Join us for a funky weekend in Downtown Pittsburgh at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center. The weekend features musical performances by iconic Funk legends: The Ladies of SKYY, CAMEO, The Original Lakeside, and ZAPP! Hosted by comedian Ralph Harris to keep you laughing, we are ready to get down and groove the weekend away.
The Original Lakeside: Their beginnings were humble and started in Dayton, Ohio a mecca of untapped talent and the home of the coined phrase, “The Land of Funk.” It was in 1977 that the group Lakeside’s success really started to accelerate. That year, the group, going by the name Lakeside released their self-titled debut album, which featured the single, “If I Didn’t Have You.” The group also debuted on Soul Train, performing the Beloyd Taylor and Peter Cor composition “Shine On”, which helped pave the way for what was to come. As fate would have it, the time had come for Lakeside to be a major player in creating the next chapter, with the addition of barefoot drummer Fred Alexander Jr. At this time the group was being approached by Whitfield Records and Solar Records. In the end, the band chose Solar Records, owned by Dick Griffey, with label mates The Whispers, Shalamar, Dynasty, Midnight Star, Klymaxx, and Carrie Lucas.
Lakeside became a part of the Solar family and released their next album, Shot of Love soon after. Their first Solar album featured songs all written by members of the band and co-produced with Solar staff producer, Leon Sylvers III. With this album, the band began to find major success on the R&B charts, when the single “It’s All the Way Live”. The band dressed in costumes on their album covers, including pirates, 1920’s police officers, cowboys, Arabian Knights, and even Robin Hood. Their album cover “themes” became the anticipation of their fans and the music industry before each album’s release. The album Shot of Love and its single “It’s All the Way Live”, was a great success. However, two albums later, the 1980’s groundbreaking release, Fantastic Voyage, exceeded all expectations.
Its eponymous single, “Fantastic Voyage” went on to reach number one on the R&B charts. The tune remains the band’s biggest hit, also hitting the pop charts at #55. The band’s subsequent LP, Your Wish Is My Command, produced their next hit which was a mid-tempo remake of the Beatles’ classic, “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, peaking at #5 on the R&B charts Lakeside would go on to release five more successful LP’s, with other top ten R&B dance classics such as; “Raid”, “Outrageous” and “Real Love.”
In 2015, after some staff changes and re-branding, the group is now known by the name THE ORIGINAL LAKESIDE to distinguish themselves with their audiences all over the world where they encompass 6 of the ORIGINAL members of the band with the addition of their dynamic, new lead vocalist, Eddie Guyton of Dallas, Texas.
They were honored in 2015 with a biography of the band on the TV One hit show “Unsung” where they were featured and took their fans and viewers on a journey of the band’s history and humble climb to success. Additionally, in September 2016, they were also honored in the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. as part of the exhibit of the major contributors to Funk and R&B music history.
We invite you to experience the ORIGINAL FUNK with one of the MASTERS OF FUNK, The ORIGINAL LAKESIDE.
ZAPP: Bringing YOU the FUNK since 1977, ZAPP has been creating music for decades with their latest album ZAPP VII: Roger & Friends being released in 2018.
Ralph Harris is one of today’s hottest comedic and acting talents! He made his feature film debut in “Dreamgirls,” a film that has struck gold (of the Golden Globe variety). Ralph’s jump to the big screen comes after years of successful television work, including appearances on “Seinfeld,” “Parenthood,” “Nick Freno,” “Living Single” and “In Living Color.” No stranger to late night, Ralph has been featured on “The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.” However Ralph is probably best known for his starring role in the ABC-TV sitcom “On Our Own,” which aired during the immensely popular TGIF block on Friday nights, and which currently airs in syndication on TV One. You can also catch Ralph on TV in airings of his two previously recorded Cable TV specials – “Comedy Central Presents” and the “HBO Half-Hour Comedy Special.” When he’s not filming, Ralph continues to tour the country and perform to sold-out audiences as a stand-up comedian, his first career and love.