Shalamar are one of the most successful Soul groups of all time selling 25 million albums worldwide - this is their story.
Soul Train producer Dick Griffey had the idea of a Soul Train singing group and drafted in Jeffrey to start forming the band. Jeffrey was hugely popular with the American public and it made sense to build on this. When asked if he knew a female singer, Jeffrey immediately sought Mickey Braiden a cousin of the De Barge family singing group. Unfortunately she was pregnant at the time. As a result Jeffrey began rehearsing Jody Watley whom he and his family had known from his church since she was 12 years old. She was in her final year of high school and loved to rehearse to Diana Ross and Barbara Streisand records. After auditioning for Dick Griffey she was included in the line up. Gary Mumford who actually sings on 'Uptown Festival' was the third member of the new group named 'SHALAMAR'.
At the time Jody had no prior vocal recording experience and 'The Whispers' and Carrie Lucas were brought in to help with background vocals. (Carrie Lucas and Dick Griffey's future daughter Carolyn is the new female singer in Shalamar today). After Gary Mumford voiced his reluctance to tour and be away from his vocal teaching sessions in the Bay Area, Jeffrey brought in Gerald Brown (against Dick Griffey's judgement) who was a vocalist in the previous 'Soul Train' singing group. Added to the mix was producer and new maestro of the music scene Leon Sylvers. After the hit song 'Take that to the bank' made the first legitimate waves for Shalamar, Gerald left the group during a promotional tour in protest for a higher salary but he was never called again.
Once again Jeffrey called upon a local club singer Howard Hewett (who had been called on previously and declined). This time, was the right time for Mr. Hewett and their next single 'Second Time Around' would be Shalamar's first string of Gold and Platinum sales.
Shalamar went on to have world-wide hits such as 'Night to Remember, There It Is, I Can Make You Feel Good,' and many others. Shalamar toured the world and filled arenas and stadiums. Jeffrey left the group at its peak to pursue a solo career as one of the highest profile choreographers and dancers in the business and also as a creative consultant, singer, writer and producer. Jody followed suit to pursue a solo career. Thus came the end of the original line up of the most remembered R&B group since the Jackson's.
Babyface reunited Jeffrey, Howard and Jody for his version of their hit single 'For The Lover in You' in on which he sang lead with Jeffrey, Howard and Jody on backing vocals.
Shalamar followed this success with two UK Arena tours in 2000 and 2003 and then in 2005 performed on the U.K. TV show 'Hit Me Baby one more time' with Jeffrey Daniel, Howard Hewett and new singer Carolyn Griffey (daughter of Shalamar founder Dick Griffey the CEO of SOLAR records). They are currently appearing world-wide.