Kool & Together

The seventies band of brothers from Victoria on getting into music, staying away from drugs and liquor, and releasing their first album.

Charles Sanders Jr. (second from left, with his dad and the rest of the band in the mid-seventies) and his brothers, Joe and Tyrone, grew up in Victoria, where they and their father formed the band My Children +2. Later they carried on without their dad as Kool & Together, mixing soul with psychedelic rock. Despite some modest success, they were virtually unknown until their 1973 single “Sittin’ on a Red Hot Stove” began showing up on contemporary DJ playlists two decades later, which led Austin label Heavy Light Records to track down the brothers (all still in Victoria) and release their first album, Original Recordings, 1970–1977. Kool & Together are reuniting to celebrate the record with a show November 5 at Austin’s Continental Club.

Describe Victoria in the seventies.
Whites and blacks all went to school together. I had never had any problems with stuff like that. I was called the n-word maybe once in my entire life growing up here.

How did you get into music?
I give all the credit to my father, who sang with gospel groups—my brothers and I were into football. We listened to groups like the Ohio Players and Earth, Wind & Fire. One day we decided that we were going to start our own little group. I had this cheap guitar; my brothers had some boxes that they were beating on. My dad came in, and maybe two, three weeks later I had a new guitar, my brother Joe had drums, and my brother Tyrone had some bongos.

How old were you at this time?
I might have been a freshman in high school. My

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