If you take a drive down musical memory lane and stop in the '70s then you are bound to pull over at the “Car Wash.” Rose Royce’s 1977 hit “Car Wash, the theme of the film of the same name, topped the Billboard Pop charts on Jan. 29, 1977, putting the Los Angeles-based group on the road to international stardom.
Rose Royce was a collaborative effort comprised of Henry Garner (drums); Terral "Terry" Santiel (congas); Lequeint "Duke" Jobe (bass); Michael Moore (saxophone); Gwen Dickey and Rose Norwalt (lead vocals); Kenny Copeland (trumpet, lead vocals); Kenji Brown (guitar, lead vocals); Freddie Dunn (trumpet); and Michael Nash (keyboards). The soundtrack to the film Car Wash released in late 1976 was supposed to be the group’s first official album, however Motown producer Norman Whitfield recommended it for the film.
The film soundtrack would boast three Billboard R&B Top Ten singles: "Car Wash," "I Wanna Get Next to You," and "I'm Going Down. “Car Wash,” the leading single and the soundtrack’s biggest hit, also reached No. 9 on the U.K. charts in February 1977. After the success of “Car Wash,” the band followed up with their first official album, Rose Royce II: In Full Bloom, which brought them to the Top Ten with "Do Your Dance" and "Ooh Boy."
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(Photo: GAB Archive/Redferns)