I should have put Suzanne in a “forgotten artist” category, because no one is talking about her these days. There are only two huge hits I remember her for. I think she became most famous for a club mix she did called “Tom’s Dinner,” off her second album called “Solitude Standing.” This must have been a special 12 inch release, ’cause she only sings this song a-cappella on her album. I loved the beat of this song. Although the song only peaked at #5 on the billboard, it was still a considerable hit. The second song you may remember her for is a song called “Luka,” which is on the same album. This was a very important song in the 80s, as it brought awareness to domestic violence towards women. The song hit #3 on the Hot 100 Charts. She has recorded quite a few albums since then, but none has repeated the success of her second album.
Alright!!! I am back with another hit from one of my favorite reggae legends Alton Ellis!! Alton reinterpreted a song from “The Guess Who” called “These Eyes.” I loved that the producers kept the distinct baseline the same, and just instrumentally added their reggae accent. Alton’s version is so sweet, you’d think that he was the original performer. I estimate that this song has been played more than 1.4M times on YouTube. Here is the 1969 original The Guess Who’s version of “These Eyes.”
You know, I’m surprised to read that there are a lot of people who still believe that blogs are dead. This is not exactly true at all, and I think if someone wants to start a blog of their own, they should not be discouraged. What appears to be the core & common belief is that, now with the age of music streaming services like YouTube, Spotify, etc, people can just listen to music themselves without having to read the advice of others. While that is true, there are also other factors. Many people do in fact loose interest in their blogging. It takes a certain amount of dedication that many people just don’t have anymore. Sometimes people have things in their lives that has permanently taken their attention away from blogging. Or, sometimes it’s simply being technically challenged. There is a LOT that is involved in blogging. It’s not just finding a good interesting topic people want to read about; it’s also figuring out how to promote yourself for the least amount of money and time; it’s about figuring out how google works to your best advantage. A lot of people aren’t willing to invest in that kind of time, therefor, some blogs start to slowly die off.
I also considered the possibility that Google is inadvertently shadowing bloggers. Why would I think this? Well, remember that everything is automated, and keywords are used to search your content, and once a string is found, Google/X search engine can do whatever. Understand that a search engine’s algorithms are not perfect, and sometimes they can blacklist innocent sites for just typing the wrong word. This is because today, sites like Google & Facebook have become not only so politicized; they’re being made responsible for blocking “questionable sites.” So despite the fact that many people still think that blogging is dead, there are a ton of new music blogs emerging all over the place. The bottom line is, it’s true you may not necessarily need a blog to get their opinion on music, but we do still need them to help us find new music and playlists that cater to our tastes. Also, if you really are interested in a particular artist, you may appreciate a little more information about that artist, which a blog (made by other music fans) can provide. Please remember one thing, regardless of how good a search engine’s (or music service’s) algorithms are, we still need a human being to help us find quality & historical music.
Did you guys know that our very own Lynda Carter was a singer before she became the iconic Wonder Woman? Yes!! As much as I love Lynda, I saw her as a better actress than a singer. Don’t get me wrong, she doesn’t sound bad at all, she has a very beautiful voice. Her music just isn’t something I would listen to more than once. It’s really an acquired taste. As far as I’m aware of, she hasn’t ever had a big hit (at least in terms of the major music genres). Not to sound mean but, I think her singing career is surviving because of her successful career as Wonder Woman. I don’t remember her doing any other major acting gigs other than Wonder Woman. If I remember correctly, I heard her say in a television interview that she loves singing more than acting…. She sang mostly music standards. If you’re curious to hear what she sounds like, check out her album called “Crazy Little Things,” released in 2011. According to The Music Billboard, the only hit she ever had was her reinterpretation of Etta James’s “At Last (2009),” which peaked at #10 on the Jazz Charts.
Wow, I must really have been in a dance mood lately. I came across one of my favorite dance oldies you may remember from the 90’s. It’s from a classic house queen that dominated the nineties dance floor. Her name is Crystal Waters, and the song is called “Makin Happy.” The song came from her debut album called “Surprise.” I must say that, the late eighties into the late nineties were special, in that artists used to write lyrics to dances that made absolutely no sense, yet these same songs became major hits because they were fun to listen/dance to. Crystal is a poet, writer, and performer. I recommend that you go through some of her greatest hits album, she’s had a LOT of great dance tunes that has gone to #1 on the dance charts. Including “100% Pure Love (1994).”
Curtis harding has a brand new single out called “Where We Are.” This particular piece has a Black movie soundtrack feel to it. The song is almost 8 minutes long, and he uses that time wisely to show case his instrumental talents. I just absolutely love Curtis’s musical style! He is one of the very few new independent artists I really love. When you listen to his music, you can tell he grew up musically cultured. His voice perfectly fits the old school vibe of his music. It is so refreshing to hear a young artist like him (well technically he’s not that young (39 years old)) taking their creativity back to basics. There’s another song you may like, which he also released as a single called “It’s Not Over.” This song has a slight hint of Memphis sound, mixed with an updated R&B kick. You know, he performed in NYC not too long ago, and unfortunately, I couldn’t go. Oh well….. Next time..
Chaka Khan’s Through The Fire (1984). I immediately loved this song when it came out. You know, I didn’t think I’ve noticed until now, but take a look at all the names involved in this one song! Wow, you need several people to make a hit song? That’s why nobody can make money, because every single person involved wants their cut!! But, I digress…… Any whooooo. “Through The Fire,” became one of my most favorite Chaka Khan songs. Now, it’s funny because, chart wise, the song didn’t do that well. It hit its highest at 15th position on the Hip Hop/R&B Charts; but on the Top 100 Chart, its highest peak was 60th position. I’m kinda in disbelief, because in the Black community this song was very popular back in the day. It’s hard for me to think these numbers were that low. Maybe it ranked higher in another category?