US sources are reporting the death of drummer and co-founder of the DAZZ BAND, ISAAC “IKE WILEY. Few details are currently available.
The Dazz band grew out of Ohio bands Bell Telphunk and Ebony Sweat when Bobby Harris (saxophonist, vocalist), Kenny Pettus (lead vocalist, percussions), Isaac “Ike” Wiley, Jr. (drums), his brother Michael Wiley (bassist), and Michael Calhoun (songwriter/guitarist) formed Kinsman Dazz in 1978. The name was suggested by Ray Calabrese, who later became the group’s manager along with Sonny Jones, owner of The Kinsman Grill, located near the street in Cleveland where Harris had grown up and where the band worked as a house band.
The group made their recording debut with 20th Century Fox Records. But in 1980, now known as just the Dazz Band, they signed to Motown. By then the personnel was Wiley (drums), his brother Michael (bass), Bobby Harris, Mike Calhoun, singer/trumpeter Skip Martin, Eric Fearman, Ken Pettus, Kevin Frederick and Pierre DeMudd.
The band’s third Motown long player, 1982’s ‘Keep It Live’ became a huge success on the back of the single ‘Let It Whip’. That song was a Grammy winner and its hit status was repeated by songs like ‘Joystick’, ‘On the One for Fun’ and ‘Let It All Blow’.
Ike Wiley left the band I 1985 and became an in-demand session and concert drummer working with people like Najee, Stanley Clarke and Bob James.