Slave was an Ohio funk band popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Trumpeter Steve Washington and Mark Hicks (Drac) formed the group in Dayton, Ohio in 1975.
Trombonist Floyd Miller teamed with Tom Lockett Jr. (tenor & alto sax), Carter Bradley (keyboards), Mark Adams (bass), Mark Hicks (lead and rhythm guitar, background vocals), Danny Webster (rhythm and lead guitar, lead and background vocals), Orion Wilhoite (keyboards) and Tim Dozier (drums). Drummer/percussionist Steve Arrington, along with vocalists Starleana Young, then Curt Jones and keyboardist Ray Turner came aboard in 1978, with Arrington ultimately becoming lead vocalist. Their first big hit was the single “Slide” in 1977 for Cotillion Records, where they remained until 1984. Their best work was usually based on bass licks and the band’s general arrangements emphasis on the rhythm section and soaring lead vocals.
Other Top Ten R&B hits were “Just a Touch of Love” in 1979, “Watching You” in 1980, and “Snap Shot” in 1981. They added Charles Carter on sax and brother Sam Carter on keyboards. Young, Washington, Jones and Lockett departed to form Aurra in 1981. Slave added Roger Parker, Delbert Taylor, Jr., and Kevin Johnson as replacements. Arrington himself left in 1982 after the Showtime album. The band continued on, though much less successfully, into the late 1980s.
They moved to Atlantic Records for one LP in 1984, then switched to the Atlanta-based Ichiban Records in 1986. Their most recent release was The Funk Strikes Back in 1992. Rhino issued Stellar Fungk: The Best of Slave Featuring Steve Arrington, an anthology of their finest cuts, in 1994.
Bass player Mark Leslie Adams Sr., a native of Dayton, died Saturday, March 5, 2011 at age 51 in Columbus, Ohio.
Guitar player Mark (Drac) Hicks, a native of Dayton, died on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at the age of 52 in Dayton, Ohio.