- Kashmere Stage Band
Kashmere Stage Band (KSB) was an elite performing unit of the student band at
Kashmere High Schoolfrom the late 1960s until 1978.
Kashmere High School is located in a predominantly black neighborhood known as Kashmere Gardens in
Houston, Texas. Music teacher Conrad O. Johnsonattended an Otis Reddingconcert in 1967 and was inspired to translate the style of the concert into a program he could sustain at the high school in order to create opportunities for his student musicians. The Kashmere Stage Band was born.
During its time, KSB won national championships in high school band competitions and gained a reputation as being unbeatable. Johnson served as band director, arranger, and principal composer for the band. KSB recorded eight albums during its life.
The teenagers in the Kashmere Stage Band produced a sound equal to that of the contemporary
funkbands the JB'sand the Bar-Kays. Although lost for decades, since 2003the KSB recordings have been released on 7" or 12" LP record or CD, and have become prized by hip-hop artists and dj's for their inimitable sound. A notable sampling occurs on the Handsome Boy Modeling Schoolalbum So... How's Your Girl?, DJ Shadow’s track “Holy Calamity (Bear Witness II)” samples “Kashmere” from the album "Kashmere Stage Band Plays Originals". Many of the modern KSB releases are occurring for the first time.
Notable KSB alumni include jazz drummer
*Ain't No Sunshine - J Rocc / Oh No
*I Wish - Todd Terry
*Super Strut - Kenny Dope
* [http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5599377 David Brown of Austin's KUT interviews Conrad Johnson]
* [http://www.tmea.org/061_PBM/HOF/html/141_Johnson.htm Conrad O. Johnson Hall of Fame profile]
Midheaven Mailorder has various re-issues and remixes: http://www.midheaven.com/artists/kashmere.stage.band.html
Vynyl.com carries a re-issue of "Zero Point" http://www.vinyl.com/product_id/LPNSOU104
Allmusic has more info on "Texas Thunder Soul.." http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:j8j4eai84xh7
Also see The Conrad O. Johnson Music& Fine Arts Foundation http://www.conradjohnsonmfa.org
NPR's "All Things Considered" did a story about the band: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5599377
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.