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Bohannon

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Hamilton Bohannon (born Hamilton Frederick Bohannon, 7 March 1942, in Newnan, Georgia) is an American percussionist, band leader and record producer, who was one of the leading figures in 1970s disco music.

After graduating from Clark College, Atlanta, and playing in local bands, he was hired by Stevie Wonder to be the drummer in his touring band. He moved to Detroit in 1965, and was employed by Motown as band leader and arranger for many of the label’s top acts. When Motown moved from Detroit in 1972, he stayed behind to form his own band.

He signed with Dakar/Brunswick Records, and in early 1973 released the album Stop And Go. This was followed by five more albums for the label over the next two years, on which he perfected his formula of heavy, thudding bass accents and aggressive rhythms. Although several of his tracks were club hits he had limited chart success – however, in 1975 “Disco Stomp” made the Top Ten in the UK, and “Foot Stompin’ Music” later that year scraped into the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B Top 40.

In 1976 Bohannon signed to Mercury Records, and two years later had his biggest success with “Let’s Start The Dance”. It made the R&B Top Ten and featured the singer Carolyn Crawford, whose subsequent albums Bohannon went on to produce.

Although he continued to release records through the 1980s, using new vocalists Liz Lands and Altrinna Grayson, he met with diminishing success. Nevertheless, more recently his music has been widely sampled.

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