Music fans under the age of 25 may have first discovered the music of The Ohio Players when their classic '70s pop/funk/jam "Fire" became the anchor song in the action film Ladder 49 some years back. But the reality is that the Dayton-based group date all the way back to 1959, when they were a backup band for various R&B singers, calling themselves the Ohio Untouchables.
The group changed members and their base of operations a number of times through the next decade, with Detroit and later Dayton, Ohio being the main locations. This was due largely to the labels they were signed to at that given time. Made up of exceptional soul musicians, the group was greatly influenced by the legendary Sly & The Family Stone. In 1972, The Ohio Players signed with Westbound Records (home of George Clinton's Paliament-Funkadelic), with Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner at the helm doing most of the lead vocals.
The band has continued through most of the '90s and into the current decade with Sugarfoot at the helm. Over thirty years later these funk/rock classics still hold up. Their continued cultural relevance was shown by popular funk-rockers Red Hot Chilli Peppers' cover of their classic 1975 track "Love Rollercoaster." The cover was featured on the soundtrack to 1996's Beavis And Butt-head Do America and was produced by the legendary Rick Rubin