One route to stardom is sweating through club gigs. The other is hitching aboard a bandwagon- or in this case, a train. Shalamar was first a Disco-driven vehicle for US TV's Soul Train booking agent Dick Griffey. Their first smash was the 1977 Motown medley 'Uptown Festival', whose success inpired Griffey to replace his sessioneers with vocalists Jody Watley, Jeffrey Daniels and Howard Hewett (the latter replacing short-time member Geralt Brown) in 1978.

Their silver streak continued Stateside with 1979's 'The Second Time Around' and in the UK with 1982's 'I Can Make You Feel Good', 'A Night To Remember' and 'There It Is'. Their happy R and B took a knock when Watley and Daniels left in 1983 but, with Delisa Davis and Micki Free, Shalamar returned to the US Top 20 with 'Dancing In The Sheets' from Footloose (1984) and won a Grammy for 'Don't Get Stopped In Beverley Hills' from Beverley Hills Cop (1985). But when Hewett left in 1986 to be replaced by Sydney Justin, the band dropped into the 'Do you recognise these people?' cabaret circuit.

The most successful of the classic trio was Watley, who- with former Prince sidekick Andre Cymone- made classy solo albums and hit with gems like 1987's 'Looking For A New Love', 1989's 'Friends' and 1994's 'When A Man Loves A Woman'. She rejoined with Hewett and Daniels, plus LL Cool J, on Babyface's irresistable 1996 hit 'For The Lover In You'- a revamp of a song from Shalamar's Three For Love (1981), one of three gold US albums they scored in their heyday.

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