The R&B band/group Lo-Key was comprised of Andre 'Dre' Shepard (lead vocals), Darron 'D' Story (vocals/trumpet), Tyron 'T-Bone' Yarbrough (vocals/bass guitar), Tony 'prof. t' Tolbert (lead vocals/writer/producer) and Lance 'LA' Alexander (keyboard/producer). Lance, Tony, Tyrone and Darron were initially members of the band Grand Jury in Kansas City, Missouri, until they moved to Minneapolis. The four guys then met Andre during auditions for Jesse Johnson's group 'DaKrash.' Andre joined the group, completing the group.
The group got their start at the 1989 Black Minnesota Music Awards Seminar where Jimmy 'Jam' Harris was a panelist on the producers forum. During the discussion, Lance said to Jimmy 'Jam,' 'How do I get one of those Flyte Tyme jackets!' The comment pushed Lance and prof.t to send Flyte Tyme a demo of their work and they got jobs as songwriters and producers for the company. Having composed for Alexander O'Neal, Shanice Wilson, Jane Child and Johnny Gill, the two guys earned enough street credit to motivate Jimmy 'Jam' and Terry Lewis to request that the two men make a group for them. Thus, in the fall of 1991, Lo-Key was officially recognized as the two men brought their groupmates on board.
Featuring a throwback sound, the group's first album 'Where Dey At?' showed the guys were not like the other groups prominent at the time. Rather than work like groups like Boyz II Men, and Jodeci, Lo-Key featured a sound reminiscent of bands like Earth, Wind & Fire and The Dazz Band. The album's first single 'Attention: The Shawanda Story' didn't even make it on the radar. However, with later singles 'I Got A Thang For Ya,' 'Sweet On You' and 'Hey There Pretty Lady,' the group started making a name for themselves. 'I Got A Thang 4 Ya!' reached #4 on the R&B charts and #27 on the Hot 100, while 'Sweet On U' reached #13 on the R&B charts and 'Hey There Pretty Lady peaked out at #56.
Darron left the group after their debut album to pursue his own interests and the rest of the group came out with 'Back To Da Howse' in 1994. The album suffered from changes in management and its singles couldn't make much impact on the charts. After releasing 'Tasty' which peaked at #50 on the R&B charts and 'Good Ole Fashioned Love' which fell off at #54, the group disbanded in 1995.
Each band member went on to make his own impact in the industry. Lance and Tony continued to pen songs for artists like Alexander O'Neal, The Sounds of Blackness and Next, for whom the two are credited with penning their first hit 'Butta Love.' The two men went separate ways in 1997, with Lance forming the label 'Baby Honey Records' and Tony becoming the A&R director for Flyte Time's New Label. Darron worked at BMG distribution where he formed his own artist management company and T-Bone and Dre went on to write and perform in their own bands.