Rare Gems Odyssey

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Based in Los Angeles, Rare Gems Odyssey was an obscure disco/funk/soul combo that recorded two little-known LPs in the late '70s. The band was formed in 1976, when its six-person lineup consisted of singer…
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Based in Los Angeles, Rare Gems Odyssey was an obscure disco/funk/soul combo that recorded two little-known LPs in the late '70s. The band was formed in 1976, when its six-person lineup consisted of singer Debra Givings, drummer/singer Charles Givings, keyboardist/singer Johnny Ross, guitarist/singer Jimmy Gough, bassist/singer Darryl Coleman, and percussionist/singer Tony Coleman. Produced by Arthur G. Wright, its self-titled debut album came out on Casablanca in 1977; when the LP failed to sell, Casablanca dropped Rare Gems Odyssey. In 1978, the band omitted Odyssey from its name -- possibly because it didn't want to be confused with the group Odyssey, which had a major hit with "Native New Yorker" in 1977 -- and started going by simply Rare Gems. Using that name, it recorded its second album, Million Dollar Disco, for the small L.A.-based California Gold label in 1979. That LP was also plagued by a lack of attention, and in 1980 Rare Gems broke up. In 2012, Gough formed a new version of Rare Gems featuring original members Darryl Coleman and Tony Coleman, along with new members vocalist Sheree Dunn, drummer/vocalist Mykale Thomas, and keyboardist/vocalist Carl Johnson.