The Gap Band was an American R&B and funk band that rose to fame during the 1970s and 1980s. The band consisted of three brothers Charlie, Ronnie, and Robert Wilson; and it was named after streets (Greenwood, Archer, and Pine) in the historic Greenwood neighborhood in the brothers’ hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. After 43 years together, they retired in 2010.
On their first album with Simmons, The Gap Band, they found chart success with songs such as “I’m in Love” and “Shake”; the latter became a Top 10 R&B hit in 1979. Charlie Wilson provided background vocals on Stevie Wonder’s 1980 hit “I Ain’t Gonna Stand For It” from Wonder’s album Hotter Than July (1980).
The band reached a whole new level of fame in 1980 with the release of the #1 R&B and #16 Billboard 200 hit, The Gap Band III. That album had soul ballads such as the #5 R&B song “Yearning for Your Love”, and funk songs such as the R&B chart-topper “Burn Rubber on Me (Why You Wanna Hurt Me)” and “Humpin'”. They repeated this formula on the #1 R&B album Gap Band IV in 1982 (the first album released on Simmons’ newly launched Total Experience Records), which resulted in three hit singles: “Early in the Morning” (#1 R&B, #13 Dance, #24 Hot 100), “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” (#2 R&B, #31 Hot 100, #39 Dance), and “Outstanding” (#1 R&B, #24 Dance).