Throwback: Rose Royce-Ooh Boy
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Henry Garner and Terry Copeland were Los Angeles high school students when they formed the band Total Concept Unlimited with Michael Moore and Freddie Dunn. They started working as Edwin Starr’s backing band and met Norman Whitfield through this association. Whitfield brought in Gwen Dickey performing under the name of Rose Norwalt to be their lead vocalist. For a couple of years the band gained professional experience working with The Temptations, Yvonne Fair and The Undisputed Truth. These gigs prepared them for the 1976 “Car Wash” soundtrack that Whitfield supervised for MCA Records. The success of the movie and the soundtrack bred the smash singles “Car Wash,” “I Wanna Get Next To You” and “I’m Going Down.” In Full Bloom would be their 1977 debut and it spawned “Wishing On A Star,” “Oh Boy” and “Do Your Dance.” Their second album, Rose Royce Strikes Again fulfilled their potential with “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore,” “I’m In Love (And I Love The Feeling)” and “First Come, First Serve.” By their third album Rainbow Connection, they peaked out with “Is It Love You’re After” because of tensions between the band and singer Gwen Dickey. Dickey left the group and she was replaced by Richee Benson on their fourth album Golden Touch. Rose Royce continued to have mild chart success until 1987 with “Magic Touch,” “R.R. Express,” “Lonely Road,” “Love Me Right Now” and a few other singles on subsequent releases. Despite their determination to carry on without Dickey, they never managed the same success and popularity as when she was in the group. Live In Hollywood from 2003 is their most recent project.