Song:Risin' To The Top
Risin' To The Top is a song that is frequently sampled by hip hop guys and today is hailed as an R & B classic. You've probably heard it but I'm sure you don't know who recorded it. Keni Burke has been in the music business since he was a child. He's an in demand session musician who had brief success as a solo artist in 1982 with Risin' To The Top. He was born Sept. 28, 1953 in Chicago. As a child, he was a member of The Five Stairsteps. They were a family group and of course they had a smash hit with Ooh Child in 1970. Burke played bass. The group disbanded and Burke went on tour with Billy Preston. He introduced Burke to George Harrison. The Five Stairsteps reformed and released the 1976 album 2nd Resurrection on Harrison's Dark Horse label. They split up again but Burke signed as a solo artist for Dark Horse and released the 1977 album Keni Burke. Burke also became a session musician working with all kinds of acts. Burke signed with RCA Records and the 1982 album Changes was the second of his two RCA albums. Risin' To The Top hit the R & B charts but it didn't do well enough for Burke to remain at RCA. But the song has become a cult hit and has been sampled by many hip hop guys. The most notable example is the 1988 Doug E. Fresh hit Keep Risin' To The Top. Burke wrote the song with his pal Allen Felder and Chic singer Norma Jean Wright. Changes is available as a budget CD. Though Burke wouldn't record again until 1998, he remained active as a session musician and producer with acts like The Jones Girls, The O'Jays, Mavis Staples and The Whispers. He is still doing that today. And I'm sure royalty cheques for Risin' To The Top still roll in. Here's a video for Risin' To The Top by Keni Burke.