A major contributor to the world of contemporary Black Music, Hamilton Frederick Bohannon p/k/a BOHANNON is a multi-talented writer, producer, recording artist and musician. He was born in Newnan, GA of Native American and Black Heritage and a graduate of Clark College (CAU), Atlanta, GA. with a degree in Music and Secondary Education. After graduating from Clark College (CAU) BOHANNON was recommended for a scholarship in percussions to attend Indiana University, instead he taught Public School.Bohannon organized with his friend Eugene Wynn while in elementary school a gospel quartet and performed as an opening for The Prison Boys Quartet on Sunday afternoons in various churches in hometown Newnan, Ga. Also, at age 8 and a half - 9 played baseball with a grown up team-a child sensational star. Again the only child whose done that at age 9 in Newnan, Ga. A few years later at age 11- his father Willie Bohannon was influenced by little Bohannon decided to organize a team. Bohannon played on his father's team along with four other brothers throughout his high school years. The team was semi-pro in the Georgia Alabama league. During the time, that he was playing baseball- he became the first elementary student to play in the high school band while he was in the seventh grade. Also he played in the band director's dance band. After entering into the eighth, he organized his own dance band of which he named the Bop Dads while in the high school band. They played for proms / teen dances / school dances and clubs. After graduating from high school - he attended Clark College on a music scholarship. While at Clark College, he organized a dance band and played for college dances.Bohannon sang in the youth choir, also, he was a Jr. Deacon, also a teenage ward captain (which means to collect money from a designated group of teenagers for the church) and received a white Holy Bible for attending Sunday school every Sunday and to this day -he's never traveled without it. Bohannon played snare drum /tympanis and occasional the bell lyre also played trumpet for a short time -taught by his cousin first chair trumpeter, Willie Lynch. He was captain of the drum section and taught the drummers and wrote the drum cadences. Bohannon was discovered by his long time friend Stevie Wonder -when Stevie was only 13 years old- at the time Bohannon was teaching public school. He also played with other bands while in college - The Paul Mitchell Modern Jazz Trio, Austell Allen's band and he played in The Hank Moore's Band. While playing with The Paul Mitchell Modern Jazz Trio - which was the house band at the La Carousel - located in Atlanta-other known jazz groups were featured such as - Horace Silver/The Three Sounds/Ramsey Lewis Trio/Cannon Ball Adderly/ Wynton Kelly Trio/ Roland Kirk, and many more. Hank Moore was the former band leader for the great Hank Ballard and The Mid-Nighters Group. Band leader Hank Moore retired from the group and moved to Atlanta and became the house band leader at the famed Royal Peacock where all the top R&B singers performed -and I was the drummer in his band. Such as Jackie Wilson, Sam Cooke, B.B. King, Little Richard, Dinah Washington, Jerry Butler, Roy Hamilton, Aretha Franklin, Major Lance, Chuck Jackson, Patti Labelle and The Blue Bells, and many more. Bohannon was the first artist among his colleagues to be named by one name which is his last name (Bohannon) and Bohannon was named one of the top ten funkiest bands during the seventies. He set the stage for modern dance music by keeping four on the floor.He was the first artist to start house/ disco/ hip hop music. When you listen to his earlier musical tracks- you will hear where the music term hip hop came from. He became band leader at Motown records in 1967, after band leader choker Campbell left Motown. He named his band (Bohannon and the Motown sound) they played and backed Motown acts for live performances all over the country from 1967-72. While at Motown he signed a recording contract, after realizing Motown was not really interested in working with an instrumentalist- he asked for his contract back and it was granted and he happily remained band leader at Motown until Motown moved to the West Coast in 1972. He continued to travel with the acts of which he loved. Bohannon said-that Motown was the best music experience in his career. It was family.
In 1980, Bohannon started a record label (PHASE2 Records). He signed and recorded -The Originals- a group formerly with Motown and re-recorded their big hit (Baby I'm for Real) also he signed the sensational (Liz Lands.) When Bohannon organized his big band at Motown, he also became house band leader at the well known 20 Grand Club in Detroit. It was similar to The Royal Peacock in Atlanta, Georgia. Where all the top R&B artists performed such as- The Dells, The Ojays, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes-featuring Teddy Pendergrass, Flip Wilson, The Dramatics, Chuck Jackson, OC Smith, Motown artists and many more.
During Bohannon's major career- he has pinned five classics ( Disco Stomp/Foot Stompin' Music/ South African Man /Steppers Dance Favorite (Thoughts and Wishes) and Let's Start the Dance- which is the longest played dance song of all time. They are still filling the dance floor and it still sounds current. Bohannon came off the road in earlier 80's to spend time with his family, he wanted to be home as a full time family man to help his wife raise their children. From the early 80's to present his music has been sampled/used for commercials/films/soaps/TV shows/movies/etc. He is very fortunate-because he owns his publishing 100% and he owns 80 percent of his masters. BOHANNON Productions own over 150 masters and over 200 songs. The greatness James Brown told Bohannon- that there are only two with rhythms- that nobody has- he and Bohannon- he said-that our rhythms are not alike but different , and strong like nobody else.
Other credits- (A member of alpha phi alpha fraternity) present motivational events to motivate /uplift students of all races because he said-that love has no color. While living in Atlanta, BOHANNON met and played with guitarist Jimi Hendrix. His musical accomplishments earned him the title 'The Rhythm Funk Master' as evidenced by the tribute to BOHANNON in Tom Tom Club's 1982 hit "Genius of Love."
He owns BOHANNON Phase II Music Publishing, BOHANNON Ponteverda Music Publishing, BOHANNON Phase II Records and HnA Records co-owned by his children, Hamilton Bohannon II and April M. Bohannon.
Four decades after his Soul'n'Jazz-flavored grooves first made him an international hit maker, BOHANNON's music is constantly being reissued and consistently sampled by many top Rap and Hip-Hop artists of the 1990's and the new millennium such as Jay Z, Nine Inch Nails, Too Short, Total, Ed O.G. and Da Bull Dogs, Young MC, Bell Biv Devoe, Heavy D. & The Boyz, 1993 Grammy Award Winners Digable Planets (whose platinum album Reaching featured two BOHANNON compositions), Musiq (on his 1 album in 2002), Montell Jordan, Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, G-Unit, Craig Mack, Snoop Dog, Nate Doog, Warren G and many more. His composition titled "Ooh" featured on Mary J. Blige's 1 Album (2003) was nominated for a Grammy (02-08-04). A remix of the same song included, along with Mary J. Blige, artists 50 Cent and G-Unit. His music has also been featured in several sound tracks including Studio 54 and Sword Fish as well as on TV and X-Box Games. BOHANNON received The Man of Motown award in 2003.
From 1974 to 1983 BOHANNON achieved 19 charted Billboard singles and amassed 20 albums to his credit. "Foot Stompin' Music" his first charted single, took its name from what people did to the music. 1974's "South African Man" was inspired by his conversations with the late Marvin Gaye; and the international smash "Let's Start The Dance" (a hit in 1978 and again in 1981) along with subsequent versions, "Let's Start The Dance, Part 1" and "Let's Start II Dance Again (Rap Version)," remain among the most frequently played radio tracks to this day! Other hits include: "Keep On Dancing" an east coast favorite (as were all of his albums). "Disco Stomp" and "Bohannon's Beat" reflected BOHANNON's desire to create upbeat, happy, and rhythmical music that would inspire people to have a good time. "Truck Stop" has a relentlessly funky feel while "Have a Good Day" and "Thoughts and Wishes" show the more mellow side of BOHANNON's music. "Thoughts and Wishes" was/is comedian Bernie Mac, and wife, Rhonda favorite song. In 1975, BOHANNON was the first artist (since The Beatles in the 1960's), to achieve two Top 10 pop songs on Tops of the Pop -"Foot Stompin' Music" and "Disco Stomp"- at the same time!
Prior to achieving success on his own, BOHANNON enjoyed a two and a half year stint as Stevie Wonder's drummer and served for five years as bandleader (BOHANNON & The Motown Sound) touring with all of Motown's top performers. These performers include Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, The Temptations, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops, Martha and the Van Dellas, The Spinners, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and the rest of the Motown Family. BOHANNON's early band featured several musicians who would go on to have distinguished careers of their own including Ray Parker Jr., trumpeter Jerry Hey (arranger for Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson, among others), guitarists Dennis Coffey and Wah-Wah Watson, Ricky Rouse, Bassists and vocalists Michael Henderson, Rod Lumpkin, Lorenzo Brown, Fernando Saunders, Eddie Watkins and others.
In 2006 BOHANNON's music continues to grow, entering into the 4th decade of his career. This year, some of his works include compositions on Mary J. Blige, an EP entitled My Collection of Love Songs Live; a new artist, Governor, on Atlantic Records; his son BOHANNON 2 on HnA Records owned by BOHANNON, BOHANNON 2 and April Bohannon; X Box games; video games; other artists and some new entities. The first quarter of 2007 BOHANNON entered into the 5th decade of his career. January 14, 2007 the sound track CD for (movie-Daddy's Little Girls) by Tyler Perry was released featuring one of BOHANNON's musical compositions performed by Atlantic Artist Governor. Also on February 14, 2007, the movie Daddy's Little Girls another one of BOHANNON's compositions is featured (background music performed by artist BOHANNON) and also licensed music to Disney movies and continued to record and produce. In the first quarter of 2008 BOHANNON released some compilations of his music and an audio book titled BOHANNON Speaks from the Beginning. In 2008 the audio book was placed in all 100 Public School Libraries (Elementary, Middle, and High School), BOHANNON speaks about his childhood, religion, education, family, music, band members, the Motown days, the Brunswick days and the Mercury days. He tells some stories about his friends and colleagues, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Diana Ross and the Supremes and many more. Movie credits include Swordfish with Halle Berry and John Travolta, Studio 54, Shazzam and television work for HBO and Disney and several. In 2010 Bohannon released children's song entitled "I Had A Better Day Today" in all Atlanta public schools, along with a video and song dedicated to Atlanta entitled "Atlanta Rocks."
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