Saturday, January 29, 2011


Augie Johnson, a member of Side Effect, formed the Boppers in Los Angeles, CA, in the mid-’70s to back his stylish, knickers-wearing group who had inked with Fantasy Records. The Boppers, consisting of Robert Griffin, Kenny Davis, Ed Riddick, Ed Luna, and Vance Tenort cut their own Fantasy album entitled The Boppers in 1978. Unfortunately, neither it nor single releases “Everybody Wants to be a Star” and “Something Missing” were successful.

They switched to Mercury Records in 1980 and became the L. A. Boppers. The lineup also went through some tinkering and now consisted of Tenort (lead), Gerry Davis, Riddick, Kenny Styles, Michael Stanton, Stan Martin, with Augie Johnson (on loan from Side Effect) also contributing to their sound. The L. A. Boppers (with input from Mikki Howard) dropped on Mercury in 1980; the first single “Is This the Beat (Bop-Doo-Wah)” made the R&B Top 30 and become their most popular single ever. Subsequent releases, the jazzy “Watching Life” and “Be-Bop Dancer,” failed to capture the same audience. A final Mercury album Bop Time (1981) featured an update of the Delfonic’s “La, La Means I Love You.”

A final album on MCA Records Make Mine Bop in 1982 spawned two poor selling singles: “Where Do the Bops Go” b/w “Well Deserved Rest,” and “How Strong Love Can Be” b/w “Dog House.” Disenchanted, they disbanded after MCA failure. Soul/funk/jazz fans worldwide now trumpet their unheralded album cuts including “Give Me Some” and “Funk It Out.” (Andrew Hamilton, AMG)2. Sublime work from this jazzy harmony combo — a really unique group who took older vocal modes and fused them onto tight modern soul grooves! This set may well be the best-ever from the group — a perfectly produced album done with Augie Johnson of At Home Productions — with a warmly sparkling vibe that’s right up there with the best At Home work for Creative Source or Side Effect — both groups who’d be a good comparison to this one! There’s a few upbeat funk numbers that are pretty sweet, but the best cuts are usually the laidback, mellower ones — which really have LA Boppers hitting their stride. Titles include the killer cut “Watching Life” — a smooth mellow groover, and one of their best tracks — plus “Saturday”, “Funk It Out”, “Life Is What You Make It”, “You Did It Good”, “Is This The Best”, and “Are We Wrong”. (DGA, Inc)


1 comment:

galaden said...

thank you for that write up and I have always thought the song moneys funny on The Boppers album was underrated A.Griffin