When I think about the GAP band I immediately think of Charlie Wilson. After all he was the front man with that unmistakable voice we all know. Starting out as the Greenwood, Archer, and Pine Street band, the Tulsa, OK based group has seen it’s share of evolution. Back when the band was signed to their first big break-through deal it consisted of about a dozen members. They signed with Lonnie Simmons of Total Experience records, and he made the three brothers Charlie, Robert, and Ronnie Wilson (Ronnie is the founder of the band), the focus of the group and found a winning combination.
Alfreda Gerald and Max C leading up the vocals
Today, the core of the GAP band is pretty much completely unrecognizable if we are considering where they started. Legendary bass player Robert Wilson passed away in 2010 from a heart attack. Charlie left the band in 2009 and is in the middle of a solid solo career. Last we checked, Charlie and Ronnie were in the middle of a lawsuit trying to figure out who can stake claim to the band name. Ronnie is currently on the come back tour with the GAP band with an ensemble of new and original musicians. Allegedly, Charlie was attempting to get in the way of that and now the brothers are in the heated battle.
Funkditty.com was out at Spotlight 29 Casino in Coachella, CA on March 5, 2016 to check out Ronnie Wilson and the GAP band. Admittedly, we were not aware that Charlie would not be there and I have to say it…they dropped a bomb on us.
Ronnie Wilson getting down @ Spotlight 29 Casino
So okay, once the shock of Uncle Charlie not being there passed, we were entertained by what I would call the next best thing, Mr. Charles Salter, aka Max C. Click here to check out this clip of him busting it out accapella and compare to Charlie. I say, he’s no Charlie, but Not Bad!
Charles Salter aka Max C as the new lead singer for today’s GAP band
Overall, it was a good show. As much love as we have for the GAP band, we gotta say it was more of a first rate cover band feel, even though it was under the direction of music legend Ronnie Wilson AND even though the likes of Raymond Calhoun from the original band were present. It’s hard to place exactly how I land on this, but even though we were excited to be in the presence of greatness, the GAP band with no Charlie leaves something to be desired. While we are talking about it, equally Charlie with no GAP band is, well, perhaps more desirable. But to us he probably can never shake his legacy that associates him with his brothers and his infamous GAP band songs.
One thing is sure, the GAP band will always have a strong loyal following and fans will always be in the seats at their shows, me included. But it’s all good. They are still at it doing their respective things and we ultimately have a lot of love for them.
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