Phil & Mel In The Afternoon

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(L-R) Dennis Thomas, James "JT" Taylor, Robert "Kool" Bell, Ronald Bell, and George Brown of Kool & The Gang pose with their awards backstage during the Songwriters Hall of Fame 49th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner at New York Marriott Marquis Hotel on June 14, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Songwriters Hall Of Fame)

In 1964, brothers Robert “Kool” Bell and Ronald Bell put a band together in Jersey City, New Jersey. Originally called the Jazziacs, that band would go on to fame and fortune by creating a song catalog that explored jazz, rhythm and blues, soul, funk, disco, rock, and pop music.

Eventually, the band settled on the name Kool & The Gang. The group underwent numerous personnel changes over the decades, beginning with their self-titled debut album in 1969 all the way through the release of 2021’s Perfect Union. Thanks to one song in particular, Kool & The Gang would become a integral part of weddings, birthdays, bar mitzvahs, sporting events, and just about every other kind of “Celebration” to this day.

  • Celebration (1980)

    Released as the first single from their twelfth album, Celebrate! (1980), “Celebration” was the band’s first and only single to reach No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100. In 2021, the Library of Congress selected “Celebration” for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being “culturally historically or aesthetically significant.”

  • Get Down On It (1981)

    The dance hit “Get Down on It” was originally released on Kool & The Gang’s Something Special album in 1981. Apparently, even the camera had a hard time capturing this level of funkiness

  • Misled (1984)

    Kool & The Gang showed off their rock chops on “Misled,” the first single from their 1984 album, Emergency. This surreal video is part horror movie, part Indiana Jones knock-off.