The Buckeye State has produced its fair share of African-American entertainment stars, including
a funk band that loves "fire" and a torch singer with roots in the capital city, 10TV's Jerry
Revish reported Friday.
Miss Nancy Wilson, as admirers like to call her, is one of the premiere voices of our age.
Music critics said her vocal styling defies easy labels. Jazz singer. Blues singer. Cabaret
stylist. Storyteller. All fit Wilson, Revish reported.
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"Nancy Wilson is a Columbus native and probably one of the most amazing jazz vocalists in my
opinion," said Meredith Rutledge, curator of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
Wilson graduated from West High School and spent a year at Central State University before
leaving to pursue her dream of singing professionally, Revish reported.
She got her start in the 1950s playing in Columbus night clubs with Local Sax legend Rusty
Having traveled the world, recording more than 50 albums and winning three Grammys, Wilson has
now retired to a ranch in the Los Angeles area, but she still performs select engagements.
One of the great funk, R&B and disco groups of the '70s is The Ohio Players, Revish
The Dayton band's signature horn section, and thumping bass lines, churned out hits including
"Fire," "Skin Tight," and "Love Rollercoaster."
The band broke up and regrouped several times during its life, recruiting new musicians to
replace those who left, and always appreciating the mass appeal their music attracted, Revish
"To be one of the ones accepted is quite a thing," said lead vocalist Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner.
"I don't care who I sell records to, it could be Martians, it doesn't matter to me. I'm only
interested in making good music and selling good music. If you like it buy it, if you don't you
Although they stopped recording in 1996, their music continues to be heavily sampled by rap,
hip-hop groups and rock bands around the world, including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Revish
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February 18, 2010:
Ohio's Rock And Roll Ties Run Deep