The band’s early line-up featured Charles Bailey (trumpet), James “Butch” Barton (trombone), Eli Brown (saxophone), Willis Norman (lead guitar), Roy Hubert (rhythm guitar), Willie Hill (bass guitar), and Linwood Parker (drums). The B-sides of their two records with the Communicators highlight the band’s immersion in funk in the style of Kool & the Gang and Funkadelic. After parting ways with the Communicators, the group backed up the Modulations for a time and then played as a self-contained band before breaking up. Later line-ups included James Brown, a saxophonist who also played with Bite, Chew & Spit out of Asheville, and trombone player Bill Amey.
This five-member harmony group showcased the vocal talents of Tommy Clegg, Izell Gooch, Sylvester Howell, James Jenkins, and Cager Perry. Backed up by the Black Experience Band, the Communicators’ debut recording in 1973 was a pleading love ballad called “One Chance.” Originally a regional sensation, the record was later picked up by Sylvia Robinson’s Turbo label out of New Jersey. The group followed up with “Has Time Really Changed” in 1974, but disc jockeys considered it too political, and gave it much less airplay than “One Chance.”