Alternately known as the TSU Tornadoes and, more often, the TSU Toronadoes, this often instrumental soul/funk combo was best known for supplying the backing on Archie Bell & the Drells' much-imitated dance smash "Tighten Up." The group was formed at Texas Southern University (hence the first part of their name) in Houston by guitarist/sometime lead vocalist Cal Thomas, who'd previously played in an R&B band called the Arabian Knights. Joining him were fellow students Will Thomas (also Cal's brother) on guitar and vocals, Jerry Jenkins on bass, Dwight Burns on drums, Robert Sanders on organ, Darryl Busby on sax, Clarence "Creeper" Harper on trumpet, and Leroy Lewis and Nelson Mills on horns. The Toronados built a local name for themselves by backing up numerous R&B artists passing through Houston on tour, and also played on campus and around the club scene. Disc jockey Skipper Lee Frazier signed the group to his new local label Ovide, and they wound becoming the primary house band.