ford from Cincinnati, formerly in Reach.
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The S.O.S. Band enjoyed a long run of hits on the US R&B charts during the 80's.
The group originally consisted of:
Mary Davis (vocals, keyboards)
Jason TC Bryant (keyboards)
Billy R. Ellis (saxophone)
and James Earl Jones III (drums).
They performed regularly, as Sounds Of Santa Monica, at Lamar's Regal Room in Atlanta where they were discovered by Milton Lamar, the club's owner, who later became their manager.
The group were signed to the independent Tabu Records and soon added new members Willie 'Sonny' Killebrew (saxophone, flute), John Simpson Ill (bass, keyboards) and Bruno Speight (guitar).
The group then changed its name to the S.O.S. Band.
Performing in the then popular funk style, the band began to amass a catalogue of US hits in 1980, with 'Take Your Time (Do It Right) Part 1' rising to number 1 on the R & B chart and number 3 on the national pop chart.
They returned to the pop singles chart four more times throughout their career, but never again came close to that initial position.
On the R & B chart, however, they were mainstays through 1987, returning to the Top 10 four more times - in 1983 with 'Just be Good To Me' (number 2) and 'Tell Me If You Still Care' (number 5), in 1984 with 'Just The Way You Like It' (number 6), and in 1986 with 'The Finest' (number 2).
Five S.O.S. Band albums also charted in the USA, the debut, S.O.S., faring the best at number 12.
There were a number of personnel changes throughout the decade, with vocalist Davis leaving for a solo career in 1987.
The band released an album ('One Of Many Nights') on Arista in 1991.
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