Introduction to L.T.D.
L.T.D. is a North Carolina-originated R&B/funk group who are known for their hits such as “Love Ballad,” “We Both Deserve Each Other’s Love,” “Where Did We Go Wrong,” and their most popular, “(Every Time I Turn Around) Back In Love Again.” Formerly as Love Men Ltd., the group then went to New York City and ended up performing in nearby Rhode Island. They were signed to A&M records as now L.T.D. in 1974 and soon they were releasing hits songs (as above mentioned). In the 80s some of the members left and sought solo careers; the group then underwent several lineup changes. The newly reformed group has been touring since the late 90s, particularly in Europe.
From East to West
The seeds of the band that would be L.T.D. were found in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1968. Founding members Jimmie “J.D.” Davis (keyboards) and Abraham “Onion” Miller (saxophone).
Following their relocation to New York City, Davis and Miller then recruited Johnny McGhee (guitars), Carle Wayne Vickers (horn), Arthur “Lorenzo” Carnegie (saxophone), Toby Wynn (saxophone), and Jake Riley Jr. (trombone). The group would stay in New York City for the next couple of years.
Davis, Miller, Vickers, Carnegie and Riley previously backed the great R&B/soul duo Sam & Dave. The ever-growing lineup played at a gig in nearby Rhode Island when they added Jefferey Osborne (drums and vocals) in time before the group moved to the faraway West Coast.
Now based in Los Angeles, California, the group augmented their roster by adding another keyboardist in the person of Osborne’s brother Billy. Joining Billy were Celeste Cole (vocals), Henry E. Davis (bass, vocals) and Robert Santiel (congas, percussion). They named themselves L.T.D. which stands for “Love, Togetherness & Devotion.”
In the early 1970s, the big group signed with A&M label. They released their debut album in 1974 entitled Love, Togetherness & Devotion, which reached its peak position at #54 on the R&B albums chart. Their second LP Gittin’ Down also came out in 1974. It peaked at #40 on the R&B albums chart, a slight improvement from their first.
But it was their third album Love to the World (1976) where L.T.D. gained more commercial momentum. Its leadoff single “Love Ballad” just narrowly made it to the Top 20 on the pop singles chart, and also gave the group their first #1 R&B hit. Its follow-up single, which is the album’s title track, became only a minor hit. Love to the World LP reached at #52 and #7 on the pop and R&B albums charts, respectively.
L.T.D.’s fourth album Something to Love (1977) even brought the band higher. The album yielded the group’s most successful single “(Every Time I Turn Around) Back in Love Again.” The single became L.T.D.’s only Top 10 pop hit, peaking at #4. It also garnered their second R&B chart-topper, and also reached #19 on the dance singles chart. Because of the success of “(Every Time I Turn Around) Back in Love Again,”Something to Love lorded over the R&B albums chart. It also went to #21 on the Billboard 200 and sold a lot of copies, awarding it a “gold” status.
The band’s fifth LP Togetherness was released in 1978. Despite its singles “Never Get Enough of Your Love” (#56 pop, #8 R&B) and “Holdin’ On (When Love is Gone)” (#49 pop, #1 R&B) becoming only minor hits compared to their previous outings,Togetherness otherwise reached #18 on the Billboard 200, their highest-charting album yet. It also went to #3 on the R&B albums rankings.
In 1979, L.T.D. came out with their sixth LP Devotion, with its singles “Share My Love” and “Stranger” occupying the R&B singles chart positions. Following the release of the group’s seventh album Shine On, brothers Jeffrey and Billy Osborne left to launch their solo careers.
L.T.D. in recent years
Despite new vocalists Leslie Wilson and Andre Ray, the band was never able to regain their prior commercial success. In 1983, L.T.D. split after the release of their ninth album For You.
In the late 1990s the original members won their right to retain the L.T.D. name against a copycat “L.T.D.” band. Around the same time some of these original members re-formed along with newer recruits. The new millennium saw the band perform and tour, and in 2007 L.T.D. released their latest album to date Bringing It Home.
Carnegie, McGhee and Vickers are the only original members in the current L.T.D. lineup, which also consists of newer members Aya Iwata, Tefere Hazy, Tresure (Mark Vincent Brown), Steve Toussaint and Herbert Lee Woods. Original founding members Riley and Davis both passed away, in 2000 and 2008 respectively.