LEROY “Sugarfoot ” BONNER des OHIO PLAYERS nous a quitté



Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner, the flamboyant front man of the Ohio Players, has died at age 70. As the lead guitarist and vocalist on many of their biggest hits, including “Love Rollercoaster,” “Fire” and more, Bonner was among the most respected and beloved funk men of the 70s and 80s, and he continued to perform well into the 21st Century. He will be missed.
One of the funkiest groups in the funkiest decade, the Ohio Players became the template for a generation of Midwest jamming groups. Formed in Dayton, Ohio in 1959 as the Ohio Untouchables, the group initially included members Robert Ward (vocals/guitar), Marshall “Rock” Jones (bass), Clarence “Satch” Satchell (saxophone/guitar), Cornelius Johnson (drums), and Ralph “Pee Wee” Middlebrooks (trumpet/trombone). When Ward, the group leader, broke the act up in the early 60s, the remaining members reformed with additions Gary Webster (drums) and the auspicious young guitarist, Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner, and later added trumpeter Bruce Napier, trombonist Marvin Pierce, and keyboardist Walter “Junie” Morrison…..Read Full Biography
Here is the official announcement of Sugarfoot’s death
Official Family Announcement of the Passing of Leroy Sugarfoot BonnerYesterday, Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner passed away quietly in his hometown of Trotwood-Dayton, OH. While his family, friends, colleagues, and fans mourn his passing they celebrate fondly his memory, music, and legacy.Sugarfoot, or Foot, or Sugar, was the founding and cornerstone artistic talent of OHIO PLAYERS and the face and sound of the OHIO PLAYERS brand, which he knit together and launched in 1964 with former members of The Ohio Untouchables. With a career spanning 56 years, he passed barely short of his 70th birthday.

Humble yet charismatic, soft spoken and of few words, the weight of his thoughts, lyrics, and music has influenced countless other artists, songs, and trends.  He will be missed but not forgotten as his legacy and music lives on.  More details and an official historical perspective of his career will soon be forthcoming.

His Facebook page is available to all to post comments, reflections, and testimonials of this wonderful and gifted man:
Watch “Unsung” episode on the Ohio Players

Posted January 27th, 2013 by administrator









The Ohio Players were an American funk and R&B band, most popular in the 1970s. They are best known for their double #1 hit songs “Fire” and “Love Rollercoaster“.




The band formed in DaytonOhio in 1959[1] as the Ohio Untouchables, and initially included members Robert Ward (vocals/guitar), Marshall “Rock” Jones (bass), Clarence “Satch” Satchell (saxophone/guitar), Cornelius Johnson (drums), and Ralph “Pee Wee” Middlebrooks (trumpet/trombone). They were best known at the time as a backing group for Detroit‘s The Falcons.[1]

The Ohio Untouchables broke up in 1963 with Ward leaving for a solo career, but the core members of the group returned to Dayton and the following year added Gregory Webster (drums) along with Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner (guitar), who would become the group’s front man.[1] The group added two more singers, Bobby Lee Fears and Dutch Robinson, and became the house band for the New York based Compass Records for Vocalist Helena Ferguson Kilpatrick in 1967 who had just returned from Gershwin’s European Tour of Porgy and Bess.

The group disbanded again in 1970. After again reforming with a line-up including Bonner, Satchell, Middlebrooks, Jones, Webster, trumpeter Bruce Napier, vocalist Charles Dale Allen, trombonist Marvin Pierce and keyboardist Walter “Junie” Morrison, the Players had a minor hit on the Detroit-based Westboundlabel in 1971 with “Pain,” which reached the Top 40 of the Billboard R&B Chart. Dale Allen shared co-lead vocals on some of the early Westbound material, although he was not credited on their albums Pain and Pleasure.

The band’s first big hit single was “Funky Worm“, which reached #1 on the Billboard R&B chart and made the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1973. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in May of that year.[2] The band signed with Mercury Records in 1974. By this time, their line-up had changed again, with keyboardist Billy Beck instead of Morrison and Jimmy “Diamond” Williams on drums instead of Webster. On later album releases, they added second guitarist/vocalist Clarence ‘Chet’ Willis and conga player Robert “Rumba” Jones.

The band had seven Top 40 hits between 1973 and 1976. These included “Fire” (#1 on both the R&B and pop chart for two weeks and one week respectively in February 1975 and another million seller) and “Love Rollercoaster” (#1 on both the R&B and pop charts for one week in January 1976; another gold disc recipient).[2] The group’s last big hit was “Who’d She Coo?” a #1 R&B hit in August 1976. It was their only success in the United Kingdom, where it peaked at #43 in the UK Singles Chart in July 1976.[3]

Clarence Satchell (born April 15, 1940) died December 30, 1995 after suffering a brain aneurysm,[4] Ralph Middlebrooks (born August 20, 1939) died in November 1997,[5] and Robert Ward (born October 15, 1938) died at home December 25, 2008.[6] Marshall Jones resides in Jamestown, Ohio.[1]


[edit]Studio albums

Year Album Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
Record label

1968 Observations in Time Capitol
1972 Pain 177 21
  • US: Gold [9]
Pleasure 63 4
1973 Ecstasy 70 19
1974 Skin Tight 11 1 15
  • US: Platinum [9]
Fire 1 1 17
  • US: Platinum [9]
1975 Honey 2 1 36
  • US: Platinum [9]
1976 Contradiction 12 1 26
  • US: Gold [9]
1977 Angel 41 9 58
Mr. Mean 68 11 65
1978 Jass-Ay-Lay-Dee 69 15
1979 Everybody Up 80 19 Arista
1981 Tenderness 165 49 Boardwalk
Ouch! 201
1984 Graduation Century Vista
1988 Back 55 Track Record
“—” denotes the release failed to chart or was not certified

[edit]Live albums

Year Album Peak chart positions Record label
1996 Jam Mercury
1997 Ol’ School Castle
“—” denotes the release failed to chart

[edit]Compilation albums

Year Album Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
Record label

1972 First Impressions Trip
1974 The Ohio Players 32 Capitol
Climax 102 24 Westbound
1975 Greatest Hits 92 22
Rattlesnake 61 8
1976 Gold 31 10 28
  • US: Gold [9]
1977 The Best of the Early Years, Vol. 1 58 Westbound
1995 Funk on Fire: The Mercury Anthology Mercury
1998 Orgasm: The Very Best of the Westbound Years Westbound
2000 The Millennium Collection: The Best of the Ohio Players Mercury
2008 Gold Island/Mercury
“—” denotes the release failed to chart or was not certified


Year Single Peak chart positions

1967 “Neighbors”
1968 “Trespassin'” 50
“It’s a Crying Shame”
1969 Here Today and Gone Tomorrow
Over the Rainbow
1971 “Pain (Part 1)” 64 35 91
1972 “Pleasure” 45
“Varee Is Love”
1973 Funky Worm 15 1 50
“Ecstasy” 31 12
“Sleep Talk”
1974 “Jive Turkey (Part 1)” 47 6 71
“Skin Tight” 13 2 19
Fire” [A] 1 1 5
1975 “I Want to Be Free” 44 6 51
Sweet Sticky Thing 33 1 60
Love Rollercoaster 1 1 2
1976 “Fopp” 30 9 43
“Rattlesnake” 90 69
Who’d She Coo?” [B] 18 1 63
“Far East Mississippi” 26
1977 “Feel the Beat (Everybody Disco)” 61 31
“Body Vibes” 19
“O-H-I-O” 45 9 88
“Merry Go Round” 77
“Good Luck Charm (Part 1)” 101 51
1978 “Magic Trick” 93
“Funk-O-Nots” 105 27
“Time Slips Away” 53
1979 “Everybody Up” 33
1981 “Try a Little Tenderness” 40
“Skinny” 46
“The Star of the Party”
1984 “Sight for Sore Eyes” 83
1988 “Sweat” 50
“Let’s Play (From Now On)” 33
“—” denotes the release failed to chart

[edit]Million sellers

Gold discs, due to records selling at least one million copies, were awarded to the singles “Funky Worm,” “Skin Tight,” “Fire,” and “Love Rollercoaster;” plus to their albums Skin Tight, Fire, and Honey.[2]

[edit]See also


  1. a b c d McGinn, Andrew (May 30, 2009). “Ohio Players bassist retires to funky town — Jamestown”Springfield (Ohio) News-Sun. Retrieved 2011-06-29.
  2. a b c Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. pp. 332, 348, 349 & 362. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 405. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  4. ^ Thedeadrockstarsclub.com (1995) Accessed April 2010
  5. ^ Thedeadrockstarsclub.com (1996) Accessed April 2010
  6. ^ Cartwright, Garth (March 4, 2009). “Obituary: Robert Ward”The Guardian. guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-06-29.
  7. a b c d “US Albums Charts > Ohio Players”Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-06-08.
  8. a b c “CAN Charts > Ohio Plaers”RPM. Retrieved 2012-01-14.
  9. a b c d e f “US Certifications > Ohio Players”Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2012-01-14.
  10. a b “US Singles Charts > Ohio Players”Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-06-08.

[edit]External links


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