Ohio taps hot new vocal group the O'Jays for tourism campaign

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The O'Jays welcome you to Ohio.
Ohio is a great place to visit. And hey, since you’re here, why don’t you stay overnight? That pretty much sums up Ohio’s latest multicultural tourism campaign. The whole thing centers on the O’Jays, which is great news . . . if you’re 70. The R&B legends, and Canton natives, contributed their 1976 single “Livin’ for the Weekend” to the promotion, which targets blacks and Hispanics. Apparently, the folks in charge of this are hoping that blacks and Hispanics still have their AM radios set to 1979, the last time the O’Jays had a Top 40 hit. Granted, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers made some great music back in the day. “Back Stabbers” and “Love Train” remain the pinnacle of the whole Sound of Philadelphia movement. But we can’t see too many travelers getting excited over a song that barely dented the Top 20 32 years ago. Still, we really can’t think of anyone better. Nine Inch Nails? Too angry. Devo? Too white. Guided by Voices? Too weird. Maybe Bootsy Collins or Macy Gray – but how many out-of-staters would Bootsy’s “Munchies for Your Love” draw? Maybe we should just be thankful they didn’t pick the McGuire Sisters. --Michael Gallucci

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