The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on August 20, 2010 · Page 47
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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 47

Cincinnati, Ohio
Issue Date:
Friday, August 20, 2010
Page 47
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WEEKENDLIEE FRIDAY, AUGUST 20, 2010 E9 MUSIC 'Car Wash' group still working at it By Paul Clark In the immortal words of the song "Car Wash," it's better than digging a ditch. Way better, says Rose Royce leader and trumpeter Kenny Copeland. He's energized to have the 70s hit-makers back in the studio between road shows that include Saturday's Sawyer Point concert for the Midwest Regional Black Family Reunion. But with regard to the band's rift with vocalist Gwen Dickey, who helped drive Rose Royce to the top of the Billboard charts with "Car Wash" in 1976, Cope-land says he won't hose anybody. He categorically disputes her claim that she quit Rose Royce in the late 70s because of resentment by Copeland and other band members about Motown producer-songwriter Norman Whitfield's intention to make her the star. "Is it really true I fired Gwen Dickey? It's so true I'm willing to take a lie detector test," Copeland says. "In our heyday, we were getting ready to renew our contract with Warner Bros. Everybody was happy, it was our time to shine. We had our suits and neckties on and had champagne ready. Gwen didn't show up. Well, Gwen's always late. We called around. An hour went by, two hours. Then her new manager says she wants 50 percent That was not discussed previously. It just took the wind out of us. "I stood up at the end of the table - it was spontaneous but I don't regret it - and said Tell her she's fired.'" Copeland acknowledges the split's damage to a group riding high with hits such as Xi Provided Rose Royce had a string of hits, "Car Wash" being the biggest. If you go What: Rose Royce in concert at the Midwest Regional Black Family Reunion When: 3 p.m. Saturday Where: Sawyer Point, Downtown Cost: Free "I Wanna Get Next to You," "I'm Going Down" and "Do You Dance." "We got hit pretty hard," he says. "But we sold out the tour we had booked without Gwen. Neither she nor I have had any real success since we've been apart, but we've been trying. We have a girl now (Yvette Cooke) who's very humble, very talented." Dickey, in a March installment of TV One's "Unsung" documentary series, left the door open for a Rose Royce reunion. "I would say no," Copeland insists. "Twice in the early '80s Atlantic Records offered us a reunion album. I'm the organizer, so I contacted everyone. Gwen wanted more money, and it didn't happen." Rose Royce's 70s hit machine, meanwhile, has shown staying power in cover versions by such artists as Jay-Z, Beyonce, Madonna and Christina Aguilera. "I just got a check in the mail," Copeland says. "I give a lot of credit to Norman Whitfield. His philosophy was to make something that lasts. If you put the emphasis on good quality songs, they'll last. "I have great respect for rap, but I don't think anybody's going to re-record a rap song." The best way to let homes and people find each other. r 4t ' LIU www fajmmm? I HomeFinder N ( .com VV .. . .'' , s.v VV?1 V 2 kids get in free with each adult paying full price during Summer Family HOUrS. Visit Newport Aquarium during Summer Family Hours and save big when two kids get in free with each adult paying full price from Sunday through Friday between 4:00 and 7:00 PM. You'll not only save big - you'll discover an underwater world of weirdness your whole family will love at the brand new Bizarre and Beautiful exhibit. It's filled with over 20 species of the world's weirdest aquatic creatures like this Burrfish. Each kid will also receive a free Bob Evan's Kid's meal coupon. Hurry in, offer ends soon! A Million Gallons Of Fun

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