Earth, Wind & Fire will perform at Fraze Pavilion this summer on Thursday, August 23rd. We’ve listed a few trivia questions about the group over the years. How many answers did you already know?
Q. Where did Earth, Wind & Fire get the name for their band?
A: The astrological elements affecting the band leader’s zodiac sign
Band leader and founder, Maurice White, was born on December 19th, which made him a Sagittarius. White knew his sign’s main elemental influence was Fire, with minor influences of Earth and Air. He decided to do a riff on this zodiac theme, and liking the sound of “Wind” more than “Air”, he came up with “Earth, Wind & Fire”. (This also explains why he left out the fourth element, “Water”). The band also goes by the initials EWF.
Q: What was Earth, Wind & Fire’s original name?
A: Salty Peppers
Originally, Maurice White started the band in Chicago and hired Wade Flemons and Don Whitehead to make up the original lineup in 1969. The original group was popular locally, recording commercial jingles and a song that received some regional success. When a second single faltered, Maurice moved out to LA and coaxed his brother Verdine to join him.
Q: What was Earth, Wind & Fire’s first album?
A: Earth Wind and Fire
The self-titled first album initially actually did omit the “and” in the title, but it eventually was released only without the customary comma punctuation between the elements of the group’s name. It came out in February 1971 in the US, to critical acclaim. EWT followed that LP with “The Need of Love”, which was also well-received and had a US R&B top-40 hit, “I Think About Lovin’ You”. Nevertheless, the band hadn’t set the public on fire yet, despite their name change. Earth, Wind & Fire did record the soundtrack for the Indy film, “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasss Song” in 1971, but it was not their first effort.
Q: “Got To Get You Into My Life” appeared on the soundtrack of what motion picture?
A: “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”
The Beatles remake hit number nine on the Billboard Pop Singles chart and number one on the R&B chart in 1978.
Q: Who did Earth, Wind & Fire team up with on the song “Boogie Wonderland”?
A: The Emotions
Jeanette, Wanda and Sheila Hutchinson were The Emotions (Theresa and Adrianne Davis were also members at one time), a Chicago group that also scored with the chart-topping “Best Of My Love”.
Q: What was the name of Earth, Wind & Fire’s brass section?
A: Phenix Horns
The four members of the Phenix Horns included Don Myrick, Louis Satterfield, Rahmlee Michael Davis and Michael Harris. They have also backed up many popular solo artists. Leader and founder Myrick was shot and killed in 1993, when police entered his apartment (they had a search warrant) looking for drugs and thought that the barbeque grill starter Myrick held in his hands was a gun. Louis Satterfield died in 2004.
Q: In what year was Earth, Wind & Fire inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?
They received that distinction in 2000 and have continued to produce great music under the leadership of Philip Bailey.