Tonight's concert is all Kool & the Gang and you can expect to hear a good mix of the band's many hits. And the band has had its share — 25 Top 10 hits on the R&B charts, nine Top 10 hits on the pop charts and two Grammy Awards.
It all started when Bell, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, moved to New Jersey in the early 1960s to break into the music scene, first forming a band called the Jazziacs. He played bass and his brother Ronald played tenor sax.
He took his nickname early.
"I was the country boy who moved to New York City — I was trying to fit in," he said. Another musician was Cool with a "c," so he spelled his differently.
More band names followed, including Kool & The Flames, which was changed so as not to offend James Brown and the Famous Flames.
"We didn't want to offend the godfather," Bell said.
Bell's son joins the band from time to time, bringing his own twist on things.
"He does a hip-hop version of 'Celebrate' and 'Jungle Boogie.' " Bell said.
While the band includes some original members, including Bell's brother, Ronald, there are some younger guys and Bell said he leaves the most athletic dance moves to them.
"I've got a couple moves," he said, laughing.
Contact writer Monica Orosz at mon...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4830.
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