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The Blackbyrds

The Blackbyrds were a jazz-funk group with thick R&B streaks running down their backs. Assembled by Donald Byrd in 1974, the group's original members -- percussionist Pericles "Perk" Jacobs, Jr., drummer Keith Killgo, keyboardist Kevin Toney, reeds player Allan Barnes, bassist Joe Hall, guitarist Barney Perry -- were mined from Howard University's music department, where the doctor and jazz legend was an instructor. (Other key players included guitarist Orville Saunders and saxophonist/flautist Steve Johnson.) During the Blackbyrds' nearly decade-long existence, the group cut a handful of LPs (1973's The Blackbyrds, 1974's Flying Start, 1975's City Life, 1976's Unfinished Business, 1977's Action, 1980's Better Days); scored films (1975's Cornbread, Earl and Me); and supported artists like B.B. King, Mandrill, and Roberta Flack. "Walking in Rhythm," "Rock Creek Park," and "Happy Music" are their three best-known cuts; they have remained underground club classics, and they have been kept alive, in part, through sampling. The group's catalog has been overhauled and reissued a number of times; multiple best-ofs have been released (Fantasy's Greatest Hits is the strongest and most thorough), and most of the group's full-length output has been put out on CD through two-fers. As far as outside activities were considered, Barney Perry released a solo album under the name Blair in 1978 (through his own Solar Sound imprint). The remaining members' involvements are far too extensive to list. ~ Andy Kellman, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

My favorite by them: Happy Music Rock Creek Park in DC.
I remember bopping around the house singing this and dad hollering Yes we know, You like to party!! Howard University's Blackbyrds!
This was the jam back in the day. Haven't heard this in years.
soul
Detroit on Donald byrd
Im 49 .I've been listening to this music all my listening .and it still the s**t is.
Old school 1970s music was real know this REAL
This is what I call highway music.
Pandora, thank you, thank you, thank you...LOVE this song!
Love the Blackbyrds, especially Orville Saunders!
Music is that time machine that takes you back to that place you loved. Love the Blackbirds
gardenofmone y
from DC....blackb y r d s / D o n a l d byrd music was happening then and still sounds sooo good. love the blackbyrds music!
One of the greatest groups of all times
Those were the good ol days,wish they were still here
My popa played the blackbyrds back2back while I waz grown up
Love Blackbyrds.. . . a n d Donald Byrd...
me too Lee
lee.lynnese
OMG THE TRUE GOOD OLE DAYS ...I AM JAMMIN
moomoocutie_ 0 1
Lov Donald Byrd and the blackbirds. All that and a bag of chips.
Tell me when the song started if "Days of old" by Paris popped in your heads for all of you real throwback rap heads!
The Blackbyrds sho knew how to put the funk in it. Luv Donald Byrd also....
Blackbirds love so fine...took me there!
walterupchur c h 7 5
Love this
4U4US4LOVE4L I F E - R G M
ekevin1
Excuse me while I rap
ekevin1
put them in any category and they shud be at the top if you no what i mean. feel me.......... . . . . . . .
Rock Creek Park is on the campus of Howard
mrrlmoor
Dang.. what can I say!!!
YES REAL MUSIC, REAL MUSCIANS, REAL INSTRUMENTS WOW WHAT A CONCEPT!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
this what you call real music...
Day-um...I miss this good funky stuff....Do It, Fluid. Yeah Baby!
Great Group
real musicians... . w h a t a treat!!
GREAT MUSIC HOW COULD YOU NOT RELAX AFTER LISTENING TO THEM...
searock44
do it fluid for real stenuf
robin.lattin
Bangin for real!
h-gallery
Jamming
woods-1
Yes I can remember the 125th Street band, Spaces and Places, Dominoes,and Happy Music. All great music.
hatcherroche l l e
The Blackbyrds Wow!!!! And the 70's can't have one without the other!!!
Then when the bones got loosened you were ready to Do It Fluid
What a cool way to come into the "joint" Happy Music jamming and the floor just starting to fill.
mtarkins
dantana976.. . . y o u are so right...doin g it in the park...doing it after dark...oh yeah...rock creek park
dantana976
Rock creek park...the best B-Boy song ever...
ackerbex3
Love Walkin' In Rhythm
ethomson1
Top quality classic party number.
word
WOW CAN YOU DIG IT M-A-N THE BLACKBYRDS ARE JAMM'N IT WITH THIS ONE GET THE HEAL'N THE-PILL !!!!!!
Anyone remember the 125th street band also? Dr. Donald Byrd is from Detroit, MI......
i grew up in cc and we grooved all day to these sounds
They are all that when it comes to good jazz. A great creation from Donald Byrd.
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