On this day in music history: July 8, 1989 – &…

On this day in music history: July 8, 1989 – “Keep On Movin’” by Soul II Soul hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 2 weeks, also peaking at #11 on the Hot 100 on September 9, 1989. Written by Beresford Romeo, it is first US chart topper for the British sound system/musical collective. Led by Jazzie B. (birth name Trevor Beresford Romeo) and Nellee Hooper, the duo meet four years earlier in 1985 when Hooper’s group Massive Attack hires Jazzie B’s DJ sound system for a gig in London. A misunderstanding over who will be spinning causes the two to argue, but they soon settle their differences and decide to join forces. Gathering together a loose group of musicians and singers, they begin to record as Soul II Soul. Signed to Virgin’s 10 Records subsidiary in the UK, they quickly score two club hits with the singles “Fairplay” (featuring Rose Windross) and “Feel Free” (featuring Do’reen). “Keep On Movin’” is the bands third single release in the UK, with former background vocalist Caron Wheeler (Afrodizak) featured on lead vocals. After reaching #5 on the UK singles chart, it rapidly becomes a dance floor sensation in the US as an import release, prompting Virgin Records to release it domestically. Issued in tandem with their debut album “Club Classics Volume One” (re-titled “Keep On Movin’” for its US release), it becomes a staple on R&B radio stations, following suit on Top 40 pop radio. The songs down tempo, Hip Hop flavored rhythm (said to be inspired by Biz Markie’s 1986 rap hit “Pickin’ Boogers”) augmented with lush strings and piano, revolutionizing and changing the face of dance and R&B music for the next several years. “Keep On Movin’” is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.