Throwback: Heatwave- The Grooveline


Heatwave was one of many top caliber funk bands of the ’70’s. Brothers Johnnie Wilder Jr. and Keith Wilder were from the fertile funk nest of Dayton, Ohio also home to Zapp, The Ohio Players, Slave and Cincinnati neighbor Bootsy Collins. The brothers were in Germany serving time in the Army branch of the military and when their term ended they gigged at clubs and bars around the base. They relocated to England to work with the legendary Rod Temperton before he became legendary. Temperton wrote all their hit songs like “Boogie Nights,” “Always And Forever,” “Mind Blowing Decisions” and the famously sampled “Ain’t No Half Steppin.” Changes in the band personnel, Temperton leaving the group and Johnnie Wilder Jr.’s car accident that paralyzed him were major setbacks for the band.The band stayed together until 1982 and they had their last hit song with “Lettin It Loose” also written by Temperton. They were never able to have the same success as they did with their first three albums. The Wilder brothers released a gospel album in ’89 and Keith Wilder reformed the band in the ’90s. Temperton became famous for writing three songs including the title track for Michael Jackson’s Thriller as well as his work on Off The Wall and many other great R&B tunes. Johnnie Wilder Jr. passed in ’06 making his brother Keith the only original member in the group. “Boogie Nights” was remixed in ’02 and Temperton still writes songs and made a contribution to Mariah Carey’s E=MC 2.