The group Cameo consisted of (at various times):
Larry 'Mr. B' Blackmon (b. Larry Ernest Blackmon, 24th May 1956, New York City, New York, U.S.A.)
Thomas Michael Jenkins
Nathan David Leftenant
Charlie L. Singleton
Anthony A. Lockett
Aaron Ellis Mills
Jeryl Bright (18th July 1955, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.)
Michael Burnett (19th March 1956, Macon, Georgia, U.S.A. d. 4th January 2007, New York, U.S.A.)
Thomas Delmar Campbell
Wayne Cooper (b. Poughkeepsie, New York, U.S.A.)
Eric R. Durham Snr.
Gregory B. Johnson (b. 24th March 1951, U.S.A.)
Arnett G. Leftenant
Cameo were a group with some lateral parallel's with another group from a similar era, namely, Kool and the Gang.
The similarities were in the two era's spanned across the careers of both band's.
With Kool and the Gang, their 'first half' was showcased throughout the Seventies, whilst with Cameo, their careers could best be described as 'pre 'She's Strange', and post 'She's Strange' in 1984.
Originally, Cameo went under the group name of the New York City Players, a name which was subsequently changed in order not to tread on any 'copyright toes' regarding the group the Ohio Players.
Cameo were the brainchild of the New York based musician, Larry Blackmon.
east coast - 1973
In 1973, they formed a group called East Coast, whose line-up featured Larry, keyboardist Gregory Johnson, Gwen Guthrie, James Wheeler (alto saxophone), Melvin Whay (bass), Michael Harris (percussion), and Haras Fyre (also known as Pat Grant) on trombone.
East Coast released one self-titled album in 1973 on the independent label Encounter.
Larry put together the New York City Players, a line-up amounting to 23 members, in 1974.
They were subsequently signed by Casablanca Records, and located to their Chocolate City subsidiary.
cardiac arrest - 1977 / we all know who we are - 1977 / ugly ego - 1978 / secret omen - 1979
By 1976, the group had changed their name to Cameo, and a year later they released their first album 'Cardiac Arrest'.
This album featured the hit dancers 'Rigor Mortis', 'Find A Way' and 'Post Mortem'.
'Ugly Ego' and 'We All Know Who We Are' followed in 1978, the latter featuring the hugely popular dancer, 'It's Serious'.
'Secret Omen' following on a year later, which featured 'Find A Way'.
feel me - 1980 / cameosis - 1980 / knights of the sound table - 1981 / alligator woman - 1982
In 1980, Cameo released 'Cameosis' and 'Feel Me', and 1981 they released 'The Knights Of The Sound Table', following a label move to Mercury Records.
By 1982, Larry Blackmon had slimmed down the line-up to 5 group members for the album 'Alligator Woman', a move which was to lay the foundations for future success later in the decade.
style - 1983 / she's strange - 1984 / single life - 1985 / word up! - 1986
In 1983, the group were at the Atlanta Artists imprint for the album 'Style', before another label move to the Special Products label, along with a new sound with the album 'She's Strange' in 1984.
For this album release Cameo had become a quartet Larry Blackmon, Tomi Jenkins, Nathan Leftenant, and Charles Singleton (along with a keyboardist, Kevin Kendricks).
The title track from this album was a major hit in the R&B clubs, whilst its follow-up, 'Talkin' Out the Side of Your Neck' were also successful.
1985 saw the hugely successful 'Single Life' album hitting the streets.
Apart from the title track, 'Attack Me With Your Love' was hugely popular.
Three sell-out shows at London's Hammersmith Odeon followed.
With this album, Charlie Singleton left the group, but continued to work with Cameo from time to time, whilst pursuing a solo career.
In 1986, the group released 'Word Up!', which proved to be their most successful album to date.
The title track was an R&B hit, closely followed by 'Candy' and the more Soulful 'Back and Forth', two further R&B hits.
machismo - 1988 / real men...wear black - 1990 / emotional violence - 1992 / in the face of funk - 1994
Two years passed before the group released 'Machismo', after which Kevin Kendricks departed the group's ranks.
1990 saw the release of 'Real Men... Wear Black' and in 1992, they released 'Emotional Violence'.
Following these releases, Cameo left Polygram and relocated to their new label, Reprise.
Larry took on the responsibilities as the group's A&R-agent for this label, whilst Nathan Leftenant left the group's line-up, and Charlie Singleton returned to the group.
In 1992, they released the album 'Money', followed in 1994 by 'In The Face Of Funk', although both popular on the Soul circuit, the albums were less well received on the pop mainstream.
nasty - 1996 / sexy sweet thing - 2000
1996 saw the release of the album 'Nasty', for the Intersound Records imprint.
Further activities for group members saw Aaron Mills (bass), Jeryl Bright (Trombone) and Kevin Kendrick hired by the hip hop group OutKast for live and studio sessions.
In 2000, Cameo released their last-recorded album 'Sexy Sweet Thing', whilst the group continued to perform live, and toured extensively.
In 2010, Cameo along with other prominent musicians and groups including Zapp Band, and George Clinton, played at the Chafeitz Arena, located in St.Louis.
Additionally, they performed six shows in total at Tokyo's Cotton Club during September 2010.
Cardiac Arrest (Chocolate City Records 1977)
We All Know Who We Are (Chocolate City Records 1978)
Ugly Ego (Chocolate City Records 1978)
Secret Omen (Chocolate City Records 1979)
Cameosis (Chocolate City Records 1980)
Feel Me (Chocolate City Records 1980)
Knights Of The Sound Table (Chocolate City Records 1981)
Alligator Woman (Chocolate City Records 1982)
Style (Atlanta Artists Records 1983)
She's Strange (Atlanta Artists Records 1984)
Single Life (Atlanta Artists Records 1985)
Word Up! (Atlanta Artists Records 1986)
Machismo (Atlanta Artists Records 1988)
Real Men Wear Black (Atlanta Artists Records 1990)
Emotional Violence (Reprise Records 1992)
In the Face of Funk (Way Too Funky Records 1994)
Nasty (Intersound Records 1996)
Sexy Sweet Thing (Crash Records 2000)