“Celebrate,” the soundtrack to a good time all over the world, is the product of a band that was formed in 1969 and has defied all odds by staying together for over 50 years.

Legendary R&B group Kool and the Gang founder Robert “Kool” Bell sat down with uInterview founder Erik Meers to discuss the secret to longevity for groups in the music industry – and just how the band got its famous name.


“We worked hard at it,” he said. “Our parents always told us whatever you do, stay together, and that’s what we have done over the years. We lost quite a few of our members. There are only two founding members left and that’s me and Mr. George Brown. I lost my brother (Ronald Bell) about a year and a half ago … Dennis Thomas almost six months ago and all the other members, so just like in any family, you’ve had and you have your ups and downs. We always have been able to work it out for over 50 years.”

After 25 albums, choosing favorite songs could prove to be a difficult task, but “Kool” was quick to supply a few he loves the most.

“First of all ‘Ladies’ Night,'” he said. “I came up with the title and George came up with the music. My brother and my wife and I used to hang out in New York and Studio 54. We realized that every Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night were ladies’ night. So I went back to the band and James JT Taylor had just joined the group. It was my first record and I said I got a perfect idea. It’s a ladies’ night. Well you know there’s one of those all over the world. That would have to be one. ‘Hollywood Swinging’ is another and of course, you know ‘Celebration.'”

Listen to Kool and the Gang’s 25th studio album Perfect Union on all streaming services.

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