The Hues Corporation was a pop and soul trio formed at Santa Monica California in 1969. They are best known for their 1974 hit, “Rock the Boat”. Before making it big in the music industry they would be the opening act for some big name stars including Frank Sinatra, Milton Berle, Nancy Sinatra and Glen Campbell. The group’s name was a pun on the Hughes Corporation, with the “hue” being the group’s African-American heritage. The band’s members were St. Clair Lee (born Bernard St. Clair Lee Calhoun Henderson, 24 April 1944 in San Francisco, California, U.S.), Flemming Williams, and Ann Kelley. The original choice for the band name was The Children of Howard Hughes, which their record label turned down.The groups first big break came in 1972 when they were invited to appear the blaxploitation film, Blacula, starring William Marshall. They were also asked to record three songs for the film’s soundtrack. There He Is Again, What The World Knows and I’m Gonna Catch You.Shortly after, RCA signed the group and their first single, Freedom For The Stallion, from the album of the same name, became a moderate hit, reaching #63 on Billboard’s Hot 100. The follow-up single, “Rock the Boat,” became a #1 hit on the charts and the group’s signature song. The million-seller song is considered one of the earliest disco songs. Some authorities proclaim it to be the first disco song to hit #1, while others grant that distinction to “Love’s Theme” by Love Unlimited Orchestra, a chart-topper from earlier in 1974.After the success of Rock The Boat the Hues Corporation’s other charted singles on the Billboard Hot 100 included Rockin’ Soul (1974, #18), Love Corporation (1975, #62), and I Caught Your Act (1977, #92).Despite their initial success, the group was not able to achieve the success of their earlier hits and disbanded in 1978. But with renewed interest in disco music throughout the 1990s, the group reunited for tour dates and special events, including the PBS special Get Down Tonight: The Disco Explosion.
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