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All About Love

Isn't It A Shame by Tracy Hamilton / Pieces Of A Dream - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Have any of my readers heard of Tracy Hamlin? Speaking for myself, I have never heard of her until recently. According to my research, she’s been around for quite some time. She started out performing in a modern jazz band called “Pieces Of A Dream.” The band has been around since 1976, however, Hamlin didn’t join the band until the mid 80s. The group was best known for their hit “Fo-Fi-Fo.” The song reached #15 on the R&B charts in 1984.

The Best Remix I Heard In A Really Long Time!




Well, Miss Thing came out with a new dance remix this year. It’s a cover of Randy Edelman’s song called “Isn’t It A Shame (1975).” Now, I didn’t know who the hell Randy was either. I discovered that he’s a composer for a lot of movie soundtracks such as Anaconda, and TV Shows, such as MacGyver. Unless I’m mistaken, this song really wasn’t well known until girl group Labelle covered it in their album Chameleon (1976).

Isn't It A Shame by Tracy Hamilton / Pieces Of A Dream - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Well guys, I found an unexpected gem. Tracy’s version of “Isn’t It A Shame,” released this year in 2019, blew my socks off!! The song was mixed by DJ Spen & Thommy Davis. Girl friend hit those notes like it was absolutely nobody’s business. 🤣 A dance mix that was very nicely done. I really appreciate her not trying hard to sing like Patti Labelle. She sang the song beautifully using her own style. Please do check out her single. Spotify only seem to have Randy Edelman’s movie scores available. But here’s a YouTube video performing his own original song “Isn’t It A Shame,” published in 1975.

The legendary Regina Belle - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

OK everybody! Let’s put our hands together for the legendary Regina Belle! You know, I’m not sure if I’m using the word “phenomenal” too much or not. But, sometimes I just can’t think of any other word to describe these very talented artists! I’m also not sure if I can truly say we’ve forgotten about Regina, but certainly, we are not playing her music anymore. Throughout Regina’s career, she didn’t have that many number ones. However, her music is iconic enough to where it’s definitely worth listening to! Especially if you love or are in the mood for mellow/romantic music.

She’s The Queen Of Smooth Jazz




She’s the queen of smooth jazz! Well, this isn’t her official title. However, much of my most favorite music from her has been within that genre. Regina started her career in the mid 80s, and her success landed her the opportunity to perform for former President George W. Bush. After Regina’s scary ordeal with having brain cancer; her loyal fans have never forgotten her, despite not having a #1 hit in decades. I’m going to make the assumption she’s cancer free, since my research alludes she’s still performing.

Regina Belle - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

By the way, I’m pretty concerned with all these celebrities I’m hearing getting all sorts of cancer. This is some scary shit. Anyway, I think the moment I fell in love with Regina’s music, was when I heard her iconic song “Make It Like It Was (1989),” which hit #1 on the R&B Chart, and #5 on the Top 100 Chart. Another favorite is “Baby Come To Me (1989),” which was also number one on the R&B Chart. However, I think the song that really put Regina on the map, was a song called “A Whole New World (Theme From Aladdin) (1992),” a duet with the legendary Peabo Bryson. This song reached #1 in the Adult Contemporary category. From the same album, check out “Quiet Time,” a duet with Barry White. Oh my goodness. Barry had a way of making any song sound sexy as hell.

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Rose Royce - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Nope! Not the car Rose Royce! Today, I’m writing about the legendary R&B group called Rose Royce! As popular as this group was back in the day, I sincerely doubt that any young person under the age of 25 knows who they were! Talk about forgotten history! This saddens me, because it’s not like it was over a century ago since they rocked the charts! It was in my lifetime! That is a disgraceful shame, a damn shame! This is precisely why most people have no clue about good music, or music diversity for that matter.

Best Known For Their Iconic Soundtrack!




Out of all the albums this band has recorded, they’re best remembered for their first masterpiece album, “Car Wash (1976).” Not only was this album a masterpiece, the album was also a soundtrack to the movie with the same name, “Car Wash (1976),” starring the late Richard Prior, the legendary Antonio Vargas, the late comedian George Carlin, and many others! A great cult classic! This first album not only literally catapulted their career in to stardom, but immortalized them, at least in terms of Black music history.

Rose Royce - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

All their most memorable hits were literally on this one album. Including of course, “Car Wash,” “I Wanna Get Next To You,” “You’re On My Mind,” and “I’m Going Down.” Now, there were other hits outside of this album that ranked pretty high on the R&B charts, such as “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore,” which by the way, was covered by Madonna in 1984. Another song that scored high was “Ooh Boy.”

SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Ralfi Pagán was truly a phenomenal musician. Has any of my readers heard about him? As we walk through music history and our heritage, the late Ralfi Pagán is one musician that is worthy of remembering. Pagán was a bilingual salsa performer, born in Bronx, NY of Cuban and Puerto Rican Parents. Not only was Ralfi an amazing artist, he was one of the very few artists I heard growing up, who was fluent in both languages on all his albums.

He Was Signed To Fania Records




Unfortunately, Ralfi died very early in his career; we never got a chance to witness his full potential. Although they say he performed traditional salsa music; I heard a lot more Cuban influence in his albums. Perhaps Cuban mixed in with in with blues rhythms. That I’m aware of, he only completed a total of 4 albums. Out of those 4 albums, only one song actually made the charts. 

Ralfi Pagán - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

The one song that registered @ #32 on The Billboard Charts was “Make It With You (1971).” This song was a beautiful cover of Bread’s 1970 original, written by David Gates. Oh my goodness, listening to Ralfi sing this song, was like listening to a very mellow Little Anthony. Honestly, the only two vocal versions of Bread’s song I really loved, were from the late Nancy Wilson and from the late Ralfi Pagán.

Ralfi Pagán - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Even though Ralfi never had a hit #1 record, the fact that he made it on the charts was a huge accomplishment. Here are some songs I recommend that you check out. “Up On The Roof,” which by the way, is another cover from a group called “The Drifters.” “Don’t Stop Now” is another smooth romantic song. He sang a cover of Smokey Robinson and The Miracles’ “Ooh Baby, Baby.” Also check out a song I know was popular enough I actually remember hearing it. It’s called “Pelao.”

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Joe Cocker - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Sorry guys for not having a post yesterday. My computer died on me. You know how that goes 😞 Yesterday, I heard a song I didn’t hear in ages! It was as song by the late Joe Cocker. First, let me start off by saying that Joe Cocker’s voice may be an acquired taste. However, I personally found a lot of his music to be very enjoyable; and relevant I may add. I’ve never saw him perform in concert live (other than television). My first impression of Cocker was that he was a raving lunatic, but had soul.

I’m Thinking…. What The Hell Am I About To Hear!




I remember seeing an old live 70s performance he did on TV for the first time (I think it was one of those PBS specials); out walks Cocker, almost looking like a mini version of Andre The Giant (with the wild hair and all). Never in a million years would I have ever thought this man was a singer. However, the moment he opened his mouth, and I heard him sing what later on became my favorite song of his “You Are So Beautiful (1974),” I was absolutely stunned!

The late Joe Cocker - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Let me tell you guys something. Generally speaking, you may not like his music, but the way that man performed that song, there is no question that he put all his heart and soul in to that song. After I heard him sing this, he earned the right to be called “Blue Eyed Soul.” I remembered my mom had his album on 8-track tape, and  I used to sit down on the floor, and repeat track 4 over and over again. Mind you, 8-track tapes where not like the cassettes most people are familiar with today; there was no such thing as rewind (that I could remember).

The legendary Joe Cocker - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Believe it or not, “You Are So Beautiful” was written by the legendary Billy Preston, and Bruce Fisher. Billy released this song on the B-side of one of his singles. That same year, Joe Cocker released his cover version, and the song hit #5 on the Top 100 Charts. It remains to be one of his most memorable hits of his life. By the way, check him out performing this song live with Patti Labelle. You may also remember him for another huge hit called “Up Where We Belong (1993),” featuring Jennifer Warnes. This song peaked at #3 on the Adult Contemporary Charts. Another hit was “With A Little Help From My Friends (1969).” This song reached #8 on the “Hot Rock Songs” category. You know, it’s interesting. Cocker abused his body so much with drugs, that I don’t think that it was no coincidence that he chose to cover this Beatles song.

Looking for love by Michelle Lawson - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

I found what I believe to be a really hot song by singer Michelle Lawson. Other than the fact that she looks like Lynda Carter (kind of), there isn’t a whole lot of juicy information on her around the internet. The most significant thing I found out was she is (or was) on a show called X-Factor, produced by Simon Cowell. X-Factor is a British talent show similar to “America’s Got Talent,” and “American Idol.”

Best Known As A Contestant On X-Factor




I’ve seen little snippets here and there of X-Factor on YouTube, but I’ve never seen an entire show. Having seen Simon be a judge on American Idol; knowing Simon has an overbearing obnoxious attitude;  I know X-Factor had to be an unbelievably difficult talent show to be on. But from what I heard so far, I know she nailed it every time, if not most of the time.

Michelle Lawson from X-Factor. SpotifyThrowbacks.com

The song I think everyone should give their ear to is “Looking For Love.” The single was just released this year, distributed by Rhythm Records. It’s a dance/club song with a lot of rhythm and a wonderful flow. Personally I think she nailed this song; and every note that came out of her mouth was precisely on key with the music. Now, I don’t believe I’ve heard of her until now; but as I look on Spotify, she’s had some albums out since 2003. Her voice is reminiscent of Mariah Carey (with Michelle having more control over her voice (if you ask me)).

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The most forgoten about Reggae Duo - Keith & Tex. SpotifyThrowbacks.com

In my opinion, I think these guys are indeed one of the many most forgotten reggae duos ever! Keith Barrington Rowe and Phillip Texas Dixon, or simply known as “Keith & Tex,” grew up and met in Kingston, Jamaica. They are most remembered for their massive smash hit “Stop That Train,” which was published in 1967 by Island Records. This was another one of many songs I used to hear my grandfather hum to himself all the time. It was strange because, most of the songs I heard my grandfather sing, I’ve usually heard him play before. But, I do not recall actually hearing this particular song until I got much older. I always thought he mistaken the song for Al Green’s “Back Up Train,” which coincidentally, was released in that same year. I stood corrected 😍

Keith & Tex, reggae duo - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Although it appears that I can’t find any stats for “Stop That Train,” I do know enough that it was one of the most popular songs in Jamaica. This song was covered, dubbed, and sampled so many times back in the day; it was wonderful to read (when it comes to outside America), fans remembered them enough that after decades they are touring around Europe and Jamaica.

Keith & Tex Met As A Result Of Their Mutual Interest In Soccer!




How funny that a mutual interest in sports brought these two music legends together! They met playing in the soccer field and became close friends. Shortly after, they discovered they also had a strong mutual interest in music as well. Transitioning from sports to music sensations was not easy. Studios in Jamaica were very critical and judgemental. They had to practice with a vengeance, until everything finally paid off. For their first recording session, they performed “Stop That Train.” The studio loved it!

Keith and Tex, reggae legends. Singers of Stop That Train. SpotifyThrowbacks.com

The second song the duo performed/recorded in the studio (which later became a hit as well), was called “Tonight.” The studio praised both songs, and the rest was history! Both enjoyed huge success at the young ages of about 16 & 17. Allow me to direct you to another great song they did. It’s a cover of one of the Temptations songs called “Don’t Look Back,” released in 1968.

Casanova by Levert! SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Wow! Even as a kid, I rarely heard the name “Casanova.” Yes, you’ve read correctly. Casanova is both a noun (last name), and sometimes used as an adjective. In essence, it means a “lover/player.” It also meant “sweet talker.” These kinds of words were not used in everyday street language when I was growing up. In fact, I almost never heard it unless I was watching one of those old film noir movies on TV. The only other time I heard it (maybe once) was when a straight guy is talking to a girl he likes, and then gets cock blocked by another dude. 😂😂

These 3 Men Where Fine As Hell Back In The Day!




I don’t know about you guys, but I had a slight crush on Gerald LeVert. He was a nice looking, and always very well groomed bear. Everything from his hair down to his close was freshly cut. The man knew how to dress. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a photo of him looking scruffy. Actually, all three of them were very good  looking. The three man group consisted of Marc Gordon; and now both deceased Gerald and Sean LeVert 😞.

LeVert SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Both Sean and Gerald LeVert were sons of Eddie LeVert, founder and lead singer of the legendary group, The O’Jays. Like their father Eddie, they were extremely talented; not just vocally, but physically as well. They were to big boys that could dance their asses off. I don’t care what anybody says! Although they sang different types of music,

Another Sad Story, Of An Outstanding Group!




We would never know what heights their careers could have reached, because after 12 years of being together, a megaton bomb hit. Gerald accidentally overdosed on prescription drugs in 2006. I am so stunned on how common drug overdose still is in this country. And a couple of years after Gerald’s death; Sean died while in jail for not paying child support. Marc Gordon, who’s now in his mid 50’s, was responsible for writing many of the groups hit songs. Shortly after the death of Gerald, he started a foundation to help bring awareness to prescription drug overdose.

Gerald LeVert, with Father Eddie LeVert
Gerald LeVert, pictured with Father Eddie LeVert

I think LeVert is probably most remembered for their massive 1987 hit “Casanova.” which reached #5 on the Top 100 Charts. Every single Black person was bobbing their head to this song. Straight women went crazy when you played this song at parties. Who knows? This could have been the start of “booty music.” 😂 Lastly, there is another favorite of mine, which peaked at #1 in 1989. The song featured Heavy D (I think The Boyz too), and it was called “Just Coolin’.

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