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Young-Holt Unlimited

Bassist Eldee Young and drummer Isaac "Red" Holt attended the American Conversatory of Music in Chicago together, and played together in a dance orchestra called the Cleffs, where they met pianist Ramsey Lewis and formed a popular jazz trio in 1956. After a decade as Lewis' rhythm section, Young and Holt split to form their own act in the wake of the trio's breakout pop hit "The 'In' Crowd." Hiring pianist Hysear Don Walker and christening themselves the Young-Holt Trio, they scored a quick Top 20 R&B hit with the infectious and silly "Wack Wack." Most of their material, recorded on several LPs for Brunswick, cut an invigorating soul-jazz groove that explored the territory between Jimmy Smith and Junior Walker, with dour bass, Ray Charles-inspired keyboards, faint scat vocals, and a live party ambience. In 1968, Walker was replaced by Ken Chaney as Young and Holt tightened up their sound, added some funky rhythms, and renamed the group Young-Holt Unlimited. They scored a left-field smash with the instrumental "Soulful Strut," which was actually the backing track from Brunswick soul singer Barbara Acklin's "Am I the Same Girl." Although the actual Young-Holt group was rumored not to have even played on the track, it went all the way to number three in 1969, driven by a bright, indelible horn riff. Attempts to duplicate its success met with indifference, and although Young-Holt Unlimited remained a popular concert attraction on both the R&B and jazz circuits (sometimes with pianist Bobby Lyle in place of Chaney), their recording career was on the wane. They cut LPs for Atlantic (1972's Oh Girl) and Paula (1973's Plays Superfly) that failed to restore their commercial momentum, and disbanded in 1974. Both Young and Holt reunited with Ramsey Lewis in 1983. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Definitive Young-Holt Unlimited

1. Dig Her Walk

2. Wack Wack

3. Soulful Strut

4. Baby Your Light Is Out

5. Listen Here

6. Country Slicker Joe

7. Light My Fire

8. Horoscope

9. Good Vibrations

10. Give It Up

11. You Gotta, I Gotta

12. Soulful Samba

13. Funky Duck

15. Yum Yum

16. Orient East

17. Doing The Thing

18. Just A Melody

19. Young & Holtful

20. Ain't There Something Money Can't Buy

x

Track List: The Best Of Young Holt Unlimited

1. Soulful Strut

3. Wack Wack

4. Give It Up

7. Ain't There Something Money Can't Buy

8. Dig Her Walk

9. Baby Your Light Is Out

10. Light My Fire

12. You Know That I Love You

x

Track List: Oh Girl

1. Yes We Can Can

2. Oh Girl

3. Can't Get Enough Of You

4. Hi-Fly

5. Where Is The Love?

6. Rubber Lips

7. Such A Beautiful Feeling

8. Food Stamps

9. I'm Still Here

10. Bumpin' On Young Street

x

Track List: Born Again

1. I'll Be There

2. Something

3. We've Only Just Begun

4. Hot Pants

5. Make It With You

6. Luv Bugg

7. Wah Wah Man

8. Queen Of The Nile

9. Blood In The Streets

10. Save The Day

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