Lionel Richie sings the Commodores fight “Brick House” Saturday, in march 23, 2019, in ~ the hard Rock in Atlantic City.(Photo by Mike Morsch)

There to be a moment in the Lionel Richie concert Saturday night at the tough Rock in Atlantic City, just as Lionel was finishing up the final verse of “Endless Love,” where there to be a little of a commotion in the prior row.

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A gent had acquired down ~ above one knee and proposed to his girlfriend while Lionel was to sing the song. Currently that’s part pretty romantic and memorable to plan by the dude, and it didn’t go unnoticed through Lionel. After he perfect the song, he quit the show and made a huge deal out of the moment, the happy couple was presented on the huge concert screens, and it all appeared unscripted to me from my vantage point. Lionel seemed to no know about the proposal in breakthrough and veteran performer the he is, he rolled it right into the show.

He committed the following song come the woman who had just obtained the rock, which to be the 1977 Commodores struggle “Brick House.” the a good song, and the story behind it was thorough for me by wilhelm A. King the the Commodores because that “The Vinyl Dialogues Volume III: Stacks of Wax.”

By the mid-1970s, the Commodores had arisen a regimen for record albums. Band members would obtain together in the middle of October and also spend around two months choosing and arranging songs, take a pair of weeks off for Christmas, paris to Motown documents in Los Angeles and spend January and also February recording, release the album in the spring and tour in assistance of the album in the summer.

When the tape — wilhelm A. King, Ronald LaPread, cutting board McClary, Walter Orange, Lionel Richie and also Milan Williams — was obtaining together songs for its fifth studio album, the self-titled “Commodores” in so late 1976, members had actually chosen and also arranged eight songs because that the album. They needed one more, though.

But everybody was worn out.

“We had done eight songs and also we might not select the nine song. Everybody was desperate, everybody was tired, didn’t want to view each various other anymore, wanted to go home. We had seen each various other every day, 7 days a week, for 2 months,” stated William A. King, band’s trumpet player. “We chose to simply do miscellaneous quick, because we only had two days left to get the song prepared prior to we left for L.A.”

They every agreed to simply throw something with each other quickly. Therefore Walter Orange sat down at the north kit and started tapping out a beat. Ronald LaPread added the bass, while King and Richie tried to figure out the horns component to go v it. Cutting board McClary added in guitar and Milan Williams join in on keyboards.

“We were just jamming,” said King. “And we lastly got a simple track down.”

There were no text to the riff, so it was suggested that King and also Orange both head residence after the conference and try to write some words to go v it. However time was of the essence. The band essential the text the following day if it was going to complete the 9th song because that the album prior to heading to Los Angeles come record.

“At the time we had cassette tapes, so i was play it over and also over and over again. Ns was just trying to figure out a beginning point,” stated King. “But ns knew it was going come be about a woman.”

But even after getting home that evening and also playing the cassette over and over, King was still stuck. It was getting late, and King’s wife, Shirley Hanna-King, to be running the end of patience.

“She said, ‘Look, why nothing you turn that tape off? did you do it played that a thousand times; don’t you have that melody in your head yet?’” King recalled his mam saying. “I said, ‘No, ns don’t, which is why I save playing it over and over again.’”

But Shirley Hanna-King had actually heard enough and retired come a different component of the house where she didn’t have to listen to the tape.

Eventually, King self ran the end of steam.

“I fell asleep, literally with the ice on. It just ran out,” stated King. “When ns woke up, I had a pad of file and pencil on mine chest. Ns looked at it and it had all this lyrics composed on it. I was looking at it thinking, ‘God, those room some an excellent lyrics.’ and then i looked at the handwriting and also it to be my wife’s handwriting. So ns asked her, “Did you compose this?’ and she said,

‘Yeah, I had actually to perform something to store you from playing that tape all night long since we couldn’t get any type of sleep.’”

King take it the text to the following day’s session and also presented them to the Commodores.

“Milan Williams said, ‘Man, these are the finest lyrics you’ve ever before written,’” stated King.

Orange had also done some composing the previous evening, and between the two of them, King and Orange combined their lyrics and also came up v a tune that would certainly be around a woman that was developed like “a brick shithouse.”

The tune was “Brick House.” yet James Carmichael, that was creating the “Commodores” album, quiet wasn’t sold on it gift the ninth and final track for the record.

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“Carmichael wasn’t convinced,” claimed King. “He listened to it and said, ‘Eh, i’m not as well sure about this song.’”

But Orange was. Therefore unbeknownst come the other members of the group, he took the assistant engineer into an adjacent studio, had actually the track placed on and then Orange started singing end the track, including in the command vocals. He climate took the amendment track ago to Carmichael and the Commodores to hear the results.

“And everyone went, ‘Oh mine God, this is yes, really nice.’ it is actually exactly how the song gained on the album, due to the fact that Walter went in there and did a demo vocal end it, which convinced everybody that the song was precious going on the album,” claimed King. “It more than likely would not have also made that onto the album. Us would have just excellent one fewer tune on the record.”