TIR 65: Returning to the Age of L.T.D.’s Unlimited Power


Brought to you by FUNKNSTUFF.NET and hosted by Scott Goldfine — musicologist and author of “Everything Is on THE ONE: The First Guide of Funk” ― “TRUTH IN RHYTHM” is the interview show that gets DEEP into the pocket with contemporary music’s foremost masters of the groove.

Featured in TIR Episode 65 (three segments): Group co-founder- horns player-composer-producer Carle Vickers and guitarist-composer-arranger John McGhee of one of the finest and most popular soul-funk bands of the 1970s and 1980s — Love, Togetherness and Devotion, better known as L.T.D. Founded as Love Men Ltd. in 1968 (50th anniversary in 2018) in Greensboro, N.C., the core band would later solidify its lineup with additional members including future singing superstar Jeffrey Osborne and his brother Billy Osborne. Changing the name to L.T.D., the group signed to A&M records and released its self-titled debut album in 1974 and later that year its follow-up, Gittin Down. Although both came and went relatively quietly in terms of sales and radio play, the latter set the tone for what was to come with choice funk tracks like “Don’t Lose Your Cool” and “Eldorado Joe.”

Switching producers, getting more outside songwriting help and having McGhee join the group, L.T.D. broke out in 1976 as one of the period’s premier R&B bands with the Love to the World Album that contained the smash crossover hit, “Love Ballad.” Here, the band’s bold, orchestral and gospel-infused sound coalesced to take the listener on an aural journey full of varied tones and tempos. The record ushered in a string of five consecutive top 10 R&B albums. The others were Something to Love, Togetherness, Devotion and Shine On. Highlight and hit tracks during that run included “Age of the Showdown,” “Back in Love Again,” “We Party Hearty,” “Never Get Enough of Your Love,” “Material Things,” “Holding On,” “We Both Deserve Each Other’s Love,” “Jam,” “Concentrate on You,” “You Fooled Me,” “Together Forever,” “One on One,” “Stand Up L.T.D.,” “Dance N Sing N,” “Stranger,” “Where Did Our Love Go Wrong,” “Getaway” and “Shine On.”

During that golden period, L.T.D. rivaled contemporaries like Earth, Wind and Fire and the Commodores, but it was not to last as Jeffrey Osborne left to pursue a very successful solo career. The group soldiered on with a final album for A&M in 1981 called Love Magic that did respectably well and included a top 10 R&B dance cut in “Kickin’ Back.” Unfortunately, L.T.D. had lost its unique vocal identity and by the time of its final studio album, For You, in 1983, had adopted the synth-driven funk sound of that era and while competent lacked a distinctive stamp. McGhee had left prior to that last album and both he and Vickers went on to work on myriad projects in the ensuing years.

In this in-depth interview, Vickers and McGhee talk about how L.T.D. was formed; the many things that made the band original and special; the recording sessions, songs and albums; amazing tales from the road; parting ways with Jeffrey Osborne; believing in the magical power of music; what they are up to today; and many other insights and stories to boot. It is time to fall back in love again with Love, Togetherness & Devotion.

Recorded September 2018



Scott Goldfine

As a fervid lifelong music & film enthusiast / student, I grew up in and around the Los Angeles entertainment industry. I have worked and held many positions in various media realms, since 1998 serving as Editor-in-Chief and now Associate Publisher for Security Sales & Integration, a trade publication serving the electronic security industry. I love several genres of music & film. The former includes funk (Parliament-Funkadelic, Prince, Ohio Players, etc.); blues (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Eric Gales, etc.); rock (Jack White, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, etc.); hard rock (AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, etc.); jazz (Herbie Hancock, Bob James, Crusaders, etc.); R&B (Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Gil Scott-Heron, etc.); and more. I was a club disc jockey and ran a mobile DJ company (Musical Moods) for more than 15 years, which is where the name Dr. GX originates (Doctor Good Times). Fave film genres include horror (Dawn of the Dead, Evil Dead, Nightmare on Elm Street, etc.); science fiction (Aliens, Terminator, 2001, etc.); action (Warriors, Road Warrior, Die Hard); westerns (Outlaw Josey Wales, Showdown at OK Corral; Wild Bunch, etc.); suspense (Jaws, Inception, Silence of the Lambs, etc.); drama (Apocalypse Now, Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction, etc.); and comedies (Life of Brian, Superbad, Ruthless People, etc.). I have attended many hundreds of concerts and movies (in theaters or screenings). I may as well also throw in a few favorite TV shows to give an even broader taste of my sensibilities. A handful would be Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Lost, Justified, Fargo, Seinfeld, Sopranos, South Park, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Key & Peele, Monty Python, Inside Amy Schumer, Louie, Modern Family, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Last Man on Earth, Bob Newhart Show, All in the Family and The Office. Fave authors are Stephen King, Clive Barker and Michael Crichton. I am also a big sports fan and lifelong supporter of the Dallas Cowboys (NFL), Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) and Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB). Also enjoy my family of course, electronics/computers/AV gear, and animals, nature and outdoor activities. Graduate of Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica College and California State University Northridge (Radio-TV-Film, Psychology minor). Also studied at UCLA for kinesiology/psychology and earned post-grad Certificate in Accounting from Santa Monica College. Present main occupation is as Associate Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Security Sales & Integration (SSI), which I joined in 1998. I am responsible for overseeing all editorial content in print. online, electronic, in-person and any other media or products for the electronic security industry's leading business-to-business trade publication. SSI is part of Framingham, Mass.-based Emerald Expositions.