GQ was an American group, formed in The Bronx, New York, primarily noted for its success in disco music and R&B. The core membership of the group commenced playing professionally, under different group names, as of 1968.
GQ was first formed in 1968 as a quartet called Sabu & the Survivors, with “Sabu” being a moniker of member Keith Crier. The group then evolved in the 1970s as The Rhythm Makers, playing primarily funk music. The Rhythm Makers were composed of Emanuel Rahiem Leblanc (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Keith “Sabu” Crier (bass and vocals),Herb Lane (keyboards and vocals) and Kenny Banks (drums and vocals). The group released one album, Soul On Your Side in 1976, from which the group had one major international dancefloor hit, “Zone”. At the time that Kenny Banks left The Rhythm Makers and was replaced by Paul Service in 1978, the group’s manager suggested that the group name be changed to “GQ”, which stood for “good quality”.They would sign with Arista Records.
GQ became quite successful playing music representative of the period’s disco influenced sound. They had several highly-ranked singles in multiple markets (US Pop, US Black, US Disco/Club). Their biggest hit was 1979’s “Disco Nights (Rock-Freak)”, a single from their debut album Disco Nights, which reached #1 (for two weeks) on the R&B singles chart, #3 on the Hot Dance Club Play and #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. It sold over one million copies in the US alone. The track also peaked at #42 in the UK Singles Chart. (It was a reworked version of The Rhythm Makers title-track to Soul On Your Side). The follow-up Billy Stewart remake, “I Do Love You”, was also successful, reaching #20 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Drummer Paul Service was later temporarily replaced by former Rhythm Makers bandmate Kenny Banks,and ultimately replaced by Steve Adorno, who remained a formal member of the group until 2010. As of the time of the departure of Service, the group became a trio.The group continued performing until the early 1990s, though ceased to chart as of the early 1980s. They reunited in 1999 to record the covers album A Tribute to Marvin Gaye and Billy Stewart.
Keith Crier is the son of Arthur Crier, a member of the doo-wop group The Halos, and is the uncle of Keith Sweat.
Emanuel would later sign with Capitol Records and record a solo album called Always Be Around released in 1991. He now tours as Mr. Q, an in-name tribute to GQ.