Mon. Nov. 29, 2021

Herman Kelly & Life – Dance To The Drummer’s Beat

Most Wanted! Herman Kelly & Life – Dance To The Drummer’s Beat (Electric Cat)

Many of you may have never heard of Herman Kelly & Life. Although I wouldn’t say the same in regards to their biggest classics. In other words, the instantly identifiable 1978 released ‘Dance To The Drummer’s Beat’. A jam that would soon after have so much influence on the then emerging Hip-Hop / Breakbeat scene. With Tony Pearson aka Mr Magic givin’ it an interpolation back in 1981. Meanwhile blending it with fragments of Sugarhill Gang‘s ‘Rapper’s Delight’. Other Hip-Hop luminaries such as N.W.A., Run DMC or 2 Live Crew sampling it during the following years, to name but a very few. Not to mention Beats International who eventually gave it a cover version back in 1990.

Nearly 40 years after, ‘Dance To The Drummer’s Beat’ might even well have also influenced EmKayBe‘s ‘Jam’ featuring Ann Nesby

As many reasons that would get countless bidders battling on eBay to get their copy of it in the early 2000’s. Strangely enough the quite influential ‘Dance To The Drummer’s Beat’ happened to be the only classic by the likes of Herman Kelly & Co…

What’s the value of your vinyl record?

Hailing from Miami, FL, Herman Wesley Kelly joined forces with Aaron McCarthy, Trevor Biggs and a bunch of other musicians. And together they gave birth to Herman Kelly & Life. A transcient Latin Soul/Funk group in the vein of War and other The LTG Exchange.

They released one album – ‘Percussion Explosion!’ – back in 1978 which they recorded in Miami and Brazil. An album out of which came the memorable ‘Dance To The Drummer’s Beat’. Most likely makin’ of them a one hit wonder. Even though it saw the light on many labels. Eventually receiving a remixing treatment courtesy of Jim Burgess, most notably on its T.K. Records. Then being of a great influence soon after on the then emerging Hip-Hop / Breakbeat scene.

Another track from the Herman Kelly & Life‘s album – ‘Who’s The Funky D.J.?’ eventually followed. But this would obviously be it with Kelly and Co disappearing from the radars soon after…

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