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Rotary Connection


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Rotary Connection was a band formed in Chicago in 1966 that lasted until 1971, and are possibly most notable for launching the formal singing career of a Chess Records’ receptionist named Minnie Riperton. The highly experimental band was formed under artistic direction of Charles Stepney, at the behest of Marshall Chess, the then 25 year old son of Chess Records co-founder Leonard Chess.

Marshall was the director behind a start-up label, Cadet Concept Records, and wanted to focus on music outside of the blues and rock genres, which had made the Chess label popular. This led Marshall to turn his attention to the burgeoning psychedelic movement. He recruited Charles Stepney, a vibraphonist and classically-trained arranger and producer for sonic wizardry. Marshall then recruited members of a little-known white rock band, The Proper Strangers (Bobby Simms, Mitch Aliotta & Ken Venegas). Sidney Barnes, a songwriter within the Chess organization, also joined, as did Judy Hauff and a Chess receptionist named Minnie Riperton, who would later be successful in her own solo career. Marshall also called up prominent session musicians associated with the Chess label, including guitarist Phil Upchurch and drummer Morris Jennings.

The band released their self-titled debut album in late 1967.


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  • kenyogtz

    Thanx Narduwar!

    1 Apr 2014 Reply
  • puertoricanjane

    Found out about them after watching Minnie's Unsung and talk about an amazing band. Getting into them was one of the best music decisions I've made in a while.

    10 Feb 2013 Reply
  • Hoffmanstropfen


    30 Mar 2012 Reply
  • Ton87

    The guitar at 1:07 to 1:11 of Black Gold makes no sense at all but it sounds great. And I love the percussive strikes. Great song.

    16 Nov 2011 Reply
  • FiZ1_5

    I found them a few years ago from a podcast that included I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun and fell in love with the track. But recently, I got "Hey, Love" on LP and I can't stop listening to it. "Love Has Fallen On Me" has become an all-time favorite.

    14 Oct 2011 Reply
  • chasmjumper

    I love Aladdin

    11 Mar 2010 Reply
  • darthsketch

    Good stuff. Found out about them thanks to A Tribe Called Quest.

    10 Mar 2010 Reply
  • janop

    what a great, crazy sound! how can I put it on the airwaves?!

    29 Jun 2009 Reply
  • UsPeaches

    NEVER underrated.....more diamonds 4 me!!!!!!

    15 Jun 2009 Reply
  • complexlogix


    8 Jun 2009 Reply
  • Kym-B

    "Sunshine of Your Love" deserves to be wayyyy higher in the Top tracks listing.

    31 Oct 2008 Reply
  • Ugzilla

    Just realized this band existed. Wish I were alive when they were around. Good music!

    20 Sep 2008 Reply
  • Kym-B

    *spreads love*

    21 Feb 2008 Reply
  • dokfocks

    it's minnie all the way...

    29 Dec 2007 Reply
  • somnambulance

    shoutbox cherry POPPED!

    11 Jan 2007 Reply

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