Soul And / Or Related Artists


Heatwave originally comprised of:

Rod Temperton (b. Rodney Lynn Temperton, 9th October 1949, Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, England. d. October 2016, United Kingdom. - keyboards)

Johnnie Wilder Jnr. (b. John James Wilder, 3rd July 1949, Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A. d. 17th May 2006, Clayton, Ohio, U.S.A. - congas, lead and backing vocals, percussion)

Keith Wilder (b. Keith Edward Wilder, 20th December 1951, Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A. d. 29th October 2017, U.S.A. - lead vocals)

Eric Johns (b. Eric Johns Rasmussen, Jamaica. - guitars)

Jesse Whitten

jesse whitten

Jesse Whitten (b. Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. d. 1976, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. - guitarist)

Mario Mantese (b. 1950, Switzerland. - bass guitar)


Ernest 'Bilbo' Berger (b. 1951, Czechoslovakia. d. 1st March 2024, London. - drums and percussion)

Heatwave 1979

other members included:

Roy Peter Carter (bass and rhythm guitars and keyboards)

William 'Billy' L. Jones (lead and rhythm guitars)

Derek Bramble (b. 1962, London - bass)

Calvin Duke (keyboards)

Keith D. Harrison (vocals and keyboards)

Peter Krystal (a.k.a. Peter Allatt)


J.D. (James Dean) Nicholas (lead and background vocals)

Heatwave were a band formed in the United Kingdom, and were a group unit between 1975 and 1984.

The group were formed by the Wilder brothers, Johnnie and Keith Wilder (American servicemen based in West Germany), following their discharge from the U.S. Army.

The Wilder brothers sang in clubs and bars with an assortment of bands whilst still enlisted.

After advertising in a music paper, the duo received a response from Cleethorpes, English born songwriter Rod Temperton.

Further members were, subsequently, enlisted to the Heatwave ranks.

These comprised of an American, Eric Johns, a Czech, Ernest Berger, and a Spaniard, Mario Mantese.

Heatwave began touring the London club circuit during the mid-1970's and signed to GTO Records in 1976.

Barry Blue

barry blue in 1974

They were paired in the studio with GTO house producer/session guitarist Barry Blue and rhythm guitarist Jesse Whitten.

Rhythm guitarist Roy Carter replaced Whitten after Jesse was stabbed to death in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois in 1976.

Too Hot To HandleBoogie Nights

too hot to handle - 1976 / boogie nights - gto single - 1977

Heatwave's first album release was 'Too Hot to Handle', which saw the light of day in late 1976, and was dedicated to Jesse Whitten.

Robbie Vincent

robbie vincent with johnnie and keith wilder at a u.k. all dayer circa 1977

Radio London deejay Robbie Vincent had been promoting their material on his Radio London show each Saturday lunchtime.

Their first single release was 'Ain't No Half Steppin', which was, subsequently, followed by the song 'Super Soul Sister' b/w 'Turn Out The Lamplight', and then the hit 'Boogie Nights', a song which, eventually, established the group's popularity nation wide.

'Too Hot To Handle' b/w/ 'Slip Your Disc To This' was a 45 release, additionally in 1976.

Many of the groups single releases featured flip sides, which never appeared on any albums, including 'Slip Your Disc To This', 'Birthday', 'Someone Like You', 'Wack That Axe' and 'Turn Out The Lamplight' (later to feature on the Rod Temperton produced 'Give Me The Night' album for George Benson).

'Too Hot To Handle' saw a further single release in the form of 'Always and Forever', which reached number 2 on the R & B charts, number 18 nationally.

Central HeatingHot Property

central heating - 1978 / hot property - 1979

Barry Blue's production skills were utilised on the groups follow up album, 'Central Heating' in April 1978.

From the album 'The Groove Line', reached number seven in the charts, although the albums tour de force was the song 'Mind Blowing Decisions', which also charted.

'Star Of The Story X', also featured on the 1980, George Benson release 'Give Me The Night'.

Rod Temperton officially left the band in 1977 to work on a highly impressive songwriting career.

Rod Temperton

rod temperton

His compositions have been recorded by the likes of Rufus, James Ingram, Michael McDonald, Anita Baker, Stephanie Mills, Manhattan Transfer, Jeffrey Osborne, Aretha Franklin, Donna Summer, Bob James, Patti Austin, Quincy Jones, Karen Carpenter, the Brothers Johnson, George Benson, Herbie Hancock and Michael Jackson, and included the title song to the multi-million selling album 'Thriller'.

Heatwave's own story began to unravel into a series of unfortunate events.

Jesse Whitten had been stabbed to death, Mantese was stabbed leaving a gala in London by an unknown person.

For several minutes, he was clinically dead.

Following several months, he awoke from coma, and was blind, mute and completely paralysed.

Johnnie Wilder was then paralyzed from the neck down following an auto accident whilst visiting family and friends in Dayton, Ohio in early 1979.

Later that year 'Hot Property' was released, which contained the songs 'That's The Way We'll Always Say Goodnight' and 'This Night We Fell'.

Johnnie Wilder continued as the group's lead singer, despite his injuries and wheelchair bound, producing their work and singing in the studio, whilst another vocalist, J.D. Nicholas, took his place onstage.


candles - 1980 / current - 1982

1980 saw the release of the album 'Candles' with Rod Temperton providing the songs, except for the melody 'All I Am', which was written by Barry Blue's former writing partner Lynsey De Paul.

The group released he single 'Gangsters Of The Groove' from the album, whilst 'Posin Til Closin' found a positive response on the dancefloors.

Heatwave's 1982 album, 'Current', saw them working again with Barry Blue.

The album featured input from the likes of Herbie Hancock, Imagination, Paulinho Da Costa and Greg Phillinganes.

The Barry Blue penned, 'Find It In Your Heart' received some positive feedback and a Rod Temperton written single, 'Lettin' It Loose', was a hit in August of that year.

In 1984 J.D. Nicholas left the group to join the ranks of the Commodores.

Heatwave did reform, briefly, in the mid Nineties, however, the only surviving member of the original group was Keith Wilder.

Johnnie Wilder released two solo acapella gospel albums (one set, entitled 'My Goal', saw some airplay in the U.K.), however, he sadly passed away on the 13th of May 2006 in Clayton, Ohio.

Rod Temperton died from cancer in October 2016.

Keith Wilder passed away in 2017.

Ernest 'Bilbo' Berger

Ernest 'Bilbo' Berger died in London, in March 2024.

the heatwave story (posted at mario mantese's website)

Heatwave Story


Too Hot To Handle (Epic Records 1977)

Central Heating (Epic Records 1978)

Hot Property (Epic Records 1979)

Candles (Epic Records 1980)

Current (Epic Records 1982)

The Fire (Soul City Records 1988)

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