Augie Johnson, a member of Side Effect, formed the Boppers in Los Angeles in the mid-'70s to back his stylish, knickers-wearing group who had inked with Fantasy Records. The Boppers, consisting of Robert…
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L.A. Boppers Biography

by Andrew Hamilton

Augie Johnson, a member of Side Effect, formed the Boppers in Los Angeles in the mid-'70s to back his stylish, knickers-wearing group who had inked with Fantasy Records. The Boppers, consisting of Robert Griffin, Kenny Davis, Ed Riddick, Ed Luna, and Vance Tenort, cut their own Fantasy album entitled The Boppers in 1978. Unfortunately, neither it nor the singles "Everybody Wants to be a Star" and "Something Missing" were successful.

They switched to Mercury Records in 1980 and became the L.A. Boppers. The lineup also went through some tinkering and now consisted of Tenort (lead), Gerry Davis, Riddick, Kenny Styles, Michael Stanton, and Stan Martin, with Augie Johnson (on loan from Side Effect) also contributing to their sound. L.A. Boppers (with input from Miki Howard) arrived on Mercury in 1980; its first single, "Is This the Best (Bop-Doo-Wah)," made the R&B Top 30 and become their most popular track ever. Subsequent singles, including the jazzy "Watching Life" and "Be-Bop Dancer," failed to capture the same audience. A final Mercury album, Bop Time! (1981), featured an update of the Delfonics' "La La Means I Love You."

A final album on MCA Records, 1982's Make Mine Bop, spawned two poor-selling singles: "Where Do the Bops Go" b/w "Well Deserved Rest," and "How Strong Love Can Be" b/w "Dog House." Disenchanted, the L.A. Boppers disbanded after the MCA failure. Soul/funk/jazz fans worldwide now trumpet their unheralded album cuts including "Give Me Some" and "Funk It Out."

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