THE ORIGINAL LAKESIDE: OUR HISTORY
Their beginnings were humble and started in Dayton, Ohio a mecca of untapped talent and the HOME of the coined phrase, “The Land of Funk.” It was in 1977 that the group Lakeside's success really started to accelerate. That year, the group, going by the name Lakeside released their self-titled debut album, which featured the single, "If I Didn't Have You." It was also around this time that the group debuted on Soul Train, performing the Beloyd Taylor and Peter Cor composition "Shine On", which helped pave the way for what was to come. As fate would have it, the time had come for Lakeside to be a major player in creating the next chapter, with the addition of barefoot drummer Fred Alexander Jr. At this time the group was being approached by Whitfield Records and Solar Records. In the end, the band chose Solar Records, owned by Dick Griffey, with label mates The Whispers, Shalamar, Dynasty, Midnight Star, Klymaxx, and Carrie Lucas.
What was to come involved Dick Griffey, the concert promoter and entrepreneur who had befriended and managed Lakeside since 1975. In 1978, Mr. Griffey started Solar Records. At that same time, Norman Whitfield had been courting the group to sign with his Whitfield Records, but Dick offered the group a chance to write and co-produce their own music, which Norman was not willing to do. With that, the group decided to sign with Dick's new label. Parting amicably with Frank Wilson, Lakeside became a part of the Solar family. Soon after, the band released their next album, Shot of Love in 1978. Their first Solar album featured songs all written by members of the band and co-produced with Solar staff producer, Leon Sylvers III. With this album, the band began to find major success on the R&B charts, when the single "It's All the Way Live" reached #4.
The band, at this point consisting of bassist Marvin Craig, drummer Fred Alexander, percussionist Fred Lewis, guitarist Steve Shockley, keyboardist Norman Beavers, guitarist/multi-instrumentalist and lead/background vocalist Otis Stokes, lead/background vocalist Mark Wood, lead/background vocalists Tiemeyer McCain and Thomas Shelby, found their niche with a sound that stemmed from years of playing together. The band dressed in costumes on their album covers, including pirates, 1920's police officers, cowboys, Arabian Knights, and even Robin Hood. Their album cover “themes” became the anticipation of their fans and the music industry before each album’s release. The album Shot of Love and its single "It's All the Way Live", was a great success. However, two albums later, the 1980's groundbreaking release, Fantastic Voyage, exceeded all expectations.
Its eponymous single, "Fantastic Voyage" went on to reach number one on the R&B charts. The tune remains the band's biggest hit, also hitting the pop charts (their only hit to date to do so), where it peaked at number 55. The band’s subsequent LP, Your Wish Is My Command, produced their next hit which was a mid-tempo remake of the Beatles' classic, "I Want to Hold Your Hand", peaking at #5 on the R&B charts Lakeside would go on to release five more successful LP’s, with other top ten R&B dance classics such as; “Raid” (#8 R&B), “Outrageous” (#7 R&B) and the sultry ballad, “Real Love.” These hits kept the group going where they have become FAN FAVORITES on concert stages all over the country.
In 2015, after some staff changes and re-branding, the group is now known by the name THE ORIGINAL LAKESIDE to distinguish themselves with their audiences all over the world where they encompass 6 of the ORIGINAL members of the band with the addition of their dynamic, new lead vocalist, Eddie Guyton of Dallas, Texas.
They were honored in 2015 with a biography of the band on the TV One hit show “Unsung” where they were featured and took their fans and viewers on a journey of the band’s history and humble climb to success. Additionally, in September 2016, they were also honored in the BRAND NEW National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. as part of the exhibit of the major contributors to Funk and R&B music history.
We invite you to experience the ORIGINAL FUNK with one of the MASTERS OF FUNK, The ORIGINAL LAKESIDE at your next music event. Indoors or outdoors, The ORIGINAL LAKESIDE is sure to please their old school fans with the party hits and ballads that have become the soundtrack of our lives.
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For a Downloadable copy of The ORIGINAL LAKESIDE's Biography, just CLICK on the icon to the left to print for your perusal.