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Heatwave's legacy is one that was shortened by tragedy. The German-based band developed a strong reputation via constant touring in Europe before being signed by Epic in 1976. Able to cover uptempo jams and smooth ballads with equal conviction, they scored repeatedly with "Boogie Nights," "Groove Line," and the perennial favorite "Always and Forever." At the peak of their success, the band was hit with a series of misfortune that devastated them: Multi-instrumentalist Jessie Whitten was stabbed to death in 1977, bassist Mario Mantese was in a serious car accident, and lead singer Johnnie Wilder was paralyzed following an accident. The band continued to record into the 1980s, but was never able to recover from these incidents. However, the band continued to impact music through the solo careers of its members. Keyboardist Rod Temperton went on to work with Quincy Jones, where he contributed mightily to albums by Michael Jackson, George Benson, and the Brothers Johnson. Roy Carter became a noted producer of British jazz-funk acts Light of the World and Central Line.
Johnnie Wilder, who switched to gospel music, finally succumbed to his injuries May 13, 2006.
Heatwave's Deepest Grooves
Hot To Handle (Epic, 1976)
Heating (Epic, 1978)
Current (Epic, 1982)
of Heatwave : Always and Forever (Legacy, 1996)
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