Fabulous Counts

Detroit funk unit the Fabulous Counts formed in 1968, uniting keyboardist Mose Davis, guitarist Leroy Emanuel, alto saxophonist Demo Cates, tenor saxophonist Jim White, and drummer Raoul Keith Mangrum. Earning local notice as both headliners and a jack-of-all-trades backing band for national touring acts, the group eventually teamed with noted producer Richard "Popcorn" Wylie, recording the cult classic "Jan, Jan" for the Motor City label Moira in late 1968. Distinguished by Davis' banshee-wail Hammond organ, and the dueling saxophones of White and Cates, the instrumental fell just shy of the national R&B Top 40 charts in early 1969. Noted for its scorching White solo, the Fabulous Counts' sophomore effort, "Dirty Red," further solidified their edgy urban funk sound, although commercial interest was negligible. The group's third single, "Get Down People," proved their biggest hit -- complete with vocals, conga drums, and a deeply soulful Emanuel guitar solo; it spent nine weeks on the R&B charts in 1970 and highlighted the Fabulous Counts' lone LP, Jan, Jan, produced by Detroit legend Ollie McLaughlin and issued on Cotillion. They left the label the following year for local imprint Westbound, swapping out a few members and continuing as simply the Counts. ~ Jason Ankeny

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