Earth, Wind & Fire Unisex T-Shirt

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Earth, Wind & Fire Unisex T-Shirt

$ 34.99

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Finally, a way to show your respect for some of the greatest icons, legends and pioneers that paved the way past and present. Rock this gear in style and bring back the moments that made you, memories they gave you and/or lessons they taught you. Scroll down for a history lesson with some of our favorite clips.

Welcome to the Respect Due family Earth, Wind & Fire! We salute you.

Features:

  • 4.2 oz., 100% airlume combed and ringspun cotton
  • retail fit
  • unisex sizing
  • shoulder taping
  • side-seamed
  • pre-shrunk
SKU: 14936 Categories: , ,
Clear

Description

Earth, Wind & Fire (Part 1) – Shining stars (Documentary)

 

Earth, Wind & Fire (abbreviated as EW&F or simply EWF) is an American band that has spanned the musical genres of R&BsoulfunkjazzdiscopoprockdanceLatin, and Afro pop. They have been described as one of the most innovative and commercially successful acts of all time. Rolling Stone called them “innovative, precise yet sensual, calculated yet galvanizing” and declared that the band “changed the sound of black pop”. VH1 has also described EWF as “one of the greatest bands” ever.

The band was founded in Chicago by Maurice White in 1969, having grown out of a previous band known as the Salty Peppers. As well other prominent members of EWF have included Philip BaileyVerdine WhiteRalph JohnsonLarry DunnAl McKayRoland BautistaRobert BrookinsSonny EmoryFred RavelRonnie LawsSheldon Reynolds and Andrew Woolfolk. The band is known for its kalimba sound, dynamic horn section, energetic and elaborate stage shows, and the contrast between Philip Bailey’s falsetto vocals and Maurice White’s baritone.

The band has won six Grammys from their 17 nominations and four American Music Awards out of 12 nominations. They have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, the NAACP Image Award Hall of Fame, and Hollywood’s Rockwalk, in addition to receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. With sales of over 90 million records, they are one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time. The band has also received an ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Heritage Award, BET Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Soul Train Legend Award, as well as a NARAS Signature Governor’s Award, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2012 Congressional Horizon Award, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2019, along with Sally Field, Linda Ronstadt, Sesame Street and Michael Tilson Thomas.

 

Earth, Wind & Fire – September

1969–1970: Beginnings

In 1969, Maurice White, a former session drummer for Chess Records and former member of the Ramsey Lewis Trio, joined two friends in Chicago, Wade Flemons and Don Whitehead, as a songwriting team composing songs and commercials in the Chicago area. The three friends eventually got a recording contract with Capitol Records. Calling themselves “The Salty Peppers”, they went on to have a marginal hit single in the Midwestern area titled “La La Time”.

The Salty Peppers’ second single, “Uh Huh Yeah”, did not fare as well. Maurice moved on from Chicago to Los Angeles. He added to the band singer Sherry Scott and percussionist Yackov Ben Israel, both from Chicago, and then asked his younger brother Verdine how he would feel about heading out to the West Coast. On June 6, 1970, Verdine left Chicago to join the band as their new bassist. Maurice began shopping demo tapes of the band, featuring Donny Hathaway, around to different record labels and the band was thus signed to Warner Bros. Records.

1970–1974: Formation and early years

Maurice’s astrological signSagittarius, has a primary elemental quality of Fire and seasonal qualities of Earth and Air, according to classical triplicities. Sagittarius in the northern hemisphere occurs in the autumn, whose element is earth, and in the southern hemisphere, it is spring, whose element is air. Hence the omission of Water, the fourth classical element. Based on this, he changed the band’s name, to “Earth, Wind & Fire”. Maurice held further auditions in L.A. where he added Michael Beal on guitar, Chester Washington on reeds, and Leslie Drayton on trumpet. With Maurice as a percussionist and lead vocalist Drayton also served as the group’s musical arranger. Trombonist Alex Thomas completed the then ten-man EWF lineup.

The band’s self-titled debut album was released in February 1971 on Warner Bros. The album got to No. 24 on the Billboard Top Soul Albums chart.

Lester Bangs of Rolling Stone noted a “heavy Sly influence” and the “smooth harmonies” of The Fifth Dimension on the LP. Bob Talbert of the Detroit Free Press also wrote “I’m not sure what to call this group. Afro-gospel-jazz-blues-rock? Must there be a label?”.

EWF went on to perform the entire soundtrack of the Melvin Van Peebles feature film Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song. The soundtrack, composed by Van Peebles, was released in April 1971 on Stax Records. The album reached No. 13 on the Billboard Top R&B Albums chart.

During November 1971, EWF’s sophomore album titled The Need of Love was issued. The LP got to No. 35 on the Billboard Top Soul Albums chart. Bruce Lindsay of Jazz Journal called The Need of Love “a worthwhile album”. Al Rudis of The Chicago Sun Times also wrote the LP “works beautifully and while the elements of Earth, Wind & Fire aren’t new, this mixture of them is a unique sound”.

A single from the album called “I Think About Lovin’ You” reached No. 44 on the Billboard Hot Soul Songs chart.

The band developed a growing popularity on college campuses but, in spite of this, some members of EWF started to become restless. As such the band eventually split apart. With only Verdine left, Maurice decided to re-form the group.

During 1972, Maurice added vocalist Helena Davis, Ronnie Laws on the flute and saxophone, rhythm guitarist Roland Bautista, keyboardist Larry Dunn, vocalist Philip Bailey and percussionist Ralph Johnson to the group. Davis was soon replaced by Jessica Cleaves, a former member of the R&B group The Friends of Distinction.

The band successfully auditioned for managers Bob Cavallo and Joe Ruffalo. Cavallo’s management of John Sebastian led to a series of gigs as the opening act for the pop/folk singer and The Lovin’ Spoonful founder. A performance at New York’s Rockefeller Center introduced EWF to Clive Davis, then the President of Columbia Records. Davis was very impressed with the band’s performance and bought out their contract from Warner Bros.

Their debut album on CBS/Columbia Records, Last Days and Time was issued in October 1972. The album got to No. 15 on the US Billboard Top Soul Albums chart and No. 9 on the UK Blues & Soul Top British Soul Albums chart. Paul Sexton of Record Mirror described Last Days and Time as a “formative” and “interesting” record. Ovid Goode Jr. of The Los Angeles Daily News also declared that the LP is full of “moving tunes” that “sprouts forth with a fresh sound which sets it apart from many of the ho-hum aggregations around today”.

A single called “Mom” got to No. 39 on the Cashbox Top R&B Singles chart.

Soon thereafter, Roland Bautista and Ronnie Laws left the band to pursue new musical opportunities. Denver native Philip Bailey recommended his former East High School classmate, saxophonist Andrew Woolfolk as a replacement for Laws. Woolfolk had been busy in New York studying sax with sax maestro Joe Henderson and was due to start a career in banking at the time. To fill the void created by Bautista’s departure, rhythm guitarists Al McKay and Johnny Graham were added to round out the new lineup. Graham previously played with the R&B group New Birth while McKay was a former member of the Ike and Tina Turner Revue and The Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band.

EWF’s fourth studio album Head to the Sky was released in May 1973. The album rose to No. 2 on the Billboard Top Soul Albums chart and No. 27 on the Billboard 200 chart. Head to the Sky has also been certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

Vince Aletti of Rolling Stone declared that EWF “sound like a cosmic choir and generate a Sly Stone effect” on an album that’s “certainly beyond all expectations”. Variety also described the record as “a movin’ new package.

A single off the LP titled “Evil” got to No. 19 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Songs and No. 25 on the Billboard Hot Soul Songs charts respectively. Another single called “Keep Your Head to the Sky” rose to No. 23 on the Billboard Hot Soul Songs chart. Jessica Cleaves left the band after the release of this album.

The band’s follow-up album was co-produced by Maurice and Joe Wissert. This LP was recorded at Colorado‘s Caribou Ranch Studio and issued under the title of Open Our Eyes in March 1974. Ken Emerson of Rolling Stone called Open Our Eyes “a pleasant miscellany of Africana, Latin rhythms, well-mannered funk, smooth jazz, Sly Stone, Stevie Wonder and the Fifth Dimension”. The Village Voice‘s Robert Christgau also described the album as a complete “tour de force”. The album rose to No. 1 on the Billboard Top Soul Albums chart and No. 15 on the Billboard 200 chart. Open Our Eyes was certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

A single from the LP called “Mighty Mighty” reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot Soul Songs chart and No. 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Another single titled “Kalimba Story” rose to No. 6 on the Billboard Hot Soul Songs chart. A song called “Devotion” also got to No. 23 on the Billboard Hot Soul Songs chart and No. 33 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

After Open Our Eyes was issued, Maurice’s younger brother, Fred White, joined the band. He had previously played in Chicago clubs as a drummer with Donny Hathaway and Little Feat.

On April 6, 1974, EWF performed at the California Jam, a West Coast rock festival that attracted an audience of 200,000. The concert was televised in the US on May 10, 1974 by ABC.

In September 1974, a compilation double album titled Another Time with all the songs from EWF’s first two studio albums was released by Warner Bros. The album got to No. 29 on the Billboard Top Soul Albums chart.

The band then collaborated with Ramsey Lewis on his album Sun Goddess which was produced by Maurice and issued in late 1974 by Columbia. The album got to No. 1 on the Billboard Top Soul Albums chart and No. 12 on the Billboard 200 chart. The LP’s title track rose to No. 20 on the Billboard Hot Soul Songs chart. Sun Goddess was certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

Earth, Wind & Fire – Shining Star (Live)

 

Earth, Wind & Fire – Let’s Groove (Official Music Video)

 

Earth, Wind & Fire – Boogie Wonderland (Official Music Video)

3001 Sizing Chart

UNISEX FIT & SIZE CHART

SIZEFITS CHESTLENGTH
XS34"27"
S36"28"
M40"29"
L44"30"
XL48"31"
2X52"32"
3X56"33"
4X62"34"
5x66"35"

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