Song: Leaving Me
Artist: The Independents
Album: Discs Of Gold (1974) (2010)
This is an extremely rare and obscure group, and I recommend that you research them out. Unfortunately, they’ve only made a couple of albums. They did stay with each other long. Believe it or not, they broke up after being together professionally for only 3 years! Their only biggest hit was a song called “Leave Me (1973).” Although it only reached up to #21 on the Top 100 Chart, it hit #1 on R&B. The song sold over a million single copies, and has won the Gold Award. Because they’ve only stayed with each other for barely 3 short years, almost nothing is written about them. This is so sad that a talented Black group such as this one had become lost. Also check out their unknown song “In The Valley Of My Own World,” it’s instrumental melody reminds me of “Love Jones,” by Bright Side Of Darkness, a lot. This whole album was nicely done actually. They harmonize beautifully. I think most oldies fans will enjoy listening to them!
Song: I Specialize In Love
Artist: Sharon Brown
Genre: Club Music
This was one of the many best dance mixes that came from the early 80s. Unfortunately, not only was this song the only song that registered on the charts, it was the only song she was remembered for. At least when it comes to those of us who were club heads back in the day. This was a real shame, as I’ve always felt she had a talented voice, she just never had any massive hits.
Only One Song Registered On The Billboard!
Although, “I Specialize In Love” was never on the Top 100 Chart’s radar, it managed to reach the 51st position in both Hot R&B and Club/Dance categories. #51 seems quite low to me, I heard this song all the time. Well, as I’ve always said, your neighborhood makes a difference!
According to some sources I’ve read, Sharon still seems to be performing. I can’t find how old she is now, but much to my surprise, it is said she’s been active since 1975. She is the daughter of William Brown, who is a professional drummer, and played for groups like The Isley Brothers. In addition to performing, she works with youths to help educate about gang violence in NYC.
Song: Strawberry Letter 23
Artist: The Brothers Johnson
Album: Right On Time (1977)
Wow! These guys were some talented brothers back in the day. This is another of many group that used to confuse me. The reason being, back in the day Ray Parker Jr. used to have a group called Raydio, and I perceived a couple of their songs had very similar styles to The Brothers Johnson (or vise verse). However, there was no doubt that The Brothers Johnson had their own brand and identity.
These Guys Were Pretty Popular In The 80s!
Although they’ve had quite a few big hits, I think most people remember them for “Strawberry Letter 23,” off their 1977 “Right On Time” album. The song hit #5 on the Top 100, and #1 on the R&B charts. What an odd name for a hit song tho. 🤣 You also may be familiar with another huge hit of theirs called “I’ll Be Good To You (1976).” This song hit #3 on the Top 100 and #1 on the R&B charts. However, I think my second favorite was their hit called “Stomp (1980),” off their “light Up The Night” album. This was a big disco hit in many of the NYC clubs back in the day.
Unfortunately, I was shocked to read that Louis E Johnson recently passed away about 5 years ago. He was 60 years old. I also learned that Louis was responsible for laying down that sick baseline we heard in Michael Jackson’s cult classic “Billie Jean.” I always seem to find out about these amazing things after these celebrities die. We’ve lost a legend indeed!
Artist: Checkmates, Ltd.
This is an EXTREMELY rare, obscured indeed! The Checkmates, Ltd., to my understanding was a group discovered by the late Nancy Wilson. This was a very talented group in my opinion, it was such a shame that they broke up just barely a year after forming the group. Their biggest hit was a song called “Black Pearl (1969),” which was written and produced by the infamous Phil Specter. The song reached #13 on the pop charts. The also had some success with a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary.” BTW, no….. Everybody assumes this was Tina Turner’s original, it’s not. Around 2008, Universal Studios suffered a major fire, and many original recordings were completely destroyed. Unfortunately, that included almost all works by the band, and many more artists as well. Check out this lost treasure album, I think it’s really nice piece of forgotten history.
Artist: Bachman-Turner Overdrive
Album: Not Fragile (1974)
Genre: Branches Of Rock
I don’t think I’ve heard anything from this band for a really long time. Back in the day, I used to confuse Bachman-Turner Overdrive with The Steve Miller Band. Not really comparing these two, but there were certain rhythms in a couple of their songs that were extremely similar. Bachman-Turner Overdrive had many hits throughout their career, however, I only liked one song, and that was “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.” This song was in heavy rotation on all the rock stations. In fact, it was also in a lot of commercials as well. Other than this song, I really wasn’t turned on by their music. The song hit #1 in Germany, New Zealand, Canada, US, and #2 in the UK.
Song: The Horse
Artist: Willie Mitchell
Album: Solid Soul (1967)(2014)
I don’t know if any of my blog readers have ever heard of the late Willie Mitchell before. But, if you fancy instrumental music, I recommend you look him up. Another one of many tunes I clearly remember my grandpa playing all the time (as though it was yesterday). If I’m not mistaken, this piece was originally composed and performed by Cliff Nobles c. 1967. Although I do love both versions, I do prefer Willie Mitchell’s version better because I really dig the funk rhythms. I wonder why Cliff decided to name this piece “The Horse?” You gotta love the 60s! Although the names of their projects doesn’t make sense, the music themselves are masterpieces in my opinion.
Genre: Branches Of Rock/World Music
I really don’t have a lot of things to say about this band from Scotland. Other than “Magic (1974),” was written by two original band members David Paton and Billy Lyall and struck massive gold. The song had pretty much did fantastic around the world! Unless you lived through that time, it’s hard to measure just how popular this song actually was. On the UK chart it reached #11 and American Billboard ranked them at #5.
Sadly, Pilot Became A One Hit Wonder 😢.
The song was so popular that Selena Gomez did a cover of the song for the Disney Movie “Wizards of Waverly Place (2009).” Granted I know most kids in that age group don’t know anything about Pilot, but it was sure cool to hear some of music histories greatest songs. There is another song they’re well known for (I assume the UK), it’s called “January (1974).” However, this song wasn’t nearly as successful as “Magic.”
Song: Only Conversation
Artist: Lymie Murray
Album: Only Conversation (2001)
Genre: Sweet Reggae
Although I love blogging about music, it can be a tough job! There are so many great music everywhere; and it can become quite overwhelming sometimes; whether you’re an organized blogger or not. However, I’m about quality and NOT quantity. Today’s artist….. This reggae man right here…… Mr. Lymie Murray…. I LOVED his music! I have absolutely no idea what happened to him. I found very little information about him. I’ve read that he supposed to be still performing, however, I think the last full album I traced from him was in 2014. You know, I’ve noticed a lot of my favorite legendary reggae artists such as Maxi Priest, Third World, etc, a lot of their performances tend to be in places like Europe/EU, which makes me wonder if reggae is now dead in America? That’s really concerning to me.
Lymie Is Amazingly Talented! But I Can’t Find Solid Proof He’s Actively Performing
Who the hell knows? Sometimes with these guys, they realized they’ve ran out of hit songs and windup (for the most part) becoming DJs after a while. However, in my opinion, Lymie is no ordinary performer. He can actually sing his ass off, and he has potential to bust out more hits (I think). But, I also know that it’s more complicated than that. Sometimes I think in today’s culture, a phenomenal voice is often replaced by what is interpreted as “good beats.” I’ve found small articles in various Jamaican online newspapers that said he performs as part of some celebration of something, but not his own concerts and what not.
Lymie Can Really Sing In My Opinion
My top favorite from Lymie is a song called “Only Conversation (2001).” I thought that was the hottest reggae song I heard in a long time. I’m so happy I heard this song, because in the 90s I gave up on reggae. In the 90s, we were bombarded with that dance-hall music; it completely destroyed true reggae culture as I knew it. To me it was like the equivalent of when OG rappers explain how new rappers obliterated hip hop today. So, from that perspective, listening to him perform this song was refreshing! It literally helped to restore my faith in reggae music.
Before I forget, I want you to check out another favorite of mine. I don’t know if it was a hit or not, but I love it! It’s a Delfonics cover of “La La Means I Love You.” I really, really loved how he did this. One more song for you. I beg reggae fans to listen to his song called “For Cynthia,” from his “Good Things Forward (2014)” album. I really think this song showcased the talent in his voice. I heard very few reggae artist that project their voices in that way! I recommend listening to this whole album actually. Some good stuff!!