Part one of an article back in the late 70’s from the “Journal Reporter” entitled:
After paying their dues for so long, success tastes sweeter than a Tastycake Krimpet to Breakwater. With their first LP “Breakwater” holding it’s own on the Soul charts after fifteen weeks in release and national sales of 114,000 so far, the band that got its start playing in Philadelphia playgrounds eight years ago is finally breaking into the big time.
The Journal talked to four members of the eight man band a few days before their debut as a headlining act at The Bijou Cafe June 7th through 9th. As the guys put it, they come from all over Philly and have done more odd jobs than they like to remember in order to keep playing their music. Or as one guy summed it up with a sigh, “I even made doughnuts”.
Kae Williams Jr., Breakwater’s leader, composer, and keyboard player remembers, “Our first working stint together was a tour of Philly’s recreation centers in the summer of 1971. “We did about 12 rec centers that summer”. They did the local club circuit, “wherever we could get work”, playing spots like “the Jenkintown Supper Club right next to the Parkway”.
Part two of the article from the “Journal Reporter” back in the late 70’s entitled:
“PHILLY BAND’S SWEET SUCCESS” by Eleanore Anderson
After a few years of that they struggled their way up to “opening act status”, opening for headliners like Earth, Wind and Fire, The Ohio Players, Manfred Mann and Mandrill. Then they won a radio battle of the bands on WIOQ and started to write their own material about three years ago. Audiences liked their new material as much as the proven R&B hits they had been playing, so they dug up some money and cut a demo in a friends studio.
After banging on alot of record company doors, Breakwater got it’s foot in at Arista Records and cut their debut LP, a tasty mix of Philly Soul and funky harmonies. The two singles from the LP, “Work It Out” and “No Limit” are clearly aimed at the disco market, but the guys agree that “We’re trying to appeal to everybody, we don’t want to be just classified as disco or R&B. We want to play music that everyone will enjoy”.
“We play for very diverse audiences when we open for performers like Patty Labelle or Gino Vannelli”, Gene Robinson Jr says. “And the audience response was tremendous”.
Although they’re pleased with their LP “Breakwater”, Linc Gilmore says “We learned alot from our first time in the studio and the next time we record it’s going to be POWERFUL”.
What kept them going through all those years of struggle? “I guess if you gave up after trying for so long”, Kae says quietly,”you’d feel like you’d wasted too many years”.
As soon as Breakwater closes at The Bijou they leave for a 14-16 city tour in the south, but before they leave, the band’s bass player and resident comic Steve Green wants to party.
“Tell everybody there’ll be a big party at my house after we’re done at The Bijou – with plenty of cheese and crackers for everyone” Steve cracks, “Just kidding folks, I can’t afford to party yet”.