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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
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Walking In Rhythm: The Essential Selection 1973-1980

Disc 1

1. Do It, Fluid

2. Gut Level

3. A Hot Day Today

4. Summer Love

5. I Need You

6. The Baby

7. Blackbyrds' Theme

8. Future Children / Future Hopes

9. Walking In Rhythm

10. Rock Creek Park

11. Happy Music

12. City Life

Disc 2

1. Flying High

2. One-Gun Salute

3. Wilford's Gone

4. Time Is Movin'

5. Party Land

6. Enter In

7. Soft And Easy

8. Supernatural Feeling

9. Mysterious Vibes

10. What We Have Is Right

11. Love Don't Strike Twice

12. Without Your Love

13. Don't Know What To Say

x

Track List: Happy Music: The Best Of The Blackbyrds

1. The One-Eye Two-Step

2. Supernatural Feeling

3. Happy Music

4. Unfinished Business

5. Do It, Fluid

6. Rock Creek Park

7. A Hot Day Today

8. Feel Like A Kid

9. Walking In Rhythm

10. Mysterious Vibes

11. Enter In

12. Gut Level

13. Reggins

14. Blackbyrd's Theme

x

Track List: Lovebyrds: Soft & Easy

1. A Heavy Town

2. All I Ask

3. At The Carnival

4. Wilford's Gone

5. Love Is Love

6. Soft And Easy

7. April Showers

8. Summer Love

9. Dreaming Of You

10. Lady

11. Flying High

12. The Baby

13. Lifestyles

14. Tiem Is Movin'

x

Track List: City Life - Unfinished Business

1. Rock Creek Park

2. Thankful 'Bout Yourself

3. City Life

4. All I Ask

5. Happy Music

6. Love So Fine

7. Flying High

8. Hash And Eggs

9. Time Is Movin

10. In Life

11. Enter In

12. You've Got That Something

13. Party Land

14. Lady

15. Unfinished Business

x

Track List: The BlackByrds

1. Do It, Fluid

2. Gut Level

3. Reggins

4. The Runaway

5. Funky Junkie

6. Summer Love

7. Life Styles

8. A Hot Day Today

9. I Need You

10. The Baby

11. Love Is Love

12. Blackbyrds' Theme

13. Walking In Rhythm

14. Future Children, Future Hopes

15. April Showers

16. Spaced Out

Comments

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❤❤❤❤❤
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mysteriousst r a n g e r s 8 6
❤❤❤❤❤
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That's good music
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the best group by Donald byrd
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nylesfrench7
Classic FUNKY psychedelic groove.
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I agree. They are one of the best groups from the funk-jazz scene. I'm from Detroit and grew up on WJZZ and was introduced to this and many others jazz artists thru this radio station. If you ask me, the blackbirds were terribly unrated.
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Rock Greek park love it
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Being from Detroit myself, donald byrd and the black b yrds are the S**T. 35years old, was raised on wjzz jazz station and places and spaces. My favorite. Thanks to my dad and donald byrd . May the both rest in peace.
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turnaround72 7
Rock Creek Park the Blackbyrds were on point back in the day.
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Love. It
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Sound like new age earth wind and fire with a tinge pf Barry White.
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Horace Brown's sampled the this"One for the money"
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Soul
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Good oldies at its best! The great Blackbyrds!
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one of my favorite all time groups, they are awesome. So kool music, riding through the park listening to the blackbyrds is the best thing yet.
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From Detroit with LOVE! Timeless music right here! Rest in Peace to Detroit Legend Donald Byrd who discovered The Blackbyrds! Thank GOD he did! Good Music, and Groovy as ever! PEACE AND LOVE.
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My favorite by them: Happy Music Rock Creek Park in DC.
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I remember bopping around the house singing this and dad hollering Yes we know, You like to party!! Howard University's Blackbyrds!
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This was the jam back in the day. Haven't heard this in years.
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soul
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airesscolema n 5
Detroit on Donald byrd
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Im 49 .I've been listening to this music all my listening .and it still the s**t is.
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Old school 1970s music was real know this REAL
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This is what I call highway music.
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Pandora, thank you, thank you, thank you...LOVE this song!
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Love the Blackbyrds, especially Orville Saunders!
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Music is that time machine that takes you back to that place you loved. Love the Blackbirds
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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!
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One of the greatest groups of all times
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Those were the good ol days,wish they were still here
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My popa played the blackbyrds back2back while I waz grown up
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Love Blackbyrds.. . . a n d Donald Byrd...
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me too Lee
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lee.lynnese
OMG THE TRUE GOOD OLE DAYS ...I AM JAMMIN
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Lov Donald Byrd and the blackbirds. All that and a bag of chips.
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Tell me when the song started if "Days of old" by Paris popped in your heads for all of you real throwback rap heads!
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The Blackbyrds sho knew how to put the funk in it. Luv Donald Byrd also....
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Blackbirds love so fine...took me there!
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walterupchur c h 7 5
Love this
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4U4US4LOVE4L I F E - R G M
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ekevin1
Excuse me while I rap
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ekevin1
put them in any category and they shud be at the top if you no what i mean. feel me.......... . . . . . . .
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Rock Creek Park is on the campus of Howard
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mrrlmoor
Dang.. what can I say!!!
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YES REAL MUSIC, REAL MUSCIANS, REAL INSTRUMENTS WOW WHAT A CONCEPT!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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this what you call real music...
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Day-um...I miss this good funky stuff....Do It, Fluid. Yeah Baby!
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Great Group
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real musicians... . w h a t a treat!!
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GREAT MUSIC HOW COULD YOU NOT RELAX AFTER LISTENING TO THEM...
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