Inductee Biography for DYKE AND THE BLAZERS

Dyke and The BlazersCarl La Rue and his Crew, backup band for the O’Jays, came to Phoenix, Arizona in the early 1960’s from Buffalo, NY. Three members, Arlester “Dyke” Christian , Alvester Jacobs and JV Hunt decided to stay. In 1964 they combined with organist Rich Cason, bass guitarist Alvin Battle, Rodney Brown on drums and on tenor sax Bernard Williams, all local musicians to ultimately form Dyke and The Blazers.

Local producers Art Barrett and Austin Coleman of Artco records discovered the group. The label put out a tune that Dyke had written, to go with a dance he later created, called “Funky Broadway.” The rest is history.

Dyke signed with Original Sound Records and churned out hit after hit on the label. Funky Broadway was so popular that even Wilson Pickett released a cover version of the song and took it straight to the R&B and Pop charts in the summer of 1967.

Dyke was shot to death in Phoenix, AZ at the age of 27 in March of 1971 on Buckeye Road in Phoenix, Arizona, tragically ending a short but influential career.
In those few brief years, Dyke and the Blazers have left their indelible funky sound on the dance floors and ears of soul music enthusiasts in Arizona and around the world.