Apollo

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Initially called after the mysterious green matter that weakened Superman, this Los Angeles-based band consisted of keyboardist Kerry Gordy (Berry Gordy's son), drummer Lenny Greene (who replaced Chico…
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Initially called after the mysterious green matter that weakened Superman, this Los Angeles-based band consisted of keyboardist Kerry Gordy (Berry Gordy's son), drummer Lenny Greene (who replaced Chico Ross [Diana Ross' brother]), bassist Cliff Liles (Raynoma Gordy-Singleton's son), Benny Medina (vocals & bongos), and Larry Robinson (guitar).

They built a small club reputation around Los Angeles before Gordy-Singleton aka Miss Ray decided to hone and rehearse them into recording readiness. Motown liked the submitted tape enough to sign them to a deal in 1978. Motown was grooming Switch, another self-contained band around the same time, and Kryptonite faced stiff competition for marketing dollars, not to mention all the other Motown artists.

A legal problem arose when Superman's creators refused to let the hard soul band use the name they created, so they became Apollo. Miss Ray produced their self-titled Apollo in 1979 for Gordy Records, which spawned "Astro Disco" (originally titled "Krypto Disco"), the LP's sole single.

They appeared on Soul Train and other dance programs, and got publicity in the popular music magazines. Things were rolling; they embarked on Japan gig -- two months at a club -- and looked forward to working on a second album, but Motown abruptly pulled the plug and ended any aspirations Apollo or Miss Ray might have had. Who knows why, maybe Berry wanted his son to go to college? Apollo tweaked their lineup and re-emerged as Kagny & the Dirty Rats in the '80s minus Benny Medina, who became a well-respected record executive.