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Show Time is the sixth album by the American funk band Slave, released in 1981. Show Time was the last album that singer/drummer Steve Arrington recorded with the band. The album reached number seven on the Top Soul Albums charts. The lead single, “Snap Shot”, reached number six on the Soul Singles charts.

 

Slave was an Ohio funk band popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Trumpeter Steve Washington, born in New Jersey, attended athletically acclaimed East Orange High School, and was one of the first users of the “electric trumpet”. He and Mark Hicks (“Drac”) formed the group in Dayton, Ohio in 1975.

In Dayton during the spring of 1976, Trombonist Floyd Miller teamed with trumpeter Steve Washington to form Slave. The original line-up included Tom Lockett Jr. (tenor & alto sax), Carter Bradley (keyboards), Mark Adams (bass), Mark “Drac” Hicks (lead and rhythm guitar, background vocals), Danny Webster (rhythm and lead guitar, lead and background vocals), Orion “Bimmy” Wilhoite (alto & tenor sax) and Tim “Tiny” Dozier (drums). They scored their first big hit with the single “Slide” in 1977 for Cotillion Records, which is the label they remained with until 1984. In 1978 Slave’s sound changed slightly when Drummer/percussionist Steve Arrington, along with vocalists Starleana Young, Curt Jones and keyboardist Ray Turner joined the band. Arrington ultimately replaced Miller and Webster as lead vocalist.

Other Top Ten R&B hits were “Just a Touch of Love” in 1979, “Watching You” in 1980, and “Snap Shot” in 1981. They added Charles Carter on sax and brother Sam Carter on keyboards. Young, Washington, Jones and Lockett departed to form Aurra in 1981. Slave added Roger Parker, Delbert Taylor, Jr., and Kevin Johnson as replacements. Arrington himself left in 1982 after the Showtime album. The band continued on, though much less successfully, into the mid 1990s.

They moved to Atlantic Records for one LP (New Plateau) in 1984, then switched to the Atlanta-based Ichiban Records the following year, releasing Unchained at Last in late 1985. Despite scoring a couple of minor hits on the R&B chart from this album the following year and another minor hit from their 1987 follow-up album, Make Believe, Slave could not recapture the commercial success they had enjoyed in their heyday. Rhino issued Stellar Fungk: The Best of Slave Featuring Steve Arrington, an anthology of their finest cuts, in 1994.

Bass player Mark Leslie Adams Sr., a native of Dayton, died Saturday, March 5, 2011 at age 51 in Columbus, Ohio.

Guitar player Mark (“Drac”) Hicks, a native of Dayton, died on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at the age of 52 in Dayton, Ohio.

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