THE SHAKERS BIO:
The Shakers are an American Reggae Band. With the release of "Yankee Reggae" in 1976 on Elektra-Asylum Records (#7E1057). They became the first American Reggae band to be signed to a major label. Reggae Music was a new and exciting format that five kids from the East Bay Area of California just couldn't refuse. Oh sure, people at their live shows would sometimes yell for Rock-n-Roll, but it never phased the band because they were already hooked on the infectious riddems of Jamaican music and were on their way to becoming pioneers of American Reggae music.
Upon the release of "Yankee Reggae", the group set ou touring the United States, educating many rock musician fans to the power of reggae and introducing many Jamaican singers to American audiences. In those days, as well as now, The Shakers have always done songs by Delroy Wilson, Ken Boothe, Johnny Clark, Jimmy Cliff, Toots And The Maytals, Wailing Souls, and many other Jamaican singers, in hopes that audiences would search out these singers and buy their music. Much of that first tour was spent opening for outstanding reggae groups like Third World, Toots And The Maytals, Inner Circle, Dennis Brown, and Eric Donaldson - All on their first trips to America!
Reggae was further exposed to massive concert-goers when The Shakers opened for rock groups like Three Dog Night, J.D. Souther, Amazing Rhythm Aces, Blood Sweat and Tears, and the Pointer Sisters, to name a few. Of course Elektra-Asylum Records didn't know how to promote them properly. They didn't know anything about the new sound sweeping dance floors in Boston, New York, San Francisco, and especially Berkeley, California, where reggae seemed to be big from the very beginning (much to the credit must go to the classic movie "The Harder They Come", which exposed many Americans to reggae music for the first time, and remains to this day one of hte best music films ever made). When the group returned home from touring, they had already decided they would need a major Jamaican producer for their next record, and sent management to find Bob Marley and ask him if he would produce the next Shakers album. He said he would if the band would record some of his songs. The record company, in the middle of a power change, decided not to let Marley produce the group. The label wanted singles, and the Shakers wanted credibility and the opportunity to work with the man who would become the kind of reggae music. Within months, the Shakers were dropped from Elektra-Asylum Records, and continued touring throughout the 1970's.
Members have changed at times, but the driving force of the Shakers has been Drummer/Singer/Producer Ron Rhoades, who is still the leader of the group. In 1980, the Shakers became the "Fabulous Titans", returning to the sounds of Rock Steady and Ska, and added a horn section and Jamaican drummer Lloyd "Legs" Adams, whom Ron had met in the early 70's when he was Inner Circle's drummer. Ron moved over to keyboards and guitar in 1981. The band was signed to Epiphany Records, releasing an E.P. The record had five original songs and received a lot of airplay on college radio stations throughout the country.
The record landed in the hands of a Cuban DJ in Havana, and became a hit with the Cuban kids and the Fabulous Titans were invited to be the first American band to tour the island. It was a massive success, with the band playing sold out concerts night after night for 3 weeks. Before returning home to work with groups like UB40, The Selector, Earl Zero, Soul Syndicate, Max Edwards, Jack Miller, and a host of others.
In 1985, Ron set out on a solo career, and recorded the "Love Let Me Down" E.P. It wasn't successful, and after several more attempts at major labels fell through, Ron and his wife, Ronnie, moved to the island of Kauai, in Hawaii in 1990, and re-formed the Shakers, with local musicians Bill Wallace (An original member from the 70's), John Hunt, Kenny Wilson, Kirby Keough, and David Russ.
After performing a successful concert ont he grounds of the Waiohai Resort in Poipu on the south shore, the group was offered two nights a week at the Poipu Beach Cafe nightclub. It was a dream come true for a reggae band. Any reggae band would have loved this gig. The Shakers played there for two years; during which, Ron's wife Ronnie (An Oahu/Hawaiian native) became a professional singer/performer. She had recorded a single with The Shakers in 1979 (Fleetwood Mac's "Over My Head") and a re-mix of the song became a Bay Area radio hit in 1987. It was at the "Cafe" that the band met young rapper Teo Mullen, who helped introduce the dancehall style of music to the state of Hawaii.Ronnie and Teo have become a major part of The Shakers in the 90's, writing songs and being the focus, along with Ron, of the current sound.
1995 saw the release of "Strictly Pleasure", The Shakers' first CD. It was a huge success, and receives massive airplay throughout the state of Hawaii - Especially on Maui and the Big Island. Ronnie's "You'll lose a good thing" and "I can't hide", Ron's "Baby Please" and "Who's Gonna Hold You Tonight", and Teomon's "Check The Sound" were the biggest hits.
The Shakers travel to the outer islands every couple of months, and do live shows at a variety of night clubs and concerts. The group's second CD "Good Days Ahead" was released April 2, 1998, and has 14 original songs all written by Ron, Ronnie, and Teomon, and is on the Koloa Dub Lab label, produced by Ron.
Current Band Members:
So there you have The Shakers - An American reggae band. From 1973 - 1998 and still firing strong!
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