for the World was on top of the world and the top of the charts
in 1985 when the groups third single, Oh Sheila,
bumped Dire Straits Money for Nothing from the
No. 1 spot.
that, the Flint sextet continued a little-known local tradition:
at least one area artist had reached the top of the charts three
decades in a row � Clios Question Mark and the Mysterians
with 96 Tears in 1966; and Grand Funk Railroad with
Were an American Band in 1973 and The
Loco-Motion in 74.
in 1982 when singer Melvin Riley and guitarist Gordon Strozier
recruited some of the better young players on the local R&B
scene � Greg Potts (keyboards), Willie Triplett (keyboards, percussion),
bassist John Eaton and drummer Gerald Valentine.
first two singles did moderately well on the charts, but it was
the light, Prince-influence Oh Sheila that put them
over the top, pushing sales of their self-titled debut album past
the 500,000 mark.
matched the success of Oh Sheila, though it continued
to record into the early 90s. Riley left in 1992 to go solo.
biggest act, Grand Funk Railroad, reunited in 1981 after a five-year
breakup. Singer-guitarist Mark Farner and singer-drummer Don Brewer
recruited Dennis Bellinger after original bassist Mel Schacher
group released two albums between 1981-83 and rented Whiting Auditorium
for two days in November 1981 to rehearse for a comeback tour
that included its only Flint concert appearance, a sold-out Dec.
15, 1981, show at the IMA Sports Arena.
from the streets of New York City to Flints inner city in
the 1980s. Local promoters booked shows at the Capitol Theater
by the likes of Ice-T, the Fat Boys and Run-DMC � and many of
Flints 90s rap stars, including MC Breed and the Dayton
Family, got their starts opening for some of those acts.
closed out with an IMA stop by on Aug. 30, 1989 by MC Hammer,
the hottest rapper in the land at the time.
hot enough � or maybe just too pop, for Flints hardcore
sold just less than 1,000 tickets; the IMA can seat 4,500 for