Wednesday, November 21, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of the Day-Champaign

Song:How 'Bout Us
Album:Soul Hits of the 80's

How 'Bout Us was the biggest hit for R & B group Champaign in 1981. They had a few more R & B hits over the next couple of years. But most fans will only remember the one song. They were named after their home town of Champaign, IL. Percussionist Rocky Maffitt and keyboard player Michael Day were students at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Maffitt was a member of Water Brothers Band with keyboard player Dana Walden, guitarist Leon Reeder and bassist Michael Reed. Reed left and Day replaced him. Then singers Pauli Carman and Rena Jones were brought in and the group name was changed to Champaign. Walden wrote How 'Bout Us and it was recorded by Water Brothers Band in 1975. Champaign recorded a demo of the song. Most record companies wanted the song but not the band. Champaign signed with MCA Records' Infinity label. But the label closed before they could record. Columbia Records producer Joe Wissert signed them. He had worked with Earth, Wind & Fire and Boz Scaggs. Former Tyrone Davis producer Leo Graham produced Champaign's debut album. How 'Bout Us reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #4 on the R & B Singles chart. Champaign's other hit Try Again reached #23 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was a top ten R & B hit. Champaign recorded three albums for Columbia. There is a Champaign comp on Collectables but it doesn't include Try Again. That's a major fail. So I recommend this 3CD various artists budget comp containing plenty of soul hits. A cover of How 'Bout Us by Betty Wright and Grayson Hugh appeared in the 1989 film True Love and was a top 30 R & B hit. Rena Jones turned to gospel and was a member of the choir O'Landa Draper & the Associates. Pauli Carman has recorded solo and still leads a version of Champaign today. Here's the video for Hoe 'Bout Us by Champaign.

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