Atlantic Starr


Soul/dance act comprising Sharon Bryant (vocals), David Lewis (vocals, keyboards, guitar), Jonathan Lewis (keyboards/trombone), Wayne Lewis (vocals/keyboards), Koran Daniels (saxophone), William Suddeeth III (trumpet), Clifford Archer (bass), Joseph Phillips (percussion), and Porter Carroll Jnr. (drums). The Lewis component of the group comprises three brothers who had previously led their own bands – Newban, Exact Change and Unchained Youth – on the east coast of America.

Atlantic Starr was formed in 1976 when they moved to Los Angeles. Later in the 70s, they enlisted the services of New York-born Bryant as lead singer, and signed to A&M Records. Under the auspices of Philadelphia producer Bobby Eli (whose other work includes Major Harris, Brenda And The Tabulations, Booker Newbury III and Ronnie Dyson), they recorded their first two albums. “Gimme Your Lovin””, from the first of these, became a hit in the UK charts, before they switched to the production tutelage of James Anthony Carmichael (Commodores, Lionel Richie) for a series of three albums. Bryant departed after Yours Forever to marry Rick Brenna from Change. She then worked as a session singer before re-emerging in 1989 with the solo Here I Am and the single “Foolish Heart”. Her replacement in Atlantic Starr was Barbara Weathers, although Daniels, Suddeeth, Archer and Carroll also parted company around the same time.

The nucleus of the Lewis brothers and Weathers continued, taking to producing themselves, starting with As The Band Turns, which spawned hits in “Silver Shadow”, “One Love”, “Secret Lovers” and “If Your Heart Isn”t In It” during 1985 and 1986 – their first singles chart success since 1978. In 1987, they signed to Warner Brothers Records, an association that produced a US number 1 (UK number 3) in the ballad “Always”. Weathers left in 1989 for a solo career (aided by Wayne Lewis, and Maurice White from Earth, Wind And Fire), to be replaced by Porscha Martin, who was in turn replaced by Rachel Oliver in 1991. Aisha Tanner became the band”s next vocalist, replacing Oliver in 1994. By the end of the decade, the line-up featured Wayne and Jonathan Lewis (David had left following the release of 1994″s Time), the returning Oliver, and male singer DeWayne Woods.