*In early April, “The Ohio Players” were honored when a former stretch of Hillcrest Avenue in Dayton, Ohio, was renamed “Ohio Players Way.” (Scroll down to watch the ceremony.)
According to WHIO TV 7 in Dayton, fans, family, and friends were on hand for the event, as surviving members of one of the world’s funkiest groups were honored with the name change.
“The Ohio Players” formed in the late 1950s with original members Robert Ward (vocal/guitar), Marshall “Rock” Jones (bass), Clarence “Satch” Satchell (saxophone/guitar), Cornelius Johnson (drums), and Ralph “Pee Wee”
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Middlebrooks (trumpet/trombone). With changes to the band’s personnel, other members included Gary Webster (drums), Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner (guitar), Bruce Napier (trumpet), Marvin Pierce (trombone), and Walter “Junie” Morrison (keyboardist).
After inking a record deal with Detroit-based Westbound Records in 1971, the group charted big with “Pain.” Other songs in their portfolio of hits include “Funky Worm,” “Fire,” and “Love Rollercoaster.”
Although the group has gone through personnel changes since its inception, some due to the deaths of band members, “The Ohio Players” play on.