GQ was first formed in 1968 as a quartet called Sabu & the Survivors, with "Sabu" being a moniker of member Keith Crier. The group then evolved in the 1970s as The Rhythm Makers, playing primarily funk music. They were Five Percenters. The Rhythm Makers were composed of Emanuel Rahiem Leblanc (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Keith "Sabu" Crier (bass and vocals). Herb Lane (keyboards and vocals) and Kenny Banks (drums and vocals) The group released one album, Soul On Your Side in 1976 on the De-Lite Records subsidiary Vigor Records, from which the group had one major international dancefloor hit, "Zone". At the time that Kenny Banks was replaced by Paul Service in 1978, and the group's manager Tony Lopez suggested that the group name be changed to "GQ", which stood for "good quality", They would sign with Arista Records.
GQ became quite successful playing music representative of the period's disco influenced sound. They had several highly ranked singles in multiple markets (US Pop, US Black, US Disco/Club). Their biggest hit was 1979's "Disco Nights (Rock-Freak)", a single from their debut album Disco Nights, which reached #1 (for two weeks) on the R&B singles chart, #3 on the Hot Dance Club Play and #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. It sold over one million copies in the US alone. The track also peaked at #42 in the UK Singles Chart. (It was a reworked version of The Rhythm Makers title-track to Soul On Your Side). The follow-up Billy Stewart remake, "I Do Love You", was also successful, reaching #20 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Drummer Paul Service fractured his wrist in a car accident in 1980, forcing the band to hire a new drummer for performances. Service was ultimately replaced by Steve Adorno, who performed with GQ from 1980 to 2010.
Keith "Sabu" Crier was the son of Arthur Crier, a member of the doo-wop group The Halos. Sabu was the uncle of new jack swing/R&B singer Keith Sweat. There was rumor that Crier, after the group broke up, had a successful solo career using the stage name Keith Sweat. Another rumor was that before Sweat became a solo artist, he was a member of GQ. None of those rumors were true, because Sabu & The Survivors got together in 1968 and Sweat, being born on 1961, would have been probably seven years old, and would have been 15 years old if he had recorded the album, Soul On Your Side with The Rhythm Makers. He also would have been 18 if he had recorded the Disco Nights album with GQ, 19 if he had recorded the Two album with them, and 20 if he recorded the Face to Face album with them, if that was the case.
Steve Adorno has since become the drummer and bandleader of Fania recording artist "SEGUIDA", SMI RECORDING ARTIST "DEVOSHUN". Steve 1s also a composer/producer with his own music label Onroda MusicWorks.Steve Adorno(aka/ Stevie Beatz)has composed music scores for 2 off broadway plays, music scores for Nintendo Video Games and two independent films.
Honorable mention goes out to "GQ-percussionist- Kevin Zambrana who has since become a trusted Associate to Mr-Q as President of ZPI Productions NYC..
Emanuel would later sign with Capitol Records and record a solo album called Always Be Around released in 1991. He still tours as GQ, and is widely known as Mr. Q an in-name tribute to GQ.
In 1999, Lead vocalist-songwriter Mr Q (now a solo performer), recorded a covers album A Tribute to Marvin Gaye and Billy Stewart.
2017 signals the long awaited release of GQ's followup to Disco Nights*. The Mr Q Project on Nu Classic Records.