Dayton, 1976 - 1996
Slave were one of the heaviest of the funk bands from the seemingly unlimited Dayton talent pool. They started in 1976, with the lineup of founder and leader Steve Washington (trumpet), Floyd Miller (trombone), Mark Adams (bass), Mark "Drac" Hicks (guitar), Tim "Tiny" Dozier (drums), Tom Lockett (alto and tenor sax), Orion "Bimmy" Wilhoite (alto and tenor sax), Carter "C.B." Bradley (keyboards), and Danny Webster (guitar). Washington was originally from New Jersey, but was related to Ralph Middlebrook of the Ohio Players.
Unlike a lot of their contemporaries, they got a record deal right away, with Cotillion, and made the most of it with their first 45 "Slide", which went to number one on the R&B chart and placed in the pop chart top 40. They started recording follow ups quickly, with "Party Song" from their second LP "Hardness of the World" hitting the 20s in the R&B charts later in 1977.
In 1978, they added singer Steve Arrington, a Dayton native who had spent time out in Los Angeles, and they hit again with another signature song "Stellar Fungk" from the LP "The Concept". In, the title song from the album "Just a Touch Of Love" was the hit, and in 1980, "Watching You " from the "Stone Jam" LP was their second biggest hit behind "Slide".
In 1981 founding member Steve Washington left before the "Show Time" LP which has only 6 members in the back cover picture. The LP produced another big hit "Snap Shot" as well as "Wait For Me" which reached the 20s. Steve Arrington left after the LP. For their next LP they were again at 6 members with Marvin Wheatley from Dayton joining. Wheatley had his former band had made a good Dayton style funk 45 in the ealry-mid 70s. Their 1983 LP "Bad Enuff" produced the hit "Shake It Up" which was their last big hit.
After a unsucessful 1984 LP "New Plateau" they moved to Ichiban records, an Atlanta based label which both catered to older R&B/blues artists and the booming Atlanta hiphop scene. They released six LPs over the next 10 years, a couple of which charted but were nor big sellers. The band came to a halt in 1996.
In the 2010s, the group has come back and done some festival circuit shows, although without Mark Adams and Mark "Drac" Hicks who both passed away in 2011.