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Rafael Cameron

Randy Muller of '70s disco/funk band Brass Construction ("Movin'") produced Georgetown, Guyana, native Rafael Cameron's biggest early-'80s hits, "Magic of You (Like the Way)" and "Funtown U.S.A." Initially recording as Cameron, his silky tenor proved to be the perfect counterpoint to Muller's brassy funk-driven production style.

Born Rafael Cameron in 1951, he sang in bands while growing up. In the early '70s, he moved to America to further his education. Meeting Muller while performing in the active New York City music scene, the two didn't start to record together until a few years later. Muller's own band was later signed to the United Artists Records distributed label, Roadshow Records. Their self-titled LP was produced by Jeff Lane (B.T. Express) and spawned "Movin'" -- which went to number one R&B and number 14 pop -- in 1976.

Muller produced the band Skyy, who was having hits ("First Time Around," "Call Me," "High," "Skyyzoo," "Superlove") for the Cayre Brothers' Salsoul Records, so he shopped the young singer to the label. Cameron was the name of his gold Salsoul 1980 debut LP which yielded several hits: the squishy, funny, funky "Magic of You (Like the Way)," "Funkdown," and "Feelin'."

Cameron continued having hits, including "Funtown U.S.A." and "Boogie's Gonna Get Ya'" from the album Cameron's in Love, and "Desires" and "Shake It Down" from Cameron All the Way. "Let's Get It Off" was a disco hit from Cameron; it sports the most Brass Construction influence and can be found on the flip side of "Magic of You (Like the Way)" and its own 12" single with a short version on one side and an extended, slightly faster Larry Levan remix on the other. In 1983, Salsoul became dormant when the Cayre Brothers decided to concentrate on their newly created First Choice Home Video division. Without a recording contract, Cameron faded into private life. Becoming a born-again Christian, he resurfaced in the mid-'90s recording gospel music. A reactivated Salsoul Records reissued his records on CD in the '90s. ~ Ed Hogan
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