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Yarbrough & Peoples

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The singing duo of Yarbrough & Peoples burst on to the music scene with the million-selling single “Don’t Stop the Music,” a sinewy slab of synth-based R&B/funk that was ahead of its time and had a far-reaching influence in the years following. The sizzling track held down the number one R&B spot for five weeks and hit number 19 pop on Billboard’s charts in the spring of 1981. Calvin Yarbrough and Alisa Peoples first met when they were small children, growing up in Dallas, TX; he was six-years-old and she was four. They were both taking lessons from the same music teacher and attended the same neighborhood church, where both sang solos in the church choir. After their college years, Peoples worked a regular job while Yarbrough played keyboards and sang in a band called Grand Theft. Tulsa, OK, musicians Robert, Ronnie, and Charlie Wilson were in the audience for one of the band’s shows and offered the keyboardist/singer a background vocals job on the Leon Russell tour that they were a part of. Once the tour was over, Yarbrough returned to Dallas, playing local gigs with Grand Theft. Around 1977, Peoples sang a song with the band during one of their club dates. Everyone there knew it was the beginning of musical magic.

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