Happy Birthday Hamilton Bohannon 7th March 1942

Hamilton Bohannon was born in Georgia in 1942.

He had a huge portfolio of work issued throughout the Seventies, and achieving a great deal of chart success in the process.

Hamilton graduated from Clark Atlanta University, with a B.A. in musical education .

He then went into teaching before accepting an invitation to join a band that also included Jimi Hendrix, as drummer.

He came to the attention of Stevie Wonder, who appointed him drummer in his touring band in 1965.

Hamilton relocated to Detroit and worked for Stevie from 1965 to 1967.

His style impressed the hierarchy at Motown Records to such an extent that they made him top bandleader, responsible for live arrangements for all Motown’s top acts under the name of Bohannon and the Motown Sound.

When Motown Records relocated to Los Angeles, Bohannon stayed in Detroit, forming his own band featuring members of the Detroit band, The Fabulous Counts.


stop and go – 1973 / keep on dancin’ – 1974

He signed with Dakar / Brunswick in 1972, and by early 1973 he released his debut album ‘Stop And Go’.

bohannon – 1975 / gittin’ off – 1975

south african man – 1975 / insides out – 1975

the mighty bohannon – 1975 / dance your ass off – 1976

Five more albums for the imprint followed, which were, ‘Keep On Dancin’ (in 1974), ‘Mighty Bohannon’ (in 1975), ‘South African Man’ (in 1975), ‘Inside Out’ (in 1975), and ‘Dance Your Ass Off’ (in 1976).

‘South African Man’, was a single release, followed in 1975 by ‘Disco Stomp’ which made the Top Ten in the U.K., and ‘Foot Stompin’ Music’ (which also made the Top 40).


phase II – 1977 / summertime groove – 1978

In 1976, Hamilton signed to Mercury Records, and in 1977, he released ‘Phase II’, which contained the popular track ‘Andrea’ (his wife’s name).

1978 saw his biggest success with ‘Let’s Start The Dance’, taken from his ‘Summertime Groove’ album.

Carolyn Crawford carolyn crawford

The track made the R & B Top Ten, and featured the singer Carolyn Crawford, whose own albums Hamilton went on to produce.

on my way – 1979 / cut loose – 1979

Music In The Air

too hot to hold – 1979 / music in the air – 1980

He followed this album with four more releases for Mercury, in 1979 and 1980, which were ‘On My Way’, ‘Cut Loose’, ‘Too Hot To Hold’ and ‘Music In The Air’.

The latter album showcased a more jazz orientated style to the release, realised on the Liz Lands fronted, ‘Thoughts and Wishes’.

Hamilton continued to release records through the 1980’s (having one further hit in 1982 with ‘Let’s Start To Dance Again’), utilising new vocalists, Liz Lands and Altrinna Grayson.

He set up Phase II Records in 1980, and began recording under the shortened name of Bohannon.

one step ahead – 1980 / alive! – 1981

1981’a album ‘Alive!’ featured a re-working of the dancer ‘Let’s Start The Dance Part II’, ‘Take The Country To New York City’ and the jazz tinged, ”You’re The One’.


going for another one – 1981 / fever – 1982

Further album releases included ‘One Step Ahead’, ‘Make Your Body Move’ and ‘Bohannon Drive’, all of which contained R & B chart hits.

the bohannon drive – 1983 / make your body move – 1983

motions – 12″ single – 1984

here comes bohannon – 1989 / it’s time to jam – 1990

His final solo album came in the form of ‘It’s Time To Jam’ in 1990 for the South Bound imprint.

In the new millennium, Hamilton composed songs for Mary J. Blige, (an EP entitled ‘My Collection of Love Songs Live’), a singer called Governor, (on Atlantic Records), and his son Bohannon II.

In 2007 he wrote a song for the musical soundtrack for the movie, ‘Daddy’s Little Girls’, by Tyler Perry.

The same year he signed a deal with EMI Music Publishing Company.

In 2009, he released further compilations of his music and an audio book entitled ‘Bohannon Speaks from the Beginning’, recollecting his days he worked with the Motown artists back in the day.


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