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Ciner, Al (14th May 1947-Present)

He is a guitarist and songwriter born in Chicago, Illinois, who became a member of the group Gary & The Nite Lites in the mid-1960s. Soon they became known as The American Breed and with them he saw success with the chart songs “Green Light” and “Step Out Of Your Mind” and the 1968 No. 5 hit “Bend Me, Shape Me”.

Once the band had changed line-up several times they became known as simply The Breed, which was followed by Smoke, Ask Rufus and eventually Rufus. Chaka Khan joined Rufus as their vocalist and soon he saw further chart success with the 1974 Grammy winning No. 3 hit single “Tell Me Something Good” as well as co-writing the title track of their album Rags to Rufus.

A year or so later he was a title track composer once again on Quincy Jones’ Mellow Madness and he also became a guitarist in the band Three Dog Night but it proved to be short lived when the group disbanded in 1977.

After performing with the Brazilian percussionist Airto Moreira on a Tina Turner recording in 1978, he was soon to appear on his Touching You, Touching Me and sharing credits with George Duke, Flora Purim and Herb Alpert alongside several others.

He has appeared on many albums during the course of his career and some of these include Lonely Side of the City, Bend Me, Shape Me and Pumpkin, Powder, Scarlet & Green by The American Breed, Room Service by Shaun Cassidy, 25th Anniversary Edition by KC & The Sunshine Band, Everyday Everynight by Flora Purim, Rufus by Rufus & Chaka Khan, Ultimate Collection by Brenda Russell, Best Of.. by Candi Staton, American Pastime by Three Dog Night and Rough by Tina Turner.

In more recent years he was heard performing with the Chicago band The Mauds.

Here’s The American Breed with “Bend Me, Shape Me”…