20 Ways Clarence Avant Influenced Black Music

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  • Sussex Records
  • Bill Withers, Clarence Avant
  • Dennis Coffey, Clarence Avant
  • Clarence Avant, Avant Garde Broadcasting
  • Chuck Brown
  • Tabu Records, Clarence Avant
  • Kool & the Gang
  • Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Clarence Avant
  • S.O.S. Band, Clarence Avant
  • Cherrelle
  • Alexander O'Neal
  • Michael Jackson, Clarence Avant
  • Motown Records, Clarence Avant
  • Jheryl Busby, Clarence Avant
  • George Jackson
  • Clarence Avant
  • Clarence Avant
  • Little Wille John, Sarah Vaughan
  • Venture Records, Clarence Avant
  • Ja'Net Dubois, Clarence Avant
  • Stax Records, Clarence Avant

Dennis Coffey

Sussex also signed guitarist and former Motown session musician Dennis Coffey. Coffey, who played guitar on Motown hits like the Temptations' "Cloud Nine" and "Ball of Confusion," landed a minor hit with the 1971 instrumental song "Scorpio." While the tune had little impact on the music charts, it became a huge hit in Bronx, NY, where it would became one of the beat cornerstones for hip hop music. 

(Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)