Sometimes, all it takes is one man to recognize a city’s potential for an industry. In Indianapolis, that man was Herb Miller, and his business was
soul and funk. He came to prominence long after Indy’s allure as a jazz destination waned. He founded LAMP Records in the late 1960s to wake Naptown from its musical slumber.
Miller served a critical role in city’s burgeoning soul and funk scene, providing not only financial backing, but acting as a one-stop, record-making shop for artists that had, to that point, been doing it all themselves. He’s the Berry Gordy you’ve never heard of. His roster – national acts like the Vanguards and Ebony Rhythm Band alongside talented, regional acts such as the Moonlighters, Montiques, Pearls and the Words of Wisdom Truth Revue – rivaled that of any American independent and paved the way for the ascension of 80s and 90s hitmakers Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and Antonio “L.A.” Reid, both of whom cut their teeth with LAMP alumnus.