BMHOF Class of 2013
Joe Public, is a quartet from Buffalo, New York with a traditional R&B sound infused with a hip hop appeal that has respectively publicized itself as a group whose trademark display is musical versatility. The New Jack Swing group consists of lead singer and bass guitarist Kevin “Kev” Scott, keyboardist and guitarist Joe “Jake” Carter, percussionist and drummer Dwight “Dew” Wyatt and lead guitarist Joe “J.R.” Sayles. They are best known for their hit single “Live and Learn,” which reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1992.
The group began as two bands. Jake, Kev and Dew got together in seventh grade as part of a 15-member band. They got serious and ousted the other members of the group. J.R. was in a separate group – competing for gigs in the musically active Buffalo metro area. When J.R.’s band broke up, Kev, Dew and Jake invited J.R. to join them. They played proms, clubs, parks even a boys’ home under various names such as The Ice Band, New World Production and Atension.
In 1987, the group participated in a local “Battle of the Bands” contest where music executive Lionel Job saw them play. Job knew the group had potential, but felt they needed polish. For a year they worked on their craft at a loft in Buffalo, provided by Job, who became their manager. That year helped their writing and sharpened their musical abilities. The band needed a name and with two members whose real names were Joe, they joked around one night and came up with “Joe Public”. They looked up ‘public’ in the dictionary just to be sure of the meaning. One definition was: “To serve the people”. They all agreed that the name suited them.
They released their debut album, Joe Public, in 1992 on Columbia Records.The albumcontained their hit single “Live and Learn” which became their only top-40 hit peaking at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Their follow-up single, "I Miss You" reached #55 on the same chart. The group played, sang and co-wrote on the song “Keep It Comin’” for Keith Sweat. They also did the re-mixes and the smoothed out version.Joe Public was the first ever R&B group to perform on MTV’s Unplugged series where they soloed and also backed up the band Boyz II Men and Shanice Wilson. Joe Public was also the back up band for Kris Kross on The Arsenio Hall Show, which featured Jermaine Dupri's first national TV appearance.
They hosted the "NBA Jams Music Video," a VHS promotional release for the video game NBA Jam that contained music videos intercut with professional basketball highlight footage. The video for "Live and Learn" is contained on it, as well as improvised live footage between video segments.They later released their second studio album Easy Come, Easy Go in 1994, also under Columbia Records.
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