All About Love
Artist: Tom Gaebel
Genre: Contemporary Jazz
Ok guys…… The voice of today’s artist doesn’t exactly set me on fire. However, at the same time, I’m open minded enough to recognize that the song was put together very well. I find this song enjoyable. The almost Anthony DiNozzo Junior look-a-like (almost in swagger as well), hot tamale is from Germany, and has been around for a little more than 10 years. Although they’ve categorized him as “jazz,” or “contemporary jazz,” in my opinion, he more so borderlines “music standards,’ or Broadway sounds. This is the first time (I believe) I’ve listened to a singer where German is his native tongue, singing in English. I’m impressed. He’s got a sizable discography, very impressive for that genre. You know it’s strange, if I didn’t know his name or anything, and I just heard him on the radio, I would have sworn it was Classic IV. I must have a serious music passion, when I can relate almost any person, voice, or situation with a song. I’m pathetic… Yet, funny….. 🤣 I guess it’s inevitable that I would be that kind of person.
But, guys… Seriously…. Sometimes it can be a problem when a song reminds you of another song, and you can’t remember, and you’re still trying to remember for weeks! 😂 I know I’m not the only one. But guys….. My Puerto Rican readers, tell me that the background instruments to this song “You Make Me Feel” doesn’t remind you of Bimbo Jet’s old classic El Bimbo?!?! 😜 I had the disco version growing up, and I played the shit out of that song. Another one that just kept ringing in my head like a darn commercial jingle. LOL. Although Bimbo Jet was actually French, it was huge in the Spanish community. Anyway, Tom’s music isn’t the kind of music I would gravitate to everyday. But, I did save this song to my library. If you like Broadway type music, go right ahead and look him up. By the way, the song was mixed by Dim Zach & Yannis. I’ve heard a lot of Dim Zach’s work, and he’s pretty talented in my opinion.
Song: Grooving Out On Life
Artist: Hopeton Lewis
Album: Grooving Out Of Life (1973)
Genre: Sweetest Reggae
Actually, this entire album is an extremely rare gem. I doubt a whole lot of people have this album, and that includes myself. I’m sorry to discover that Mr. Lewis passed away not too long ago. He was truly a sweet reggae legend in my opinion. I first written about him on my old blog a few years ago. You may remember the late Mr. Lewis by one of his hit songs used in a travel commercial (don’t remember what company), the song was called “Take It Easy (1967).” Man, that tune was so catchy, it was stuck in my head for awhile. LOL Something interesting, I discovered that there are two different versions of “Take It Easy.” This album has a much mellower version. I personally prefer the faster one, which was used in the commercial.
This Album Is A Must Add To Your Streaming Library!
Today’s song “Grooving Out Of Life,” for some reason reminds me a lot of a song called “Girl Watcher (1968),” performed by The O’Kaysions. Remember that song? That was some great music too. Not sure what notes exactly reminds me of the song. Anyway, “Grooving Out Of Life” did not get that many plays. However, it makes sense, since reggae was not huge at the time in America. Shit, even with the major success of Bob Marley, reggae still didn’t scratch the surface (in my opinion). But, “Grooving Out Of Life” is an awesome song in my opinion, an unheard gem indeed!
Lewis had some very nice covers on this album. I think it’s worth listening to his cover of Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary.” Although Tina had many people cover this song, I don’t recall ever hearing a reggae version. Lewis took me off guard with his rendition, but I think it sounds really good. Another cover I think is worth listening to is Express Yourself, which was originally done by Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band. The last cover I think you should listen to is “Love Is A Beautiful Thing.” I don’t remember the original group that sang this, but my earliest memories was a group called The Rascals. Lewis performed it nicely. This could have been a huge Motown like hit if America was more receptive to reggae artists back then.
Song: Baby I’m For Real
Artist: The Originals
Album: Baby I’m For Real (1969)
Genre: Soul Music
Ladies…. If you were to tell me that you wouldn’t want your man to sing this song to you on your wedding day, I’d say you are a liar, a straight up liar! Unless of course, if your man can’t sing to save his life 😂. In terms of classic music, I doubt you could get any more romantic and heart felt than this gem right here. I was just shy of two years old when this song came out, and even when I became a teenager, I felt the intensity and emotion of this song.
It Was Almost Like Listening To The 4 Tops!
Today’s group is called “The Originals,” and I’m not talking about the vampire TV show either! 😃 A beautiful classic ballad that literally slipped away from the radio waves, is still kicking ass on music streaming! 50 years after the release of “Baby, I’m For Real,” is still remembered by millions! By just looking at Spotify alone, the song picked up almost 6 million plays! This does not include other legal streaming services, internet radio, and YouTube! That is incredibly impressive for a song that is now considered obscure, at least when it comes to mainstream radio. As a blogger who’s trying to save our music history, this makes me feel very good.
The group made several albums, but “Baby I’m For Real” was their biggest hit that cemented the group’s career. The song hit #1 on the R&B charts, and #14 on the Top 100. A year later, they produced another major hit called “The Bells,” which hit #4 on the R&B chart, and #12 on the Top 100. These guys were extremely talented, and I’m shocked at the fact that despite being signed to Motown, they didn’t pump out more hits. The Originals sang all kinds of music, including disco. If you’d like, check out their “Very Best Of The Originals” album.
Song: Various Songs
Artist: Various Artists
Album: K-TEL: The Elite (1981)
Genre: Easy Listening
Hi guys!! I hope all my readers had a safe and enjoyable xmas! Today I put together a nice playlist for you guys. Question: Do you remember a label called “K-TEL?” I don’t remember what it actually stands for, but K-TEL International is actually a company that sells products through infomercials and other various marketing techniques, but it’s usually by way of television. K-TEL also owned a record label, and focused on re-selling chart topping hits. In my opinion, back in the day K-TEL was actually vital to music collectors. When we had no other choice but to buy our records, although they were cheaper than they are now (physically), it still cost us a ton of money to purchase whole albums (and even singles if you wanted a lot of songs).
K-TEL was “heaven sent” for most of us die-hard music fans. What was nice about companies like K-TEL was that they compiled all the biggest hit songs we missed, and put them all on one album. Buying these albums were like buying collections from Time Life. The only real difference between K-TEL and Time Life, was that Time Life offered half hour detailed infomercials, and usually promoted several albums/cassettes at a time. Actually, K-Tel’s music choices for their albums were slightly different (if I was to be quite honest). I really loved K-TEL, I can tell that whatever committee responsible for selecting the songs for each album knew what they were doing. Most of the albums they released had very good songs on them. At least 10-12 good ones out of maybe 16-18.
Even for the artists I didn’t necessarily like, usually the best of their songs were selected. An example of that was Diana Ross. I never thought Diana had an amazing voice, she was just lucky to have good writers and producers under her belt (and I guess having a relationship with Berry Gordy didn’t hurt either). “It’s My Turn (1980),” theme from the movie “It’s My Turn,” I felt was a really nice song. Not only did she sing this song well, it was one of the very few songs I’ve heard where you actually hear a story in it. Another great classic song on this album is “The Logical Song (1978).” In the US it peaked at #6 on the Top 100. The song actually did very well around the world. This album also has my only second favorite from Boz Scaggs called “Look What You’ve Done To Me (1980).” Scaggs’s ballad was so huge, you couldn’t turn on the radio without it already being played. The song hit #3 in Adult Contemporary. The type of songs selected throughout all their albums, almost became their signature trademark. Enjoy!!
Song: Ohh Baby, Baby
Album: Uptown Festival (1977)
Wow! This goes to show you just how much good classic music exists. I have been a long time fan of Shalamar, and I don’t recall ever hearing their cover of Smokey Robinson’s “Ooo Baby, Baby,” c 1965. What was an even bigger shame was that, according to one source I’ve read, the song actually reached #1 in the US. Not sure what chart that was on, but I’m banking on the fact that it had to have been at least the R&B category. Unfortunately, sometimes categories could make a difference as to where you hear certain songs on the radio.
This Was An Awesome Cover Song That Slipped passed My Ears!!
Not knowing the specifics of the song, I’ve read enough material to get a sense that the album “Uptown Festival” did very well back in the day. But honestly, out of all of the tracks I’ve heard on this album, “Ohh Baby, Baby” was the best one. I would have played the hell out of this song. It was a nice surprise finding this, cause honestly I wouldn’t have looked for it. However, the other thing was, Shalamar has changed so much other the years. They’ve swapped/replaced so many members, it became a choice of what version of Shalamar you liked best. That sometimes became a headache when looking for their music too. Even with music streaming, as results given are usually only the popular searches.
Song: Deck The Halls
Artist: Nat King Cole
Album: The Christmas Song (1962)
Well, although I don’t celebrate Xmas anymore, given that my blog is about classic music, I thought it would be fitting to celebrate Xmas from a nostalgic point-of-view. Xmas for me now has a different meaning. It is not about the celebration of a savior, but the celebration of cherished memories of my late grandfather. Remembering him relax on his recliner while listening to ol’ Nat King Cole, gave me the joy of watching him enjoy his most favorite music, and letting his “hair down.” Without meaning to sound like I’m exaggerating, I think my grandfather was more religious than anyone I’ve ever met. And I don’t just mean that from the standpoint of belief, but the kind of person he was (in relation to what he believed).
Nat Has Been Immortalized By His Xmas Music!!
You know, I think when it comes to classic music being lost, Xmas seems to be the exception to the rule (so far). Unlike mainstream music we listen to frequently (and repetitively), we listen to Xmas music perhaps about 2 weeks consecutively, for once a year. Today, in the age of streaming, there is so much content out here that, if you don’t listen to a song for a couple of months, it’s forgotten about. Yet, this doesn’t seem to happen with Xmas music. I truly think it has a lot to do with the power Xmas has to bring families together in a way that goes far beyond even thanksgiving day. (just my opinion). Xmas music now becomes associated with that family time.
I know that I’ve selected Nat’s “Deck The Halls,” but, in reality, the whole entire album is a masterpiece. I haven’t met anyone who celebrates Xmas, who hasn’t enjoyed listening to this album from side A to B. Also, for my Boriqua readers, don’t for get about the cult classic Salsoul Orchestra! WOW! It seemed like everyone I knew growing up had the Xmas Jollies album. Here are some recommendations of classics that have been digitally reissued. “Santa Got A Bag Of Soul (2013),” by The Poets Of Rhythm; “Wonderful Xmas Time (2018),” by Diana Ross; “Mary’s Boy Child (2000),” by Harry Belafonte; “What Xmas Means To Me (2019),” by Stevie Wonder; “Put A Little Love In Your Heart (2001),” by Annie Lennox & Al Green (not exactly Xmas music but it fits the spirit); and finally “Dear Santa (Bring Me a Man This Christmas) (2014),” by The Weather Girls.
Song: Rising To The Top
Artist: Keni Burke
Genre: Smooth Jazz
Oh, I think I have a nice one for your guys today! My young readers don’t know anything about this man here! Keni Burke is a songwriter, singer, and producer. Keni started his career some time in the mid 60s. Damn! I had no idea he was around for that long 😜. Burke first joined the band called Five Stairsteps around ’67, they’re probably best known (if you do remember them) for their hit song “O-o-Child (1970).” After about two albums, the group disbanded. Well, you may not remember his name, however if you’re Black, I can say with almost full certainty that you’ve heard at least one of his works.
You May Not Remember His Name, But You’ll Recognize This Hit!!
Unfortunately, this is another example where I have trouble finding chart information 😡. All I can tell you is that today’s song “Rising To The Top” was perhaps the biggest song in his career, especially in the Black community. The song was sampled several times by big names. Probably the most memorable (I’m assuming) was done by the Mary Jane Girls, with “All Night Long (1994),” which hit #8 on the Dance Charts, and #11 on the R&B Charts.
Old school rapper Doug E. Fresh also sampled a little bit of Keni’s song with “Keep Risin’ To The top (1988).” Also, Big Daddy Kane with “Smooth Operator (1989).” Several other well known names has sampled Keni’s song. My young readers just don’t know how popular this beat was in the Black community back in the day. I’m dumbfounded I can’t find the stats on Keni’s song. I don’t know if there are technical issues on Billboards site in regards to Keni’s music? I don’t know…. Whatever….. There you have it… Another example of a master, lost in music history!
Song: Dance With Me
Album: Let There Be Music (1975)
Genre: Soft Rock
I can’t remember if I already blogged about this group on my old blog. I guess it doesn’t really matter, there will always be content someone hasn’t seen yet 😄. Well, today’s group is a group called “Orleans.” They’ve been around for a really, really long time. In fact, they’ve been performing since about the early 1970s. This is the kind of light rock I’m attracted to. Actually, I guess technically you can make an argument that today’s song leans more towards country. I wouldn’t disagree.
I Love How Well They Harmonize!
Their hit “Dance With Me,” reached #6 in the US, and #5 in Canada. The song eventually hit certified gold! This remains my most favorite song throughout their entire discography. They harmonized so well together, making it one of the most romantic songs by a group (of this genre) (in my opinion). Another major hit I loved from Orleans was their song called “Still The One (1976).” I considered this song to be another masterpiece.
“Still The One” reached #5 in the US and #9 in Canada, and also grabbed gold certification! They just don’t make good music like this anymore, and neither are they playing them anymore. Unfortunately, the two above songs were their greatest accomplishments musically. However, they did have a song called “Love Takes Time (1977)” that reached #11, but I didn’t like it at all. It borderlines the kind of rock I normally don’t listen to. I don’t think the group has made any new material for a while. Most of what I’ve seen were republished songs. It’s a shame they only had 3 major hits, they’re actually a very talented group in my opinion.