A very talented group of musicians that rose to the top of the music world not once but twice, Kool & the Gang continues to be one of the most beloved bands of the last 30 years. Formed by Robert "Kool" Bell, his brother Ronald Bell and bunch of their New Jersey teenage friends in the mid-60s (then called the Jazziacs), the group played traditional jazz in regional venues for several years, slowly morphing their style to incorporate emerging funk sounds of Sly and the Family Stone and James Brown. They were signed by the De-Lite label in the early 70s and gathered a small but loyal national following (particularly for their 1971 release Live at the Sex Machine). The group's fortunes exploded in 1974 with Wild and Peaceful, an infectiously raw album that spawned three smash hits, "Funky Stuff," "Hollywood Swinging," and "Jungle Boogie," all featuring great instrumentation and lyrics virtually shouted by the group. However, as quickly as they rode to fame, Kool & the Gang faded, their rough sound appearing out of place against the slick, dance-oriented sounds that began to dominate popular radio in the late 70s.