Sweet Pea Atkinson grinded away on Detroit's soul circuit in the late 1970s, work that brought him to the attention of Was (Not Was), the art-R&B project helmed by Don and David Was. During the '80s, Was (Not Was) slowly built a cult following before scoring a breakthrough in 1988 with What Up, Dog?, an album that became a hit on the strength of the pseudo-novelty "Walk the Dinosaur." Atkinson shared lead vocals on the song with Harry Bowens, as he usually did on Was (Not Was), but the group also supported Atkinson on his solo album, Don't Walk Away. Atkinson didn't release another solo album for another 35 years, when Blue Note, presided over by Don Was, put out Get What You Deserve in 2017, but he kept busy during those decades by singing on studio sessions and collaborating with Randy Jacobs in a band called the Boneshakers.
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