The name may not always be familiar, but the voice and music have delighted millions around the globe. The Cuban born Ish (October 2nd, 1952) has been a fixture on the
Miami music scene for over three decades.
Ish had migrated to Miami when just a child and the budding musician grew up amidst latin sounds and during rock's greatest years. Somewhere in the early to mid-1970's he
landed in the Henry Stone organization as a session player. His early work includes guitar on Gwen McCrae's disco hit "Rockin' Chair."
By 1976 he had assembled a group of fellow musicians that played locally and convinced Stone to record them. The newly christened Foxy had their debut with their
self-titled album that year. The album had their first 12" single "People Fall In Love While Dancing" backed with "Let's Love." Both songs were regional smashes and minor
nationwide hits. With its second album, 1978's "Get Off," Foxy gave itself quite a make over. The Latin influences (Afro-Cuban as well as Brazilian) remained, and Foxy's forte
was still disco. But while the combo's self-titled debut album of 1976 favored lush, glossy Euro-disco with Latin overtones, "Get Off" is a tougher, much funkier record that found
Foxy getting away from the European sound. The softness of 1976's "Foxy" was gone, and a more aggressive band emerged. Both commercially and creatively, it was a change for
the better. The decadent, in your face 12" single of the title song became a major hit, and Foxy is equally confident on memorable tracks like the passionate "You" and the
playful "Tena's Song."
When a band enjoys a major hit, there is often the temptation to follow it up with something similar. Foxy did just that in 1979, following up the 1978 smash "Get Off" with a
similar disco-funk 12" single titled "Hot Number." The song isn't an outright clone of "Get Off," although the two are undeniably similar. There were no other major hits on the
"Hot Numbers" album, which is regrettable because the rest of the album is rewarding more often than not. A second 12" single of "Headhunter" and "Devil Boogie" failed to
ignite club or radio charts. Not their strongest album but still quite enjoyable.
Some people would blame Foxy's early-1980's breakup on disco's so-called "demise," arguing that there was simply little or no demand for disco after 1979. But that's nonsense,
inadequate promotion was really the thing that killed Foxy. With the right marketing and promotion, 1980's "Party Boys" would have done well. Unfortunately, only Foxy's most
hardcore fans bought this album, which is a very good party album even if it isn't quite in a class with their previous two releases. The 12" singles "Party Boys" and "Rrrrrrock"
did well in the clubs but radio stayed away. "Party Boys" didn't sell, and it turned out to be Foxy's last studio album.
T.K. Records, in desperate need of money, rushed released a final album on Foxy in late 1980. "Live" was meant to capture the group at their best, unfortunately the group was at their best in the studio. The album
went unnoticed by all but the really hardcore fans.
The assorted members went back to studio work and generally fell underneath the radar. Ish however continued on to much greater success. Ish had started a solo career back in 1979 with his own self-titled album on
T.K. The album spawned a major disco hit with the 12" single of "Don't Stop." A second solo single in 1986 of "I Could Love You" failed to generate more than a passing interest and his solo career went on hiatus. He had
also gotten heavily into studio work appearing on such disco hits as: Abba's "Voulez Vous," Gloria Estefan's "Bad Boy," Latimore's "Goodbye Heartaches" and Fred Schneider's "Monster." As well as producing and or writing the
mega-hits: "Fascination" by Company B, Tiger Moon's "Something Tells Me," OXO's "Whirly Girl," Blue Moderne's "Through The Night" and Promise Circle's "Be Mine Tonight." The work on any of those numbers alone would
guarantee his place in disco history. Ish is still going strong within the music community and is still a part of Florida's pantheon of musical stars..we salute him!