Steve Arrington has been away from the game for a while, but he knew that eventually he would come back and do something unique…the next step. Known for his innovative vocal style, which can be heard on such classics as “Watching You,” “Just A Touch of Love,” “Snap Shot,” and “Wait for Me,” all with Slave; “Weak at the Knees,” (which was sampled by Jay-Z, Jermaine Dupri, NWA, and more) and “Nobody Can Be You, But You,” the powerful message track, from his S.A.
Hall of Fame days; plus, “Way Out,” the vocal extravaganza…”where you never been before”, “Feel So Real,” and “Dancin In The Key Of Life,” heavy dance music and finally, “Stone Love,” the smooth ballad, all from his solo work; show the wide versatility in his game. Like all true artists, Steve never does the same thing over and over. He must keep changing and growing… Read more
Before Steve was old enough to read, he could identify the requested record by the colors on the label and operate the record player. By age, five he was playing drums on pots and pans. At seven years old, his grandparents bought him his first drum set, a blue sparkle set of Slingerlands.
By age thirteen, Steve regularly played in the Dayton Battle of the Bands and various talent shows, very serious business in Dayton at that time. About this time, he began gigging regularly with various bands in the Dayton area. One band, the Soul Illusions and Eluders, opened for major acts such as, Spider Turner, The Five Stair Steps, Irma Franklin, Rufus Thomas, and Jerry Butler, at the Lakeview Palladium, once a great Dayton venue. By his senior year in high school, he played with a band called the Young Mystics, from which came several original members of Slave.
In 1975, Steve and friend Victor Godsey, (later the keyboard player for Steve Arrington’s Hall of Fame), began touring the states with a lounge band called The Murphy’s. In 1977, Steve went to California studied Latin percussion and drumming with Coke Escovedo and played drums with Pete and Sheila Escovedo, (also known as Sheila E.) He did a tour with the Salsa West Coast Latin All Stars, led by the Escovedo’s, featuring Carlos Santana on guitar.
He returned to Dayton in 1978, to join the gold record-winning funk group, Slave, as drummer and later as lead singer for four albums “The Concept”, “Just A Touch Of Love”, “Stone Jam” and “Showtime”.
In 1982, he formed the innovative funk band, Steve Arrington’s Hall of Fame for two albums, “Hall Of Fame” and “Positive Power”. Band members included Charles (Cedell) Carter on sax and keyboards, Arthur Rhaimes on guitar, Roger Parker (Dodge) on drums, Sam Carter on keyboards, Buddy Hankerson on bass guitar, Gary Jackson on percussion, and Victor Bruce Godsey on keyboards and flute. After his conversion to Christ, Steve did three solo albums, “Dancin In The Key Of Life”, “The Jammin National Anthem” and “Jam Packed”.
1985, was the turning point of Steve’s life. While recording in New York City, he took a break and went for a walk. Near Time Square, he saw a man carrying and wearing signs that said, “Jesus is coming”.They Spoke for a short time and Steve accepted Jesus as his Savior and Lord.
Steve appeared on Pat Boone’s Gospel Gold show on TBN. He was nominated for the 1986 NAACP Image Award for Male Artist of the Year. 1986, also included the very successful “Dancin in the Key of Life,” European Tour. According to music editor, Scott Galloway, Steve’s solo album, “Dancin in the Key of Life”, paved the road for groups such as Sounds of Blackness and Be Be and Ce Ce Winans to walk the line between gospel and secular soul.
In 1991, Steve stepped away from the recording industry altogether, to explore his spirituality and study to different genres of music. Steve has served as an evangelist, a pastor, a music minister, worship leader or drummer where ever the Holy Spirit leads.
Steve was keynote speaker at the 2002 People of His Presence International Praise and Worship Conference, with Rev. Derwin Ward, Martha Munizzi and Vicki Yohe. He was keynote speaker and taught at several Tri-State Praise and Worship Conferences in Cincinnati, Oh. He also played drums on “Let’s Have Church” and “I Give You Jesus”, from the Evangelist Network Video Series, with executive producer Don Gessner.
Now, with a fresh perspective and new direction that speaks to the social climate of our time, Steve is re-emerging with exciting new music to begin the next chapter of a wonderfully innovative career.
Biography courtesy of Steve Arrington.
01 – Steve Arrington – Higher (12 inch, 2011)
02 – Steve Arrington – Nobody Can Be You (Hall of Fame, Vol. 1, 1983)
03 – Slave – Stellar Fungk (The Concept, 1978)
04 – Steve Arrington – Dancin” In The Key Of Life (Dancin” In The Key Of Life, 1985)
05 – Steve Arrington – Goin” Hard (12 inch, 2011)
Background music during the interview:
Steve Arrington – Higher (Instrumental), The Ohio Players – Skin Tight, Aretha Franklin – The House That Jack Built, Marvin Gaye – How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You), Slave – Just A Touch Of Love, Coke Escovedo – What Are You Under, Pete & Sheila Escovedo – Fantasy Junction, Slave – Slide, Steve Arrington”s Hall Of Fame – Positive Power, Steve Arrington – Feel So Real, Steve Arrington – The Jammin” National Anthem, Steve Arrington – Pure Thang, Steve Arrington – Goin” Hard (Instrumental)