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Michael Wycoff

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Michael Wycoff honed his talents for singing and piano playing at his neighborhood church in Wilmington, a district of Los Angeles, California. Through his brother-in-law, Wycoff met R&B artist D.J. Rogers, who took him on tour and made him part of the recording sessions for the 1976 album On the Road Again. That same year, Wycoff appeared as part of West Angeles Church of God Choir on Stevie Wonder's “Pastime Paradise,” off Songs in the Key of Life. Additional work with Phoebe Snow and Natalie Cole came around the same time. In 1978, Wycoff took a tentative step toward a solo career with a hard-driving funk single, “Do the Camel Hump.” He eventually signed to RCA, where he would release three albums of sophisticated R&B. Come to My World (1980) was an album of urbane ballads aimed at twilight-hours radio programming. Love Conquers All (1982), produced entirely by Webster Lewis, was slicker and more groove-oriented, featuring the cult club classic “Diamond Real” and the Leon Ware/Zane Grey composition “Looking Up to You,” later sampled as the foundation of Zhané’s 1993 hit “Hey Mr. DJ.” On the Line (1983), also produced by Lewis, fared roughly as well and was led by the uplifting “Tell Me Love,” his highest-charting single (number 23, R&B). While Wycoff played keyboards on Bobby Womack's The Poet II and So Many Rivers, he was out of the music industry by the latter half of the ‘80s. He struggled with drug addictions but eventually re-connected with the church and recorded some gospel material. During the late 2000s and early 2010s, his three RCA albums were released through the Funky Town Grooves (FTG) and Big Break (BBR) labels. ~ Andy Kellman

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