Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

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AYERS, Roy E. Jr

(b 10 Sep. '40, LA) Vibes, singer. Played piano as a child; at age five met Lionel Hampton, who gave him a pair of mallets. LPs with Curtis Amy early '60s; co-led group with Hampton Hawes; with Herbie Mann '66--70; also own quartet mid-'60s. Own LPs incl. West Coast Vibes '63 on United Artists; to Atlantic with variety of good sidemen, range of musical interest incl. pop: Virgo Vibes, Stoned Soul Picnic; Daddy Bug And Friends '69 incl. Laura Nyro song 'Emmie' with string quartet and woodwinds, also Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Freddie Waits and Mickey Roker. Fusion group Roy Ayers Ubiquity on Polydor used Latin percussion etc incl. Ubiquity '70; He's Coming '71 with Carter and Billy Cobham; Live At Montreux '72 (reissued on CD), Red Black And Green '73. Wrote music for black sexploitation movie Coffy '73. More LPs: Virgo Red and Change Up The Groove '74, A Tear To A Smile and Mystic Voyage '75, Everybody Loves The Sunshine and Vibrations '76. Some success with single 'Running Away' '77, LP Life Line; dropped name Ubiquity. More LPs: Starbooty, Let's Do It, You Send Me, Step Into Our Life '78; single 'Get On Up, Get On Down' reached UK top 50 as did 'Heat Of The Beat' '79 with trombonist Wayne Henderson; album Fever '79 followed by third UK hit 'Don't Stop The Feeling' '80, LP No Stranger To Love. Further albums: Africa, Center Of The World and Feeling Good '81; to CBS for In The Dark '84, I'm The One (For Your Love Tonight) '87. Eight Ayers LPs '76--9 were in Billboard top 100 albums. Searchin', Hot, The Essential Groove and Good Vibrations were all recorded live at Ronnie Scott's in London; Music Of Many Colors was made with Fela Kuti's group Anikulapo; Nasté '95 on Groovetown had a large cast incl. James Moody.