“This one time only hit on Friday is gonna be a great look because we are bringing originals with a CRANK and we are doing a surprise tribute to the big Band RE,” reveals Jacques Vaughan, one of the original members of the group Central Groove, who will mark their 25 year reunion with a show Friday, August 19 at the Days Inn Ball Room located at 2700 New York Avenue, NE in DC.
Starting out as a group of teens from the Langley Park, Riggs Road and Hyattsville areas of Maryland, most of the members from High Point High School, they achieved success through hard work and dedication. Vaughan continues, “You know what I love most? Our managers, Eddie Best and Juan Williams, showed us how to take our talent and turn it into a business. We were 17 yrs old with a vision that turned into a record deal, a band with equipment, PA system, trucks, buses and we had a moving company. That band kept a lot of us out of trouble!!! That’s what these young up and coming bands have to do. They have to realize that this is business!!”
Hosea “Heartbeat” Williams, one of the founders of the group, explains that of the original members, many have gone on to enjoy successful careers with major artists. “Some guys including myself went on to do worldwide things with Grammy award winning artists. If it wasn’t for Central Groove, I would have never played with Chuck Brown, Gerardo, who had the hit song “Rico Suave”, Toni, Toni TONE, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Clutch and DOG EAT DOG just to name a few. If it wasn’t for Central Groove, Jacques Vaughn would not have played with Chuck Brown, AM-FM, Proper Utensils, Familiar Faces and now, Wisdom Speaks. If it wasn’t for this band, Ivan Goff would not have done ‘Da Butt’ with E U. If it wasn’t for this band, Brian “Slick Rick” Williams would not have you wiggling ya body with Hot, Cold Sweat. Our trumpet player, Kym Clarke went on to play with of 76 Degrees West.”
“The original Central Groove band started around 1982-83 and we went through a lot of different band members to get the sound that we were looking for. Most people don’t know but our first lead mic was Jahaur Abraham, from the Peaceaholics. Some things did not work out, and he eventually left the group. Then I had to step in as lead mic at the age of 14. I was actually on the stage crew at first until my opportunity came! We were inspired by such bands as Class, Junkyard, PumpBlenders, Trouble Funk, Ayre Rayde and we tried to patent our style and sound after Rare Essence,” claims Brian “Slick Rick” Williams.
Hosea Williams adds, “our manager, Eddie, took us to the studio to record a song that me, my brother Rick and Andre Turner wrote called ‘Special How Ya Do’ and it became an instant hit, which then led to us getting a record deal with a major label called Vanguard. We were so young and naive with the autograph sessions, fan clubs, limo rides, purchasing two trucks and two buses, the biggest sound system in Go-Go at the time besides Reo’s that we were blinded by it all and we did not pay attention to the money aspect of things. We played with all of our idols such as RE, EU, AYRE RAYDE and more at all the popular venues such as The Black Hole, Panorama Room, Cheiry’s and the Howard Theater where we gave the Petworth band a good whoopin’ that night! We cranked!”
If you were a member of the Cross Creek crew, the VA crew, Belford Towers, Uptown crew, Langley Park crew, Fleetwood crew, Presidential Towers, Blair High School, High Point High School, Northwestern High School and any other crew, you can see Central Groove 25 years later, Friday, August 19 from 9pm to 3am at the Days Inn, 2700 New York Avenue NE, as the cranking will continue.