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Champaign, Illinois, USA (1981 – 1984, 1990 – present)

Champaign were an R&B band with adult contemporary leanings from the 1980s, best known for their 1981 hit “How ‘Bout Us.” The interracial septet, who named themselves after their hometown of Champaign, Illinois, USA, included Pauli Carman and Rena Day on vocals; Michael Day and Dana Walden on keyboards; Howard Reeder on guitar; Michael Reed on bass; and Rocky Maffitt on percussion/drums. The title track in their 1981 album, How ‘Bout Us, was a hit single, reaching Top Five in the United Kingdom and on the United States R&B charts (also #12 U.S. Pop). Their second album, Modern Heart, was released in 1983 and contained the Top Ten R&B track “Try Again.” Another follow-up, 1984’s Woman in Flames, contained the Top Ten R&B song “Off and On Love.” Other songs include “Party People” and “Walkin’”.

In the mid 80s Carman left the band to begin a solo career. He released his first solo album, Dial My Number in 1986, scoring an R&B hit with the title track. His second album, It’s Time was released the following year. This follow-up effort proved less successful.

In 1990, Champaign (including Carman) reconvened to record, and the Champaign IV album was released the following year. While it was not a smash hit, it did herald a brief return to the R&B chart with the single “Trials of the Heart.”


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