04 January 2010

They're Mighty Mighty | Commodores in '77

The Commodres (Lionel Richie, Thomas McClary, Milan Williams, William "Wak" King, Ronald LaPread, Walter "Clyde" Orange) met as freshmen at Tuskegee Institute in 1967, and signed with Motown in November 1972, having first caught the public eye opening for The Jackson 5 while on tour.To choose the band's name, member William King opened a dictionary, and randomly picked a word:

Commodore Pronunciation: \ˈkä-mə-ˌdr\ Function: noun
Etymology: probably modification of Dutch commandeur commander, from French, from Old French comandeor, from comander to command, Date: 1695

1 a : a captain in the navy in command of a squadron b : a commissioned officer in the navy formerly ranking above captain and below rear admiral and having an insignia of one star
2 : the ranking officer commanding a body of merchant ships
3 : the chief officer of a yacht club or boating association

Many of their hit tunes were written or co-written by Walter "Clyde" Orange, the original lead singer before Richie came on board. Richie and Orange alternated as lead singers. Orange was also the lead singer on "Nightshift" and "Brick House" among others. Catch up with the Commodores here.