The band was formed by the former The Detroit Emeralds' singer James Mitchell, with his brother Paul Mitchell, Larry Cunningham, Charles Clark, and the unrelated Ralph Mitchell. Most of The Floaters were from the Sojourner Truth housing project on Detroit's Eastside.James Mitchell wrote the band's one major hit, "Float On", with Arnold Ingram and Marvin Willis. The lyrics spotlight each member of the band, who introduced themselves with their name, astrological sign, and ideal type of romantic partner. The song was produced by Woody Wilson. It became a world wide hit in 1977 on ABC Records, reaching #1 on the US R&B chart, #20 on the US Billboard
Hot 100 chart, and #1 in the UK Singles Chart (for a single week in August that year).Follow-ups such as "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" (#28 Billboard R&B chart) were not as successful. The group continued to record, releasing four studio albums over the next few years.A new recording of the song "Float On" was recorded in 2001 for the album Still Standing
by the group Full Force..This song was also sampled by Canadian hip hop recording duo Dream Warriors, in their song of the same name.