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Easy Listening

Donna Summer - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

The one thing Donna Summer fans can’t complain about, is the fact that Donna left us with more 12 inch singles, remixes, mega-mixes, and more redos we could ever handle. There was a reason why we called her the disco dance queen! She certainly earned that title! The above 12 inch single is probably one of my most favorite Donna Summer dance albums. This is actually a double hit album. Side B has my favorite “Winter Melody (1976).” This was from her “Four Seasons Of Love” Album. However, this extended mix with additional lyrics was not published as a single 12 inch until about a year later (if I’m correct). Unfortunately, because I didn’t own the original album I’m really not sure, it’s an assumption.

The legendary Donna Summer

You know, Winter Melody was such a mellow “easy listening,” song that sometimes it’s hard for me to still perceive it as disco music. This song always reminds me of just how diverse music is. there are sub genes upon sub genres. On side A of this 12 inch album was a song called “Spring Affair (1976).” This is actually a great disco to do moderate exorcise with. Both these songs was recorded as a combo on American Billboard. I’m guessing this is the actual album I’m writing about, apposed to what was on the original commercial album. They both only peaked at #43. Great songs tho.

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Not sure if many of my blog fans remember an old group called “The New Birth?” (Not to be confused with “New Birth Brass Band”) They were a funk & R&B band from Detroit. This was a gigantic band back in the day. They probably were about the same size (in numbers) if not larger than Earth Wind & Fire. Ha! Those days of big bands and BoysIIMen performers are gone. Your group would have to be pretty spectacular for any label to sign a group of equal size.

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I have to say that although I was not turned on by most of their music, that’s not to say that they weren’t a talented group. I wouldn’t hold them under the same candle as Earth, Wind, & Fire, but they were good! They’ve made more than several albums throughout their career, and managed to produce 3 top 10 hits. Their first song to hit #1 was a song called “Dream Merchant (1975).” #4th position was “I Can Understand It (1975).” Their 3rd top 10 hit was ok “It’s Been A Long Time (1974),” which peaked at #9. Unfortunately, I wasn’t particularly drawn to those songs despite being huge hits.

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However, that changed when I heard a cover they did of one of my absolute favorite songs by Perry Como, “It’s Impossible.” It’s Impossible only reached #12 on the Hot R&B Charts in 1971. You know, even if you didn’t like that kind of music, the lyrics to this song is absolutely the sweetest I’ve ever heard. Also check out their cover of Michael Jackson’s “Never Can Say Goodbye (1971).” Lastly, listen to their cover of Hamilton, Joe Frank, & Reynolds’s classic “Fallin’ In Love (1976).” I guess it appears that all the songs I love from them, were all covers.


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John Waite - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

From an art perspective, I absolutely love this album cover. It’s extremely simple, and yet the photo suggests a man who is very mysterious. When I first saw this album cover, it reminded me of the movie Dark Man (1990). You guys remember that movie? Starring Liam Neeson? Great movie.

John Waite - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

My pick for today is an 80s artist named John Waite. Now, I don’t think that I can say with certainty that John is a “one hit wonder,” simply because he’s from England, and like in America, we have all these different kinds of billboard categories that sometimes make it difficult to measure artists’ popularity or even success.

John Waite - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

However, after sifting throw some charts I get a sense John only had one massive hit across the board (which happens to be my favorite). The song is called “Missing You (1984).” “Missing You” reached #1 in both Canada and the United States. In the UK the song peaked at #9. This one song made him a memorable music legend. Before his solo success, he was in a British rock band called “The Babys.”

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I laugh every time I see this album cover. I don’t know why but, they remind me of one of those Sy-Fy movies where the alien is disguised as a human, just waiting for the right time to eat your brains while no one is looking! LOLOL. Even their music was sort of space-aged. The attitude these guys are giving in this photo is liken to that of “Men In Black (1997).” No doubt a dated photo 🤣. The group I’m writing about to day is called “Soft Cell.”

No Doubt, This Group Was An Acquired Taste.




They were a really popular, and yet awkward 80s group. Marc Almond & David Balls both are from the UK, and they mostly perform synth-pop and new wave music. Well, let me tell ya, no matter how hard they’ve tried, no one seemed  to like their music, with the exception of one song that became an explosive hit! It’s really a shame that the public did not take to their music (including myself), because I think Marc had a really nice voice. Maybe his voice just didn’t fit with the kind of music David was putting together.

Soft Cell - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Record sales were so low that their record label wanted to break the group’s contract early. However, both the label and the group agreed on one last try. The decided to do a cover of an old 1965 song by Gloria Jones called “Tainted Love (1982).” The moment the recording was released, it shot up to #8 on the Top 100 Charts. The song turned out to be the one and only final hit of their career. They’ve tried create that similar formula in their later albums; but their albums never took to music fans. In fact, it was probably their “final nail in the coffin,” as every other album after their hit sounded too much alike. Here is the original 1965 classic from Gloria Jones “Tainted Love.”

I wouldn’t say that Eddie’s 1973 self-titled album was an outstanding album. However, it is his most memorable album because it includes his greatest #1 hit of his career. The song is called “Keep On Truckin’ (1973).” This song was boss back in the day. It stayed number one for two consecutive weeks! Every Black and Pro Black radio station was playing this song! In fact, I remembered the song being so popular, it seemed as though they played it with the same frequency as the commercials.

Eddie Kendricks, former member of The Temptations - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

The late Eddie Kendricks was once a talented member of a legendary group called The Temptations! However, I don’t recall Eddie singing lead on too many songs. Well, I only remembered the couple of huge hits he sang, such as “Get Ready (1966),” “Just My Imagination (1971),” and “The Way You Do The Things You Do (1964).” Despite the climbing success of The Temptations, Both Eddie (and Jimmy Ruffin as well) wanted to pursue a solo career. When Eddie finally left the group, he had a very difficult time. Because as The Temptations continued to spill out hit after hit, Eddie didn’t even make the top ten list, barely Top 40.

Eddie Kendricks - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

I’ve read that The Temptations publicly taunted Eddie as a result of his mediocre success. In fact, The Temptations produced a song called “Superstar (Remember How You Got To Where You Are) (1971),” as a direct response to both Eddie’s departure, and the firing of Ruffin. In the end, everything worked out for both of them (despite the bad blood).

Boogie Down, Was Eddie’s Second Biggest Hit




The second biggest hit of Eddie’s career was a song called “Boogie Down (1974),” which reached #2 on the Top 100 Charts. Let me tell you, I heard soooooo many different LP versions of this song back in the day, it wasn’t even funny. I loved this song though. It was almost like listening to a revamped disco version of the late Curtis Mayfield’s “Super Fly.” Eddie had a very distinct falsetto, and was one of the very few people who could put his falsetto to dance music. Eddie died early in his 50s of lung cancer.


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Patrick Swayze - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

I wasn’t really sure if I should write about today’s artist because music really wasn’t his “calling.” Well, at least when we look at his movie roster, clearly he was meant to be more of an actor than a singer. The late, legendary Patrick Swayze, was a phenomenally talented actor, dancer, singer, songwriter, and I think choreographer too. Although I can’t find anything confirming that he was a choreographer; somehow, something tells me that he was a huge influence in the movie “Dirty Dancing (1987).” About the beginning of the 1990s, People Magazine voted Patrick “The Most Sexiest Man Alive.”

Patrick Swayze - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Patrick has had a pretty successful acting career. Playing in very popular and successful movies such as Ghost (1990), Roadhouse (1989), To Wong Foo (1995), and of course, Dirty Dancing (1987). You may not like all his movies, however, it is very clear he was a phenomenal actor in his own right. He was a rare breed in that, he was one of the very few that could say he was talented in every aspect of the entertainment business.

Patrick Swayze - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

I estimate between 2007 & 2009, Swayze, confirmed to his fans that he indeed was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It was heartbreaking seeing this once incredibly handsome man, have the life literally sucked out of him by cancer. Pancreatic cancer is no joke at all. Like many artists who learn they are terminally ill, they continue working. Around the time of his diagnosis, he was working on the first season of a new TV cop show called “The Beast (2009).”  That same year in 2009, after the first season  was complete, Patrick passed away.

Patrick Swayze - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

As far as I can tell, when it comes to music, Patrick has only released one song in his entire career. That one song hit #3 on the Top 100 Charts. It was from the “Dirty Dancing” and it’s called “She’s Like The Wind (1987).” Now, this song is probably way too mellow for most people today. However, it’s a beautiful love song that thrusts you right back to the eighties! I really would have loved to hear more songs from Patrick. I think he would have had a huge music career, just as much as his acting.

Bobby Womack - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Today I’d like to talk about the late legendary Bobby Womack; who is arguably one of the hardest working men in show-business. I say arguably because I think originally the late James Brown earned that phrase. In fact, the music industry used that phrase so much that it literally became James Brown’s slogan. You didn’t even have to mention Mr. Brown’s  name, people already knew who they meant. Now, depending on who you talk to, Womack may not have worked as hard as James (comparatively speaking), however, Womack has certainly paid his dues to the industry.

Mr. Womack Was A Secret History Maker!




Womack was one of those secret history makers. The average Womack fan has no idea how much he helped to change history. For instance, did you know Womack wrote and performed a song called “It’s All Over Now (1964)” with his group called The Valentinos; which eventually became The Rolling Stones first number one hit in the UK? Not impressed? Well how about this tidbit… Did you know who originally discovered Bobby Womack and his family? It was the late Sam Cooke! Yup! After Sam saw what the Womack family can do musically, Sam damn near signed Bobby’s entire family to his record label, which was called SAR back then.

Bobby Womack - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Wow, I never realized till today just how much Bobby resembled Lou Rawls. Bobby’s life’s work payed off in a huge way, as he was inducted in the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. Throughout Bobby’s career, he has worked with some huge names in the business. Many include Sly & The Family Stone, Janis Japlin, and George Benson to name a few. After reading some of the things Bobby has gone through, including the murder of one of his brothers (in Bobby’s home) by a jealous girl friend, noway would I have thought that after all that trauma, he would have had the frame of mind to still be musically creative. This man went through a slot of sh*t. But then again, he had the support that most artists didn’t in his era.

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One of my most favorite songs from Womack I can remember, was a cover he did of The Mamas & The Papas’s song “California Dreamin’” in 1969. I actually love both versions. I was blown away Bobby reinterpreted the song inside out. The bass and the rhythm made me feel I was listening to a blaxploitation movie soundtrack. Another favorite of mine is a popular hit called “Across 110th Street (1972),” a story of street life in the ghetto. Also, check out a song called “Lookin’ For A Love (1974).”For some reason, every time I hear him sing “Lookin’ For A Love,” I almost always think of Wilson Pickett.

Richard Marx - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Unfortunately, although Richard Marx is an incredible performer and talented songwriter, I only really loved one song he recorded (so far in his career). Not that Richard didn’t have hits, he had many. I just only connected with one song. Now, before I reveal my favorite song, allow me to share with you some of his accomplishments. Richard started his career in the early eighties, and performs adult contemporary and pop music for the most part.

Richard Marx - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Marx collaborated with many artists, including NSYNC and the late Luther Vandross. I haven’t heard anything new by him in like over 2 decades, but homeboy has a lot of faithful fans. I’m pleased to discover that he’s still performing. In fact, he’s playing in Carnegie Hall next week. If he managed to fill-up Carnegie Hall, homeboy has got it goin’ on!

Richard Marx - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

His first self-titled album, released in 1987 I believe, yielded about 3 hits. “Don’t Mean Nothing,” “Endless Summer Nights,” “Hold On To The Nights,” and oh yeah, I guess there was a forth one called “Should’ve Known Better.” Despite these hits, I still wasn’t particularly drawn to his music, until I hard a song from his 1989 “Repeat Offender,” and the song was called “Right Here Waiting.” “Right Here Waiting” is a very romantic soft rock song that hit #1 on the Top 100 Charts, and has been used on many movies and television shows, such as “The Good Place (2018),” and “The Bachelorette (2018).”

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