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Rodney Stepp / Press

“The Nov. 28 edition of The Sunday Star highlighted the career longevity of keyboard player/songwriter/producer Rodney Stepp. During the 1970s, Crispus Attucks High School graduate Stepp toured the world as part of the Spinners’ backing band. Zaire 74, a music festival presented in conjunction with the Muhammad Ali-George Foreman “Rumble in the Jungle” title fight, ranks as a highlight of those travels. Stepp also performed with Sister Sledge at the festival, a moment captured in this YouTube video clip. Look for Stepp stationed at a Hammond B3 organ at the 1:11 mark, and note that he’s sporting hair and wardrobe of the time. To catch up with Stepp’s current work, click here.”

“On schedule next year to release his first album since 1997, Rodney Stepp, 58, is ready to take his contemporary jazz sound wherever there’s a demand. Stepp’s 2011 also includes albums he’s producing for male R&B vocalist Joon and female pop singer Abri Mills. Stepp traveled the world with the group known for hits “I’ll Be Around” and “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love.” Today, he refers to the Spinners’ participation in Zaire 74, a music festival in conjunction with the Muhammad Ali-George Foreman “Rumble in the Jungle” title fight, as the “biggest thrill.” “Even as kids, people would tell us, ‘You’ll never make it,’ ” Stepp said. “But my mother and father were my two biggest fans. They really believed in what I was doing.” Stepp, who also plays keyboards in popular cover band the Flying Toasters, is onstage Thursday through Saturday most weeks.”

“Former Keyboardist for R&B legends The Spinners Receives Congressional Award Among Many Honors INDIANAPOLIS, IN – July 28, 2005: Rodney Stepp, former keyboardist for the Spinners, a classic R&B musical group that received 6 Grammy Awards, was recently acknowledged for not only his musical talent, but for his contribution to the community. On July 14, Stepp was presented with the State of Indiana’s Distinguished Hoosier Award, an award presented to individuals who distinguish themselves through significant contributions to their communities, whereas the qualities of such individuals not only reflect the best of the great State of Indiana, but also display an unrelenting sense of responsibility, commitment and concern for others. He also received the City of Indianapolis’s Distinguished Citizen Award, Julia Carson presented him with a Congressional Award and he received a Congressional Records Award from the United States Congress, House of Representatives for his attainme”

“Spinning again Legendary Detroit group is making music for a proposed comeback album By Lynn Ford November 12, 1994 Indianapolis Star | Sunrise The Spinners? Recording in Indianapolis? Yes, the smooth-singing Detroit quintet that brought you Mighty Love, I'll Be Around and Could it Be I'm Falling in Love? is here for a week of sessions scheduled to end today. The veteran group is cutting "demos" -- studio lingo for demonstration tapes -- for a proposed comeback album. Why did Billy Henderson, Henry Fambrough, Pervis Jackson, John Edwards and Bobbie Smith pick Indianapolis to begin what they hope will be a new chapter in their already hit-laden careers? Henderson is an Indianapolis native with relatives here. So is Burke, The Spinners' longtime musical director. And Rodney Stepp, one of several producers for the Indianapolis sessions, once played keyboards in the group's touring band. ”

Lynn Dean Ford - The Indianapolis Star

“'Steppin' Out' showcases BSB talents Rodney Stepp & BSB Steppin' Out BSM Records Reviewed by staff writer Lynn Dean Ford August 17, 1997 Indianapolis Star | Record Reviews Buy this! Keep it when you're cruisin' at night, bathed in the soft glow of the dashboard lights. Veteran local keyboardist/songwriter/producer Rodney Stepp covers a variety of moods on BSB's mostly instrumental debut. Check out the cool, rhythmic Walk in the Dark, the bright melodic Steppin' and the contemplative Monday Morning Blues. Then there's the scratchy, funk-rockin' Deliverin' 4-U, the creepin' N'Da Morning and the inspirational Come Home, Oh Faithful Servant, the album's one vocal track, dedicated to Stepp's late parents --- Danny and Lugenia Stepp. ”

“Right on time Exhibition salutes vibrant but nearly overlooked era of local music By David Lindquist March 13, 2005 Indianapolis Star | Excerpts from Original Story Rodney Stepp, known today as a smooth-jazz musician and owner of Brooks Street Music recording studio, was a student at Crispus Attucks High School when the Diplomats recorded their "Hum-Bug" single in 1968. Because a different group on the East Coast claimed the Diplomats name, Stepp's band was known as the "Diplomatics" when the local Lamp label released the song." We were the Jacksons before the Jacksons. They should have discovered us," Stepp says with a laugh. "We were really that good as musicians and vocalists." Stepp says the Historical Society's tribute doesn't signal the end to his musical story. ###”

“Singer left mark on Hoosiers Before global stardom, Jackson was in family singing group from Gary By David Lindquist Posted: June 26, 2009 Indianapolis Star | Entertainment Michael Jackson's singing career began in Gary, where he spent his earliest years in a white house roughly the size of a two-car garage -- 2300 Jackson St. "Big Boy," a 1968 single released by Steeltown Records, made the Jacksons a regional sensation, says songwriter-producer Rodney Stepp. As a member of the Indianapolis-based Diplomats, Stepp was a fellow pre-teen in an R&B recording act. "Michael's one of the most creative and gifted people who's ever graced our stages," Stepp said after learning that Jackson died Thursday at age 50. Stepp said he met Michael in 1976, when Stepp played keyboards in the Spinners backing band and the Jacksons offered him a similar job in their touring act. "I made a bad decision once in life: I turned the gig down," Stepp said. ”