Carl 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
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
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.