1981 Champaign – How ‘Bout Us
A group of musicians from Champaign/Urbana, Illinois, formed a group named The Water Brothers. The group likely had singer Pauli Carman on vocals and Dana Walden on keyboards. Dana wrote the song How ‘Bout Us that the group recorded and released as a single on Sky Records in 1975.
Fast forward to 1981. The group has also added or kept Rena Jones on vocals, Michael Day on keyboards, Rocky Maffit on percussion/drums, Michael Reed on bass, and Leon Reeder on guitar. They have also changed their name to that of their hometown, Champaign, and signed with Columbia Records.
The group recorded their first album and found success with their second single from the album, the significantly different, new recording of How ‘Bout Us. of the song peaked at #12 on the Hot 100, but reached #4 on the R&B chart and made it to the top of the American Contemporary (AC) chart. Columbia released two more singles from the album, but neither one charted.
Michael married Rena and left the group before their second album came out in 1983. Dana, Rocky, and Michael wrote the first single from the album and it brought the group back onto the charts. The aptly titled Try Again made it to #2 on the R&B chart and #6 on the AC chart, but only got as high as #23 on the Hot 100.
The group’s third album gave them another top ten single on the R&B chart, but it failed to reach the Hot 100 or the AC chart. The group never reached the top forty on any chart after that.
Pauli released a solo album in 1986 that contained a song that reached the R&B chart. He reformed the group in 1990 and released five more albums by 2014.
Pauli continues to front Champaign and maintains a website for the group at https://www.champaignband.com/
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