One Way encouraged its fans to find their “Cutie Pie,” but someone should have pointed them the way to superstar status, as despite making a litany of great funk workouts, the band never really managed to gain traction and keep their momentum going throughout their careers and this caused them to become one of funk's most underrated bands.
The group that would eventually become One Way began in 1976 as “Al Hudson and the (Soul) Partners,” a group formed by A Hudson, Dave Roberson (guitars) and Kevin McCord (bass) in their native Detroit, Michigan. Later on, Hudson brought aboard Jack Hall and Jonathan “Corky” Meadows (keyboards), Theodore Dudley and Gregory Green (guitarist) and “Cortez Harris (guitars).
This version of the group got a record deal with Atco Records and recorded a few singles that went nowhere before jumping ship and finding their way to ABC Records in 1977. That year, the group made their album debut with Especially for You, that again yielded no hits. After recording two more no-factor albums, they were on the verge of being dropped by ABC until two faithful events worked in their favor.
First, ABC was bought out by MCA Records, and in 1978, Alicia Myers (vocalists) joined the group, giving the band a voice that was sorely missing within their roster. After MCA brought out ABC, the group changed their name to “One Way featuring Al Hudson,” and they released their first album under their new name under the new name in 1979.
That album did so-so, just enough to keep them on the roster, but in 1980, they would see their floundering commercial fortunes turn around with a re-make of their MCA debut. The group got four singles from that album onto the charts, including the cult funk jam “Pop It,” which went to number 20 on the R&B charts.
The next year, the group changed their name yet again to just “One Way,” and released their second album (sixth overall) in Love Is… One Way. This album would get three more singles onto the R&B charts, including “Push” and “Pull Fancy Dancer Pull,” which would both make it near the Top 10 (both stalled out at number 12).
Their biggest hit would come in 1982, with the classic funk anthem “Cutie Pie.” That single became the group’s highest-charting song, getting to number four on the R&B charts and becoming the band's only single to cross over onto the Hot 100, stalling out at number 61.
But their time in the spotlight would be short as their subsequent singles failed to repeat the success of “Cutie Pie,” and after failing to generate another huge hit, MCA dropped the group in 1988. One Way moved on to Capital Records that same year, but they could re-capture their hit sound of the early-‘80s ad faded from the charts by the dawn of the ’90s.
One Way is still together today, performing at oldie festivals, and their biggest hits continue to live on R&B radio. But as far as recording new material, that ship has long sailed.