Oops! It appears that you have disabled your Javascript. In order for you to see this page as it is meant to appear, we ask that you please re-enable your Javascript!

Forgotten Bands

Johnny Maestro & The Crests - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

The Crests were probably the most respected and revered doo-wop group by the end of the 1950s. In fact, they were hailed, as not only the first integrated musical group, but the first successful interracial music group. The group’s faces changed frequently shortly after the 60s. However, when the group originally started, there were a two African American males, one Puerto Rican, one Italian, and one African American female. Wow, I had absolutely no idea a woman was in the group 😨.

The Crests - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

For many of my younger readers, the group’s name will not “ring a bell.” Perhaps maybe my older readers too, as they have fell in to the realm of obscurity. However, I think you’ll remember their single big hit that cemented their careers once you hear it. The song that put them on the American Billboard map was called “16 Candles!” Then Italian lead singer, Johnny Maestro, took this song to #2 on Top 100 Charts in 1959. You may also remember the song from the movie “16 Candles (1984).” However, it was not sung by The Crests, it was actually covered by a rock group called “The Stray Cats.”

The Crests - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

The group’s song “16 Candles” was played and used everywhere. In fact, I’m pretty certain I heard it on one or two episodes of “Happy Days (1974),” which was an extremely popular TV show, that dealt with a lot of normal teenage issues. The Crests had other hits as well. “Step By Step (1960),” “Trouble In Paradise (1960),” and “Six Nights A Week (1959).” However, “16 Candles” remained their biggest and most memorable hit.

I totally and completely forgotten about this group! WOOOOOOOOW!! Does anybody even remembers an old Spanish group called Mocedades? This is one Spanish group that should not be forgotten! Why is that you ask? Well, allow me to give you a quick synopsis. Mocedades entered some sort of song contest in Spain. The song that was chosen is called “Eres Tu (1974).” After the song won second place in the contest, it was then released as a single. What’s important to note is that the group sang the entire song in their native language. To date, it is the only Spanish song that peaked #9 on the American Billboard. I remember hearing this song all the time, I expected this to be #1 on the Top 100 Charts. Actually, it peaked #3 on the Easy Listening category. I didn’t even remember we had an Easy Listening scoreboard back in the day. Now, to be honest, I don’t know how popular this group is in Spain, because obviously their music ecosystem is different from ours. But one thing I can obviously tell, Eres Tu was their money maker. Every greatest hits album they produced, Eres Tu, was either near or on top of the list. 😂 🤣 Wow, this song really took me back to my childhood. Eventually, the song was translated into several languages.

SpotifyThrowvacks.com

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.

SpotifyThrowbacks.com

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.

SpotifyThrowbacks.com

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.


Save up to 30%. See what’s on sale!

Devo (band) - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Well, I certainly don’t think they meant cool whip 🍨 🤣! How many classic fans remember this group? Talk about a weird and eccentric (I guess)! These guys were the kind of group where their music videos were actually more interesting to watch than listening to their music by itself. When I first saw what they looked like, I said to myself WTF? 😂 They reminded me of those really old Japanese Sci-Fi movies, where aliens come to blow up the planet! 👽 But, the seventies Sci-Fi look became their trademark. At the moment, I don’t recall any other band that was copying their style at the time.

Devo - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

The groups name is “Devo.” Devo is from Ohio, and got together in 1973. I didn’t even realize they were around that long! I never heard of them before, until I heard their smash hit on the radio. “Whip It (1980),” was a huge popular hit. But, you’d be surprised to know that it did NOT hit #1. In fact, it wasn’t even in the top ten. Whip It peaked at #14 on the Top 100 Charts. However, it hit #8 under “Dance Club Songs,” category. In my opinion, Whip It is the best of all their songs. While I think the song should be historically acknowledged, their music seemed more like a passing fad to me. Their music isn’t the kind of music that most music fans would normally listen to over and over again.

Lately I’ve been on an instrumental music kick 😃, I guess it’s because I had not listened to them in a while maybe. Today, I randomly chose a really OLD  group, and I’m sure almost no one reading this post would know who they are, or perhaps remember until you listen to some of their music. Today, I’m sharing with you music from a forgotten group called “El Chicano.” They are a Mexican American 70s rock group.

It’s Difficult To Explain Their Music




It’s funny, I dug a lot of their music growing up. Now that I’m older I can’t even explain what it is. I guess it’s one of those things you just have to listen to it yourself. This is no doubt a very eccentric band. Although in general, they were categorized as a rock group; however, in my opinion they really were not. Most of their works were infused with so many different styles of music, that at times it seemed experimental. Then there are other works from them that clearly sound psychedelic, which doesn’t surprise me because a lot of people were still into that kind of music in the 70s.

El Chicano - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Personally, I much preferred to listen to their traditional Latin jazz. In many ways some of their jazz music was reminiscent of Santana I think. One example of that is my favorite cover they done of Gerald Wilson’s “Viva Tirado (1970).” Now unfortunately, Viva Tirado only reached #28 on the Top 100 Charts. If I’m not mistaken, it was their only closest thing to a hit record. But, this is where the charts get complicated. Because, while the song had a moderate peak, it was hugely popular in New York City. I heard this all the time! I tell you, the more I blog, the more I realize these charts don’t always tell a true story.

El Chicano - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

However, on their 1998 album called “Painting The Moment,” there is a song I really like as well called “Ron Con Con.” It’s a shame this didn’t turn out to be a hit, because most definitely this song will make you move your body in any party. Listening to them perform this, was like Tito Puente himself came back to say “this is how you do it my brotha!” Although most of the original members are either now deceased, or moved on to other projects, the band is still performing.

SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Wow! Just look at how handsome these young men were back in the day!! Booker T. & The M.G.’s were shit! I mean, if after you listened to there music, and you were not inspired to at least shake your booty a little bit, you probably was one boring person. If you’re in my age group, I doubt you can call yourself a true music lover, and not know who these men were! From top left to right; Al Jackson jr, Steve Cropper, Donald “Duck” Dunn, and last but not least on the bottom is Booker T. Jones. Four talented men, who earned the right to be inducted in the Rock Hall Of Fame in 1992.

They Were A House Band For The Stax & Volt Labels




Much to my surprise, these talented men were a part of a house band for both the Stax & Volt labels; similar the the way MFSB was to Philadelphia Records. However, their sound and style were entirely different. MFSB sounds came from Philadelphia; however, Booker T. & MG’s sound came from Memphis. BTMG’s sound clearly has heavier drumbeats, with pronounced organs that eventually became one of the group’s signatures.

Booker T. & The MG's - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

So, allow me to share with you some of my favorite hits from this wonderful band. First, I love “Time Is Tight (1969),” “Green Onions (1962),” and “Hip Hug-Her (1967),” and “Melting Pot (1971),” Melting Pot still remains my most favorite, the beat if freakin’ hot! “Soul Limbo (1968),” is another nice one. Oh, I almost forgot, check out his “Tic Tac Toe (1965),” I think this has a funky Memphis beat as well. I think you’ll think it’s hot too. I encourage you to research more of their music, they’ve also produced some nice covers of other songs, purely instrumental. By the way, the MG in their name cleverly stands for Memphis Group! 😃

The legendary Sylvers - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Boy, talk about a forgotten music group!! Man o man!! The Sylvers were a bunch of family members who decided to start a musical group in the early seventies, and kicked the dance scene’s ass with their incredible talent! The Sylvers grew up and raised in Chicago (Chicago must be like Nashville or something, a lot of big music acts seem to come from Chicago). There musical sound was very Jackson(esk), but mostly heavy on the funk. Watching them perform was almost like watching an African American version of The Jets.

The legendary Sylvers - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

It’s funny, it was amazing hearing some of the craziest things Black folk used to say back in the day. When I was a kid, I remembered a couple of family members who tried to tell us that The Sylvers were our cousins. I’ve NEVER saw any photos of them with at least one member of my immediate family. One person actually told me that they were our cousins because “we all had good hair.” 😂 🤣 Any young kids reading my blog, if there’s one thing you’ve got to learn from my blog, is that Black folk were OBSESSED WITH HAIR in the seventies. Oh my goodness!!

The legendary Sylvers - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

The Sylvers were active between the early 1970s thru 1985, and produced several albums. The first major hit of their career was a song called “Boogie Fever (1976),” which hit number 1, and stayed number 1 for one week. This song became a Black dance anthem back in the day! Their second biggest hit was a song called “Hot Line (1977),” which became another dance anthem as well. I remember them performing these songs on Soul Train. Another cute song is “High School Dance (1977),” and the beat was reminiscent of Sly Stone’s musical style. They’ve recorded some great songs that haven’t hit the charts. I recommend checking out “We Can Make It If We Try (1973).” It’s actually my most favorite of all their recordings.

The Freaks Come Out At Night! by Whoodini - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Wow! Look what I found in my magazine collection! Just been awhile since I’ve done a snapshot. So, let’s do this! When it comes to me listening to hip hop back in the day; Whodini’s music was the type of music you’d most likely witness me listening to. Yeah, young kids may laugh at rap groups like this now, calling it “bubble-gum music.” But back in the day, raps like these where considered serious music, especially when you looked at it from a sales standpoint. Didn’t matter if you personally hated this music, because the massive profits made these types of opinions irrelevant. This was an era where, rappers enunciated their lyrics, and we understood what they were rapping about. Not only was Whodini on top of the rap game, they were also very active in anti-drug campaigns, which included a collaboration with the late (then NYC governor) Mario Cuomo.

Categories