6/8/23-Kool & the Gang still Kool!

todayJune 8, 2023




Kool and the Gang want younger fans to know who they are.

The and B band has undergone numerous lineup changes since brothers Robert – who is known as Kool – and Ronald Bell got together with Dennis “Dee Tee” Thomas, Robert “Spike” Mickens, Charles Smith, George Brown, and Ricky West in 1964 but their tracks have been sampled and covered by numerous different artists since then and frontman Kool has admitted that although their younger audience still know their music, they don’t know the band themselves.

He told The Daily Mirror newspaper: “Young people dig our music. Then the old people say, ‘That’s Kool and the Gang’, and they say, ‘No, that sounds like this band or that band’. They don’t know it’s us. I’ve been in restaurants when one of our songs comes on and I’ve had to tell people, ‘That’s us, that’s Kool and the Gang. Or sometimes I ask someone, ‘Have you ever heard of Kool and the Gang?’ and they’re not sure. ‘OK, have you ever heard of ‘Get Down On It’, ‘Ladies Night’, ‘Celebration’?’ And they’re like, ‘Oh yeah’. So it would be nice for people to connect us with the song. To know about the songs. But also to know who I am, too.”

Kool went on to add that although many of their tracks have been sampled by other artists more than 1,8000 times and have had portions of their works such as ‘Feel So Good’ and ‘Get Down On It’ appear on numerous soundtracks, it was not always commonplace for producers to ask permission and now, following a new bill, he is finally receiving compensation.

He added: “In the beginning, people didn’t ask permission so I had to put some money on sample control. But President Biden has now passed a bill that requires record companies to get clearances before they can release a song. So they are checking now and paying up.”

Written by: Barry Scott