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ESG

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South Bronx (1978 – 1984, 1991 – 2007, 2008 – present)

Since their inception, ESG has affected post-punk, no wave, dance-punk, hip-hop, and various styles of dance music such as house. They fell in with the late ’70s and early ’80s NYC no wave and post-punk scene, they had their music sampled countless times, and they became a playlist staple at ’70s and early ’80s dance clubs like the Paradise Garage and the Music Box.

ESG (Emerald, Sapphire and Gold) formed in 1978 in the South Bronx. The band originally consisted of the four Scroggins sisters — Deborah (bass, vocals), Marie (congas, vocals), Renee (vocals, guitar), and Valerie (drums); although line-up changes have happened many times since their formation, including bandmembers who were neighbors, daughters of original members, and even male band members.

The Scroggins mother bought the band’s instruments when they were still teenagers to keep them supposedly busy and away from trouble. They had to teach themselves their instruments, but it wasn’t long before they started playing shows and clubs. Soon, Ed Bahlman, the owner of 99 Records (a record shop and a label that included Y Pants, Liquid Liquid, Bush Tetras, and Konk on its roster), was impressed enough to take them under his wing as a manager and producer.

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