I am sure I’m not wrong about this…. But….. Yes…… I do believe that singer/songwriter Larry Graham is among the many great forgotten artists. As far as I can remember, he only had two major hit songs of his career, and they were in 1980 and then in 1981. This man had a sexy *ss voice! He had what we used to call “bedroom voices.” There were very few men that had those types of voices, off the top of my head, Teddy Pendergrass, Barry White, & Luther Vandross. The first hit he released was in 1980 “One In A Million You,” grown women went bananas over that song. The song hit #1 on the U.S. R&B charts. With the exception of some college radio stations, I don’t think there were any stations that wasn’t playing this song. Growing up, almost every woman wanted this song played for their wedding. That’s how serious it was 😁😂 I’m not joking about that either 😜. When people heard this song on the radio back in the day, people would literally stop what they were doing to sing along until the song was finished.
The second huge hit of his career is a song called “Just Be My Lady,” released in 1981. The song peaked at #4 on the R&B Charts. This was another highly requested song for weddings. There was a song he recorded in 1975 that did ok on the Top 100 Charts, the song was called “Your Love.” Graham recorded the song along with a group he put together called the “Graham Central Station.” The song peaked at the 38th position on the Top 100, however, I couldn’t find anything on the R&B Chart. It probably didn’t do well enough to get on the chart’s radar.
Another classic photo from my scrapbook!! Janet Jackson, present for the American Music Awards! I am pretty confident that this was in 1983. Janet was enjoying the success of her hit song “Young Love.” Although “Young Love” only reached #64th position on the Top 100 Charts, it shot up to #6 on the R&B category.
This remix of Chic’s “Le Freak” by Oliver Heldens is freak’n’ awesome!!This is absolutely the best Chic club remix since I can remember. I am stunned, talk about coming out of left field? This is the kind of intense club music I remember growing up in the 80s. You just don’t hear great club music like this anymore, at all. However, It seems as thought this is the only mix I like from him. I found out he’s a well known DJ, but he mostly does EDM music. Rarely have I heard EDM music I like. Call it getting old, I don’t care.. 😜 But……. Yo, this Chic remix is hot I think.
I absolutely LOVE this reggae classic! My only problem is I wish it was longer than 2 minutes and 15 seconds. That is definitely not enough time for a reggae groove like this one! But, then again, two and a half minutes was about the average time for most songs back then. “Enter The Dragon,” was from an album called “Kung Fu Meets the Dragon,” by (then) called “The Mighty Upsetter.” This particular album was a special project inspired by martial arts; I found this very interesting and yet odd at the same time. Because in terms of people from Jamaica, West-Indies, etc; reggae music was still very highly political in the 70s, we just didn’t witness these types of albums (at least here in the states anyway). Although reggae musicians were inspired to sing about damn near anything, this album came out of left field for me 😜
The album was practically all instrumental, and if you ask me, I think this project was some of his best work I ever heard! The album “Dubstrumentals,” was digitally released in 2005, and it includes all of the musical works from “Kung Fu Meets The Dragon,” plus a lot of additional dubs I know you’re going to like. Just about all the music in “Dubstrumental” are smooth ska music. I recommend checking out a piece called ” Samurai Swordsman.”
Believe it or not, I actually like this new song “Figure It Out,” by Lucas Estrada and Pawl. You know what? If Drake actually tried to sing, he’d probably sound like Lucas! 😁 When I listen to the rhythm of this song, it reminds me A LOT of Stevie Wonder’s “Master Blaster (1980)” for some reason. Remember that song? You know, for a very young artist, I hear a lot of soul in his voice. I think this is a very nice track.
Wow! When Ray, Goodman, & Brown (formally known as The Moments) came out with this slow jam right here, I couldn’t stop listening to it. I remembered hearing this song all the time on the radio, especially stations like Lite FM. This song was so popular, I don’t know how many times I used to wake up with this song already playing on the radio. “Special Lady,” released in 1980 was #1 on the R&B Charts, and #5 on the Top 100 Charts. The Moments where best known for songs like “Love On A Two Way Street,” and “Sexy Mama.” Almost all the original members of The Moments have past on, including Al Goodman recently in 2012 @ the age of 67. Larry Winfree steps in place of Goodman. One of the last legends of the era of good music!
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.