The group originally consisted of frontman Melvin Riley, Gordon Strozier (lead guitar), Gregory Potts (keyboards), Willie Triplett (percussion/keyboards), John Eaton (bass guitar), and Gerald Valentine (drums). They had performed throughout Flint at high school talent shows and were discovered by WJLB Detroit Radio personality The Electrifying Mojo in 1982. They gained regional fame with their first release, "Tonight," in 1983. "Tonight" was an underground hit in Flint and Detroit which helped garner them national prominence shortly after their signing under the MCA label. They recorded their debut album, Ready for the World
, during 1984 with producer Bernard Terry and engineer Charles Brown, Jr.
In 1985, the band signed to the Steven Machat-Rick Smith management company, AMI. The agreement with MCA was redrawn, and promotion and marketing dollars were committed to promote the group. This proved successful as the group was steered to #1 on the US pop charts as well as top five in all the Western European countries and Australia, with their best-known hit "Oh Sheila." In the US, this song went to #1 on the R&B, Pop Charts, and the Hot Dance Club Play charts that year, becoming the first ever single to hold the #1 spot on all three of these charts simultaneously. The song "Digital Display" followed and hit #21.In 1986, the band released their second album, Long Time Coming
, produced by: Gary Spaniola which returned them to the Top 10 on the pop charts with the slow jam, "Love You Down," which peaked at #3.Ready for the World went on to release several more albums that failed to capture the success of the group's first two releases, and as a result, they disbanded in 1991.
After the breakup, lead singer Riley went on to record solo albums. He released Ghetto Love
on MCA in 1994 and Bedroom Stories
on the independent label Bogard Entertainment Group in 2000. A Ready for the World reunion album She Said She Wants Some
followed in 2004 featuring mostly urban ballads.