You know, usually, we can make a reasonable assumption that just about anything we think of can be found on the net. However, this is one of those rare cases were virtually no biographical text appears to be available anywhere on cyberspace on this group. I don’t mean to beat a dead horse….. But…. We’re loosing our history! It’s pretty frustrating when I can’t fulfill my responsibilities as a classic blogger, because I am unable to find proper resources. The Family’s Do The Robot, should have been on The Billboards at least. Anyway……
Many Aliases Of MFSB
The best information, or should I say clue about the group called “The Family,” as that the name was one of many aliases of MFSB (Mother, Father, Sister, Brother). I’m guessing that the names must have changed, as the group members changed. As I remember it, the band wasn’t really a “group,” but a project. So, it’s entirely possible that “The Family,” (not to be confused with “Sly and The Family Stone”) did not do well on the charts overall, and decided to change the name of their group project, to reflect the change in music.
During The Dance Craze
Unfortunately Spotify doesn’t have this song, but I still wanted to share it with you guys because it was one of my memories growing up. Although I didn’t see any Billboard information, I remembered this to be very popular, and it was released during the dance craze years. Just to clarify to my younger readers, when I say “Dance Craze,” I don’t mean we never really danced before. The meaning of “dance craze,” for me is when an artist/band creates their own dance, gives it a name, and associates a song to that new dance. That’s the difference between a “dance craze,” and “dance music.” Check out Do The Robot On YouTube!
The Quincy Jones Legacy! Man! I can’t believe I found this album. I literally said to myself “eenie meenie miney mo,” ’cause I did not know what was going to be today’s topic. I really struggled trying to figure out what category to put this article in. Quincy is definitely not a forgotten legend, at least as far as the music industry’s concern. However, as far as the general public, he is.
The Quincy Jones Legacy
Quincy is such a phenomenal and talented human being, I think it’s impossible to find the words to describe him. I think in order to figure out who Quincy is, you just have to listen to his works! Quincy has produced so many chart topping hits, that literally helped change the world throughout his career. Even till this day, I’m still finding works I had no idea he produced. One of which is actually on the above 1971 album “Smackwater Jack,” and the piece is called “Ironside.” Ironside is the theme to the hit 60s television series “Ironside,” Starring Raymond Burr. Raymond played Robert T. Ironside, an detective/lawyer who solves crimes in a wheelchair (basically). The show was actually pretty good!
Jazz Music Was His Game!
Quincy was his name, and Jazz music was his game. Very few musicians can touch Quincy when it came to producing music. My man Quincy Jones is clocking 85 years of age now, and he is still kicking butt producing and performing! There is no doubt that music is in his veins and throughout his whole body. Quincy worked with many other artists, including the late Michael Jackson, Count Basie, Sarah Vaughan, and Dinah Washington, just to name a few.
Inspired By Ray Charles!
With all the phenomenal artists he has worked with, do you know who was the very person that inspired him to become the person he is today? At about age 14, Quincy met the late Ray Charles and saw him perform in some night club. It was at that moment Quincy knew what he wanted to do with his life. While working very hard on his music career, above all other things, music did not stop him from being a lady’s(s) man. Quincy had been married several times, and fathered several children. According to articles I’ve read, he even had a relationship and 2 children with actress Peggy Lipton, of the original 70s TV show, The Mod Squad (which was another favorite show of mine btw).
I can’t end this article without writing about some of Quincy’s greatest music productions! Some of them include Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” U.S.A for Africa’s “We Are The World,” The Brothers Jonson’s “Strawberry Letter 23,” and Leslie Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me.”
You know, before I begin, I’d just like to say “off the bat,” I don’t mean to start off sounding negative. However, I need to share with my readers that, I’m finding the new face of Motown very troubling. It’s not that I don’t like change, ’cause long-time readers know that I am all for technology and diversity! But…… My goodness…. After Berry Gordy done the unthinkable!! Exactly 20 years ago, Mr. Gordy sold Motown records (the largest Black owned anything) to MCA records, which is now known as Universal Music Group for 60+ million dollars, sh*t went downhill after there. In 2003 Universal Music Group’s label became defunct. However, the company reestablishes several of it’s acquired labels as stand-alone, which included Motown.
Even Bigger Issues!
But…. Here are my even bigger issues I have with Universal Music Group. I’ve named this article “The Changed Face Of Motown Records!” for a reason. Although they saved the Motown label; despite the fact that Motown is supposed to be its own independent label, Universal Music Group has the credits (music streaming at least). Motown’s name doesn’t appear anywhere, with the exception for old album art. Second issue, do we know if Motown is making any money? Is this why the legendary Motown name is omitted from advertisement? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love me some Badu, and I also love me some Ne-Yo, but we can’t compare them to Diana Ross & Smokey Robinson. Universal Music Group has basically turned Motown in to a less than average grade Hip Hop label. This is NOT the history of Black people! Thirdly, and most importantly, in the past twenty years since Motown has been sold, I saw absolutely no attempts to advertise Motown’s history! I mean I haven’t seen ANYTHING! Not even a greatest hits of anything!! Today, unless you are old enough to remember Motown, it doesn’t exist.
Need More Black Writing!
So, although many of you cop an attitude when I say this, but this is a perfect example why Black folk need to start writing, and take a minute from watching “Love And Hip Hop,” and learn how to put a blog together. We need more Black Writing! No other race is going to write about us, with the same sense of urgency the way we should! I just don’t know how to explain it any clearer than that! For the 90 millionth time, we are loosing not only Black music culture, but our classic music culture in general. When this happens, just make a note that it’s going to be no one else’s fault but your own. I’m doing my part by personally building this Blog.
The Magic Is Gone!
When Gordy sold Motown, he put a price on the worth of Black music. Now the magic that Motown had is completely gone! Decimated…… Destroyed….. Sooner or later, you’ll Google Motown, and all you’ll see is some ugly n**** rappin’ about some bitch, who needs his *expletive* in her whoohaa. Is this the kind of legacy you want to leave behind? All you “xtians” need to get out of church and teach your grand kids what music history is. Don’t wait until their twenty-five, cause they’re not interested in what you have to say by then. People are going to start easily believin’ in what “sounds believable,” ’cause we’re not going to have any documentation to go back too. You can get mad at me all you want! You can say how disrespectful I am all you want! But deep inside, all your *sses know I’m talking real. You’ve failed!
Did you know that Stephanie Mills was the ORIGINAL Dorothy, of the first Broadway play of “The Wiz?” Yup! The play opened in 1975 thru 1977. I believe she performed for the entire two years (I think). I had the original Broadway album. You guys have got to hear her original live recording of “Home.” The song eventually shot to #1 on the R&B charts, and this became the start of Stephanie’s amazing career!
Did You Know?
Even today, every time I hear Stephanie sing Home, it brings chills down my spine. It was as tho that song was made just for her. No matter how many times she sings this song, when she picks up that mic, you know she’s going to tear it up lovely! I once read an article where she stated the auditioning she had to go through for The Wiz was brutal. I’m so happy she went through all of that, cause I can’t imagine anybody else doing this song so well. She was a powerful influence for young Black girls.
Gosh…. 1979! I can’t believe how long ago it’s been. My favorite Stephanie Mills song of all times is on this album! As far as I’m concerned, the disco world closed the 70s era, with one of the best disco song ever! (in my opinion). “What Cha Gonna Do With My Lovin’” had a smooth consistent beat, and it had the kind of beat that both young and old could dance too. This was the first gift my late aunt give to me @ the age of 12. I was the happiest boy ever that day. I played that song so much, I’m surprised the album didn’t turn in to dust. 😂 This was such a popular song, I’m suprised it didn’t rank higher on the billboards. What Cha Gonna Do With My Lovin’ ranked #8 on the R&B charts, and #22 on the Top 100.
20th Century Collection
Mills possesses such a beautiful and unique voice in my opinion. It’s so distinctive that on the first note, fans all know exactly who it is! I’m surprised that Spotify doesn’t have more of her old albums. However, the have most, if not all of her major hits, as well as my favorite lesser known songs. I thought about creating a playlist, but instead just go to her 20th Century Collection.
In the very late eighties, 1988 to be exact, a group called Will To Power released a song called “Baby, I Love Your Way / Freebird Medley.” This has got to be my favorite love ballads from a rock band of all times!! Actually, although the song was categorized as rock, the band itself does mostly pop. There have been many versions, but their interpretation is the best. The song hit number 1, and stayed on the charts for about 24 weeks. This became the mother theme song of all theme songs in the 80s (at least in terms of pop culture). This song was a reinterpretation of Peter Frampton’s “Baby, I Love Your Way,” which only reached #12 on the Hot 100 Charts in 1976. It’s very curious that there doesn’t appear to be any official studio version of this song from Frampton; it appears that he only recorded this live.
I found this guy on Jamendo. By the way, I don’t know if any of my readers have used Jamendo before; but in the beginning I used to find some awesome music. Now, their artists are sending really, really horrible music!!! It’s become harder and harder to find good stuff there (even with the breakdown of genres). That’s a shame. Looks like I’m going to drop Jamendo from my list of resources. Anyway…….
I’m Going To Drop Jamendo
Thankfully I did find someone I liked. His name is Volodymyr Gavrylyuk, and he is from the Ukraine. He produced a really nice reggae instrumental called “Happy Reggae Riddim” a couple of years ago. It’s one of those medleys you’d hear in one of those airline commercials to the Bahamas. Really nice tho… He also produced another laid back instrumental I like called “Positive Acid Jazz,” released as a single in 2017. Of course, there’s hardly any information on Volodymyr Gavrylyuk, however, he does have a Facebook page.
Damn! I forgot about these guys!! Recently, I was watching some old music videos on cable and A-Ha popped up! Man! I remember watching them on MTV, when MTV was just starting out!! I still have the 45rpm somewhere at home. Their song “Take On Me,” was released in 1985, and became their only #1 hit in their career. It was an extremely popular & catchy pop song. I think their song was the first pop record I ever purchased (I think). According to The Billboards, there was another song they produced that reached #20, but I personally didn’t like it. I don’t know, maybe some of my readers remember it. The song is called “The Sun Always Shines On T.V.“