"Diimond" Allen III ~ Vocals
Harry Alexander "Dirty Harry" ~ Drums
Steve Bensusen ~ Vocals
Raymond Brown ~ Trumpet
Rudy Caluza ~ Keyboards
Robert Damper ~ Keyboards
Tony Gable ~ Percussion,Vocals
Kenny "Kenny G" Gorelick ~ Saxophone, Flute
Solomon Harris ~ Drums
Wayne Henderson ~ Keyboards
Keith Hooks ~ Vocals
Chris Ishii ~ Trumpet
Jamar Jenkins ~ Guitar,Vocals
T.C. Jenkins ~ Bass, Vocals
Joe Joseph ~ Tenor Saxophone
Freddie Robinson ~ Guitar
Lee Turner ~ Drums
Phillip Woo ~ Keyboards
Long after their groove ended in 1978, the impact of Cold, Bold & Together, affectionately known as “CBT” lives on today. Few other 70’s Northwest scene “Soul Bands” have produced the kind of success in the music business as have members of this group.
Originally named “Funk Experience”, the band started in 1971 in a Bellingham, Washington college dormitory by original members, twins - TC & Jamar Jenkins, Solomon Harris, Keith Hooks and art student Tony Gable.
Obviously they were fans of and influenced by Jimi Hendrix, WAR, Earth, Wind & Fire, Buddy Miles, Santana, Sly and the Family Stone and many others that CBT would open for in concert one day. Their first gig was in front of 2,000 people; opening for the Chamber Brothers (“Time Has Come Today”), and the showbiz bug bit the “students” hard.
The five fellas left Western Washington State College and moved to Seattle, where Tony penned the new name “Cold, Bold & Together”. With their arrival in Seattle, they won the Best Band award at the Black Community Festival and set out to introduce their vibe to new audiences. Like other Seattle R&B & Funk bands, CBT played “covers” of popular songs played on Soul Radio KYAC (where they would become friends with DJ - Robert Nesbitt).The group continued to develop their own sound and songs. Jamar and TC primarily produced the arrangements, but all the members contributed songs and several members took lead on vocals.
Their artistry went through changes as the group matured, but always featured dancing on stage, great vocal arrangements, dramatic ballads, big ‘fros, big hats and jammin’ funky grooves. CBT was like a singing group and the back up band combined, playing together was like being family. Nicknames also became well known; “Sweet”, “Three”, “Hot Chocolate”, “Kingpin”, “Top Cat/TC”, “Mac of the week” “ Funky Foot” to mention a few that are printable.
The band’s first 45 record on their self owned label was “Dedication” (to our Wonderful Beautiful Black Sisters), recorded in a partially constructed recording studio in Olympia, WA. Their next release, “Let’s Backtrack” showcased their harmony and vocal stylings. Their primary source of distribution was selling their 45s at gigs, out of the trunk of their gold 4-door Buick “Deuce and a Quarter”.
In the seventies, bands with “lots of color” were playing mostly R&B clubs, and often discriminated against by certain other northwest venues. Events of the late 60’s and 70’s helped shape culture in the Northwest a little. After getting to know other musicians in town, diversity came naturally, as “the gig was yours if you could play your ass off”.
“Cold Bold” experienced growing popularity and a reputation for being different, exciting and sometimes unpredictable (they would sometimes drop in a traditional jazz tune now and then). They started opening for national acts such as the Dramatics, Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes, Canned Heat, “Funky Chicken”-Rufus Thomas, Kool & the Gang, the Sylvers, Bobby Womack, the Ohio Players, KC & the Sunshine Band, and Earth, Wind & Fire.
By 1974-1977 their recorded sound became firmly established. Their next single “Love Song Turned Sad”, and groove fest “Seward Park” gained strong regional airplay, taking the group to Canada and Portland, OR, where they met a popular new soul group that would later become “Pleasure”.
Even though they could only afford to release 45s on their own, it was important to them that the B side of each single be just as strong as side A, including “Somebody’s Gonna Burn You” and “Stop Losing Your Chances”. There is also a treasure chest of un-released originals (in the can) featuring songs produced by the band and NW legend- producer Don McKinney recorded at Kaye Smith studios (now Bad Animals).
With the continued popularity of recorded-music dance clubs and the refusal of the group to become a “Disco cover band” the guys disbanded in 1978. The members of the band started to develop their own individual music styles & interests like jazz fusion, producing other artists, television, banking, graphic design, teaching and completing college degrees.
As mentioned in the beginning, the group is still on the airwaves, as former members have top-selling jazz albums and many have played on gold and multi-platinum albums, high marks on radio charts, a Grammy, music videos, major television appearances in addition to having toured with national acts globally and performing at the world’s top venues- Carnegie Hall, London Palladium, Hollywood Bowl, International Jazz Festivals, etc. CBT members also joined bands and recordings of Grover Washington, the Fatback Band, Jeff Lorber Fusion, Frankie Beverly & Maze, Roy Ayers, Ashford & Simpson, Taj Mayal, Patti Labelle and the Kenny G band.
When you mention the words Cold, Bold & Together people fondly remember how fun it was to dance and hear “live music”, the clubs, the clothes, the neighborhoods, the hairdos and how this band could jam!
Provided courtesy of Tony Gable
©2009 CBT bio-Wm A. Gable Jr.
© images Gable Arcives
PO Box 12182, Seattle, WA 98102
Cold, Bold & Together along with other classic NW Soul artists are featured on “Wheedle’s Groove” released by Light in the Attic on CD and Vinyl. http://lightintheattic.net/releases/seafunk/index.php and is also available on Apple iTunes.
There is also a movies documentary of this collection of Seattle R&B/Soul bands in the 60s and 70s on Light in the Attic records.
I was one of the founding members of the Seattle R&B/Funk/Jazz group Cold, Bold & Together (1971-1979). We performed all over the PNW and Canada.
CBT recorded several singles and toured and/or opened for acts such as: Earth, Wind & Fire; Kool & The Gang; Ohio Players; The Sylvers; Canned Heat; The Dramatics... just to name a few.
Jamar Jenkins, August 2001
I was one of the lead vocalists for CBT. I took the place of Keith Hooks who was one of the original members. My vocal range is Baritone up to First tenor. One of my favorite tunes that I did was 'Reasons' (the live version) by Earth, Wind and Fire. Kenny G. and I enjoyed that tune because of the beautiful sax part that he played.
Harrison "Diimond" Allen III, August 2006