Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bill Champlin: In The Heat Of The Night

Bill Champlin of San Francisco has been singing for decades with the band the Sons of Champlin and later as Terry Kath’s replacement in Chicago. He is a talented multi-instrumentalist and song writer. In fact, two tunes that he coauthored received Grammy Awards.

The first of these, “After the Love has Gone,” as recorded by Earth, Wind, and Fire won a Grammy for the Best Rhythm and Blues Song in 1979 for Champlin, Jay Graydon, and David Foster. George Benson recorded “Turn Your Love Around,” which netted the Best Rhythm and Blues Song in 1982 for Champlin, Jay Graydon, and Steve Lukather.

Audiences further had the opportunity to hear Champlin’s work as he recorded the theme for the popular TV show “In the Heat of the Night.” Airing from 1986 to 1995, the show stared Carroll O’Conner and Howard Rollins who reprised the roles created by Rod Steiger and Sidney Poitier in the 1967 motion picture of the same name. Great movie, good TV show, and an excellent performance by Bill Champlin – who, by the way, is my seventh cousin – my great-grandmother was a Champlin.