The Blackbyrds were founded in the early seventies by the famous Jazz musician and trumpet player Donald Byrd who before becoming a professor in Ethnomusicology at New York Academy of Performing Arts and Howard University in Washington DC had been playing with illustriousnesses like Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Max Roach and John Coltrane.
When he started to look for musicians for this project wanting to combine funk and soul elements with jazz he had to choose within his students because people his age were sniggering at his idea.
After already releasing the album "Flying Start" in 1973 and track on the "Cornbread Earl & Me" soundtrack in 1975 they put out
"City Life" that featured the outstanding song: "Rock Creek Park" an hommage to the biggest park in Washington.
The song became (and still is) a popular local anthem, not to mention that it's still part of every hot selection at b-boys' parties.
It is the most sampled blackbyrds track:
Ol' Dirty Bastard and Coolio in (In the park)
NWA (Quiet on tha set)
Big Daddy Kane ("Raw '91")
Eric B & Rakim ("The R")
UTFO ("Doin' It)
Ice Cube ("I wanna kill Sam")
De la Soul ("Ghetto thang")