The official Solar Records biography
There's nothing on this planet quite like the driving, surging energy of a powerful showband, effortlessly able to excite any audience.
The true showband is of a preciously limited genre, but now there is a true emerald shining in the vast valley--Lakeside.
Lakeside is the exciting 9-man aggregation...
(Mark Wood, Thomas Oliver Shelby, Tiemeyer McCain, and Otis Stokes handling lead and background vocals; Norman Beavers, keyboard and background vocals; Steve Shockley, guitars; Fred Lewis, percussion; Fred Alexander, drums and percussion; Marvin Craig, bassist) recording for Solar Records, distributed by RCA Records.
Lakeside combines the best of both worlds-the total diversity of self-containment and a distinct vocal blend that is the cream missing from most self-contained units today.
Lakeside's story begins in Dayton, Ohio, a place long heralded as a spawning ground for America's most influential self-contained funk bands.
Bound almost magically together in 1969, it wasn't long before Lakeside, then known as the Ohio Lakeside Express, had conquered Dayton and the surrounding Tri-State area, playing prestigious local club dates as well as opening for visiting name bands.
This was the group's activity for three years, that is, until the "Big Deal" came along--a popular nightspot in Oklahoma City which offered the band "Big Money" to play an engagement.
Mark Wood remembers the event vividly. "This club manager offered us what seemed like a lot of money at the time, to play his club. After we'd scraped to get there, to make a long story short, he ditched us."
However, the incident blossomed into a blessing, for, the band, fed up with local gigs, then made the proverbial decision to head West. Thus, dutifully armed with a U-haul truck and $70 cash, Lakeside made their way across the desert to Los Angeles.
Guitarist Shockley had developed contacts there, so the band conveniently became house band for a local hotel, exhibiting their talents in exchange for room and board.
Soon, the band had changed their name to simply Lakeside, and by the time they'd started nabbing gigs in Los Angeles music outlets--most notably Maverick's Flat, a club notorious for breeding fresh new talent-the word was out: A hot, new band was loose in the City of the Angels.
It was during this period that the group met producer Frank Wilson, then a staff producer for Motown, known for his work with Eddie Kendricks and the Supremes. Wilson introduced the group to Motown.
Lakeside recorded a single for the company, but the record was never released. When Wilson departed the company for independent production, he took Lakeside with him, finding them a contract with ABC Records.
Shortly afterward, Lakeside emerged from the studio with their first album, "Lakeside." Produced by Wilson, it was a fine effort indeed, but the product was caught in ABC's then political turmoil, which to Lakeside's distress, was at its peak. Thus, Lakeside, caught in the shuffle, left the label shortly afterward.
After extensively touring Europe and Canada, the members collectively came to a firm conclusion. Vocalist Mark wood: "In every instance that we had the chance to record, something was always missing. We decided it was originality.
The past recorded projects were fine, but they weren't Lakeside." So, then the group, future charted, compiled and developed their own material, while manager Dick Griffey had just begun his Solar Records, based in Los Angeles. Ultimately, it all came together with "Shot Of Love," Lakeside's first release for the label.
"Shot Of Love," produced by Griffey and Leon Sylvers, encompassed it all: dynamic instrumentation, pinpoint rhythms and powerful funk-laced vamps, layered with four-part harmonies, dancing under strong, alternating lead vocal work. To say the very least it worked, or, to coin Lakeside's phrase, it was "All The Way Live."
Now the same collaboration (Griffey, Sylvers, and Lakeside) bring you yet another hard driving musical foray titled "Rough Riders." This, the group's second LP for Solar Records, features all original material by Lakeside including the hit single "Pull My Strings."