Once upon a time, a very young female singer and actress named Irene Cara was burning up both the music and movie scene in the eighties. Today, people barely know who she is, yet alone the massive hits she has produced. This inspired me to create a new category, to celebrate not just the forgotten artists, but the artists who made history with their music. Irene Cara deserves to be the first to be added to this new category. Unfortunately, because of licensing, Spotify doesn’t have her most important hits (originally recorded that is). So, I must enlist the help of YouTube and SoundCloud for this article.
Out of all of Irene’s massive hits, she is probably best known for her iconic theme song “Fame,” from the original movie “Fame (1980),” which Irene also co-starred in. This was at the height of the dance movie craze. Irene belted out another massive hit that immortalized her forever in music history; the song was called “What A Feeling,” from the original movie “Flashdance (1983),” starring Jenifer Beals. On the same album called “What A Feeling,” Irene had a hit few people remember. It’s called “Breakdance,” the song was significant during the breakdance era. I always found it interesting that she had a hit called “Breakdance,” yet, she never actually breakdanced. Another dance favorite was “Why Me,” which was released in 1983. Lastly, I want to share a simple SoundCloud playlist of some of my most favorite Irene Cara club remixes. Irene has put together her own group called “Hot Caramel.” Aaaahhmmmm, yeah….. I’m not impressed. They don’t sound bad, but… I just wasn’t moved enough to save it in my collection. I think this was Irene’s last album in 2011.
I think it would be extremely rare that anybody under 30 years of age would know anything about this Quartet. “Take Five,” by the Dave Brubeck Quartet, was (and still is) my top favorite jazz piece. The piece was originally recorded with instrumentals in 1959; but Dave also written lyrics to his masterpiece, and it was rerecorded in 1961 with Carmen Mcrae on vocal. However, I much prefer the versions with out the vocals. It is my understanding that a couple of years after its first release, “Take Five” became the biggest selling jazz hit single ever made at the time. It was also used in many movie soundtracks.
If you love “Take Five” like I do, there are a few re-interpretations that I think are worthy of your ear! Starting with the late legendary Tito Puente’s version of “Take Five.” Once known as “The King Of Latin Music,” Tito had the gift of literally turning any kind of music into something everybody wants to dance to. Next is a reggae version of “Take Five,” by a group called the “New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble.” I really love this version, I don’t hear reggae musicians make good classic instrumentals anymore. Next is Chet Atkins. Chet has done a wonderful guitar version of “Take Five.” Very smooth and relaxing. Lastly, a group that calls themselves “The String Cheese Incident,” has performed a really nice version of “Take Five.” Those guys know how to pick a guitar let me tell you! So, I recommend that you take a listen. I don’t think you’d be disappointing.
This, is a badass bitch right here!! I LOVE her new single!! She is one of the very few vocally talented, young, and up and coming musicians I’ve heard in a really really long time!!! Her name is Grace Carter, and the name of her song is called “Why Her Not Me.” Damn! Her voice is on point!! You know what? After listening to this song so many times, I realize her voice reminds me a little of Adele’s . Now, after I got over the awesomeness of her voice, I started focusing on the lyrics. I hated the story line of the lyrics. Her voice projects a powerful woman, yet she let herself to be brought down by a dude that obviously didn’t deserve her time and love. It was almost as tho her voice should not have been singing this song. Yet… She laid that performance down like she owned our ears. You have to check out her remix, the beat is kicking… “Why Her Not Me – Channel Tres Remix.”
Marva Whitney was a funk legend back in the day. She was a protege of the late James Brown. Actually James Brown had many proteges, however, vocally speaking, she was the best female performer he ever took under his wing (in my opinion). Her voice was truly a force to be recon with. Not to say that other female performers such as Lyn Collins did not kick-ass; but let’s put it this way, when you hear Marva perform she’s almost like an alpha female on stage! She means business when she sings, and she expects you to listen with urgency 😁 He biggest hit “It’s My Thing,” released in 1969 was so popular, I was stunned to learn it only reached #82 on the Top 100 Charts. Actually, more than stunned. Marva was so fierce, they used to call her “Soul Sister Number One.” Many artists like DJ Kool used to sample her music. Unfortunately, Marva died in 2012 as a result of complications with pneumonia.
On my old blog (VintageNewscast) I’ve touched on some important subject matters that I feel are still relevant today. So I brought some of those articles back. Articles such as, “Important Tips You MUST Know About Spotify.” So many people misunderstand Spotify, and if you want to get the best out of Spotify, you need to invest time to really learn it first before making any quick assumptions. The next important article is “Legal Streaming vs. Torrents: The Dawn Of A New File Sharing Era!” I know that this is a very long article I’ve written, however, if you want to understand how important legal music streaming is, it is worth the read. “The Future Of Classic Music Culture,” is an article I’ve written on my detailed concerns of our classic music culture disappearing. “Where To Find Old School Classics?” These are some ideas I came up with on where you can find even more classic music to re-discover in the digital age.
Ok, ok.You can pick yourself from off the floor now from laughter! Yes, I do love some of Dolly Parton’s earlier country music. That’s why I’m a blogger; because my tastes are eclectic; and you can rediscover music history on my blog. Now, Dolly has one of those rare unique voices that requires writers that understands her voice. Having said that, I’m not going to lie, there are specific Dolly songs that I love (over the rest of them). I’ve listened to a lot of her music, and a huge chunk of her music made me feel like I was listening to children’s songs (regardless what the lyrics were). However, I guess that doesn’t really matter because millions of people still love her music today.
Proof of that is her 1980’s song “9To5,” from the movie “9To5 (1980),” which she also co-starred with Jane Fonda and Lilly Tomlin (Ringy Dingy). Now, keep in mind that in 1980, there was no Spotify, having said that, as of today, Dolly’s 9To5 as reached over 92+ million plays. That’s a lot of change that song made. Spotify didn’t come to the U.S. until about 2009; so that gives you an idea of her fan base.
Now, I don’t think I remember the full story, but I think it goes something like this. There were two versions of the song 9To5. There was Dolly’s version, and then there was Sheena Easton’s version. Only one could be on the soundtrack, so they chose Dolly’s version. However, the record labels still liked Sheena’s version; so they waited about a year after Dolly’s version was released; renamed Sheena’s song to “Midnight Train (Nine To Five),” so that there was no confusion with the movie 9To5; then released it in 1981. Both became successful hits! Dolly’s hit #1 for two weeks; and Sheena’s version also hit #1 for two weeks!
I know I’ve written more than I planned, but before I close I do want you to check out Dolly’s “Hard Candy (1982).” Dolly said this was her first song she ever written as a child (if I remember correctly) during the xmas season. When I listen to it, I don’t perceive it to be about xmas at all, but someone who just gone through a lot of things, and just trying to pick up the pieces. It’s a beautiful song I think.
I Shazam’d this gem not too long ago. Big Maybelle! I loved this artist. She reminded me of Etta James a lot. They both had that same feisty energy. The kind of voices that sang exactly what is on their mind. “96 Tears,” released on 1967 (interesting the writer chose the number 96, and even more of a creepy coincidence that the song peaked at #96 and there is a 96 in the year! Wow…), the song was produced by a rock band called The Mysterians. So disappointed that the song was so low in the charts, ’cause I actually think this was a great song. It’s also unfortunate that this was her only hit. Well, it wasn’t a hit, but at least it was on the charts. Then again, I’ve discovered that Billboard doesn’t have the stats to a lot of songs. Oh well.
Ok. I was never a huge fan of Drake, I only liked maybe two of his older songs. I think he made some good dance beats, but I never considered him as a “singer.” Drake’s voice is too unbearably monotone. That said, my feelings are the same concerning his new song “Don’t Matter To Me,” released on his double CD. What? Double CD you said? Yup. Back in the day, you only released a double CD/album when you’ve been in the game for awhile, and you want to put out a greatest hits album. I guess he just wanted to increase his chances one one or two songs being a hit. The background music is hot, as well as dramatic. You what? Listen to the background really close, doesn’t it remind you a little bit of Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana?” By the way, you know you’re making money when you can afford to put the late MJ’s voice on your song. I give this song 4/5 stars. But the rest of this double CD…. 😣