Legendary grammy-award-winning eight-piece Los Angeles band ROSE ROYCE began life in the 1970’s initially supporting such soul legends as EDWIN STARR. Starr introduced them to Norman Whitfield, Motown’s ‘psychedelic shaman’ who was responsible for bringing a progressive funk-rock slant to the company, via such productions as Starr’s “War”, The Undisputed Truth’s “Smiling Faces Sometimes” and The Temptations’ “Papa Was A Rolling Stone”
During this time Whitfield was contacted by film director Michael Schultz, fresh from the success of his first feature, Cooley High. Schultz offered Whitfield the opportunity to score his next picture, Car Wash. Whitfield would utilize the film to launch his new group, and began composing music based on script outlines. He and the band visited the film set, soaking up the atmosphere. This was one of the rare instances in Hollywood in which the music was composed concurrently with the picture instead of after the fact. In the spirit of the soundtrack, the band’s name was changed one final time to ‘Rose Royce’. The name not only referenced the movie’s automotive theme, but it also placed Gwen “Rose” Dickey front and center. Further, it hinted at a touch of class the band strove to bring to 1970s soul-funk.
The movie Car Wash and the soundtrack were great successes, bringing the group national fame. Whitfield won the Best Music award at the Cannes Film Festival, and the album received the Grammy for Best Motion Picture Score Album of the Year. Released in late 1976, the soundtrack featured three Billboard R&B Top Ten singles: “Car Wash,” “I Wanna Get Next to You,” and “I’m Going Down.” The first of these was also a number one single on the Billboard popular music charts, and “I Wanna Get Next to You” reached number ten.
The group’s follow-up album, Rose Royce II: In Full Bloom, produced two Top Ten singles, “Do Your Dance” and “Ooh Boy”. It also included “Wishing on a Star”, which for Rose Royce was a top-10 hit only in the UK; it became notable elsewhere through its cover versions, including The Cover Girls’ Top Ten single in 1992.
During 1978, they released their third album, entitled Rose Royce III: Strikes Again!, and it featured “I’m in Love (And I Love the Feeling)” and “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore”. Both singles entered the Billboard R&B Top Five. “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” was a #2 smash hit in the UK, and would later gain greater exposure through its cover versions, most notably by Madonna in 1984 and 1995.