On this day in music history: June 24, 1976 - “Soul Searching”, the fourth album by the Average White Band is released. Produced by Arif Mardin, it is recorded at Atlantic Studios in New York City in Early 1976. Still firmly in the groove figuratively and literally, AWB return to the studio with producer Arif Mardin. Looking to expand on their trademark funky sound, the band utilize various guest musicians to support them in the studio adding more horns courtesy of Randy (trumpet) and Michael Brecker (saxophone), Barry Rogers (trombone), Marvin Stamm (trumpet), Ronnie Cuber (baritone saxophone) (Mike Mainieri & Friends). Keyboardist Ken Bichel (synthesizers) and percussionist Carlos Martin also play on selected tracks. Rascals percussionist and vocalist Eddie Brigati and his brother David sing background vocals on the albums’ first single “Queen Of My Soul” (#21 R&B, #40 Pop). “Soul Searching” also marks the first songwriting collaboration between vocalist and guitarist Hamish Stuart and Ned Doheny. The pair write the soulful ballad “A Love Of Your Own” (#35 R&B), with the band originally recording it as a basic demo in Los Angeles. When they return to New York to cut the final version, changes made in the original demo arrangement during the tracking process prove to be unsatisfactory to everyone’s taste. So the decision is made to go back to the sparer instrumentation on the demo, and the final recording falls into place. The song goes on to be one of AWB’s best known and loved songs, and is covered numerous times including versions by Millie Jackson, The Ebonys and Howard Hewett. Co-writer Ned Doheny also records the song himself on his second album “Hard Candy” released later in 1976. AWB’s version is also sampled by AZ, Li'l Kim & Mona Lisa, and Yella Featuring B.G. Knocc Out. The deep track “Love Your Life”, issued as the B-side of the third single “Cloudy” also surfaces on a hip hop classic in later years. The songs’ driving horn riff appearing at approximately the three and a half minute mark, is sampled on A Tribe Called Quest’s “Check The Rhime” in 1991. Released exactly one year after “Cut The Cake”, “Searching” is another big hit for the Average White Band, becoming their third consecutive million seller. Though it marks the beginning of the end of the Scottish funk-soul bands commercial fortunes. Following the release of the album “Benny & Us”, a collaboration between AWB and Ben E. King, the shift in musical tastes as the disco era hits full stride in the latter half of the 70’s, the band suddenly find their sound out of popular favor. Still regarded as one of their best albums, “Soul Searching” is remastered and reissued on CD in 1993 as part of Rhino Records’ Atlantic & ATCO Remasters Series. “Soul Searching” peaks at number two on the Billboard R&B album chart, number nine on the Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.