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The B.B. & Q. Band (which stands for the Brooklyn, Bronx & Queens Band) came together accidentally on purpose when guitarist Doc Powell turned bassist Paris "Pee Wee" Ford on to producer Jacques Fred Petrus, who had already started Change and High Fashion from session musicians and vocalists. Petrus asked Ford to get some musicians together to record some tracks he'd written; after the tracks were finished, he shopped for a deal, got one, and brought the impromptu musicians (who came from Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens) together as the B.B. & Q. Band.

The original lineup consisted of Ford (bass), Mauro Malavasi (piano and synthesizers), Paolo Gianolio (guitar), Terry Silverlight (drums), Kevin Nance (keyboards), and Ike Floyd (lead singer). The deal was with Capitol Records and the band was up and running. They debuted with The Brooklyn, Bronx & Queens Band, produced by Petrus and Malavasi, which spawned the hypnotic, wallflower remover "On the Beat," a number three club hit the fall of 1981. Critically acclaimed by disco freaks -- Luther Vandross sang background -- their first slab of vinyl never exploded in the States.

A second LP, All Night Long, dropped in 1982; Floyd was gone, replaced by Kevin Robinson, and so was Luther. Tawatha Agee and Timmy Allen (Change) handled backup. It was a good follow-up with some good joints: the title track, "Electrofunkish," "Imagination," and a smooth rendition of Thom Bell/Linda Creed's "Children of the Night," from the Stylistics' Round 2 album. Rick Brenna served as guest vocalist. Yet they were still far from a runaway hit, their following was strictly club, and their sound wasn't spreading west, but primarily east, to the U.K. and Italy.

After two good albums, they coughed up a third -- their worst -- in 1983. Six Million Times lacked good songs, which Petrus seems to have relegated to Change and High Fashion. Robinson sang lead and co-produced the LP that boasted only two decent tracks: "Keep It Hot" and "Stay." Capital soured on the group, but they persevered, signed with Elektra in 1985, and released singles written and produced by Kae Williams, Jr., of Breakwater, "Genie" and "I'm a Dreamer" featuring Hairston on vocals.

The cuts failed to shake and bake, and their next single, "Ricochet," fell on Chrysalis Records in 1987 and eked into the U.K.'s Top 75. But that was all she wrote; shortly thereafter, Petrus, their mentor, met a gruesome end: he was found shot to death and submerged in water in Mexico City, held down by a heavy object around his legs. ~ Andrew Hamilton, Rovi