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Forgotten Artists!

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 Pattie 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.

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.

SpotifyThrowbacks.comny time we talk about rock legends (for those of us who are old enough), what are the names that usually pop up immediately in our heads? I think it’s safe to say that the one name that’s always on the top of that list is Elvis Presley, you agree? Maybe another name that would probably pop up is, the legendary Chuck Berry? Or perhaps I should drop one more name. How about Bill Haley & The Comets? Although their probably only known today (if any), by their massive global hit, “Rock Around The Clock (1973),” which was the opening theme song to the TV cult classic “Happy Days.” It was a pretty good show I may add. Who would have ever thought that Ron Howard would move on to be a big time movie producer huh?

Jerry Lee Lewis - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Although I’ve just named some good ones, there is one major rock legend that (in my opinion) seems to slip from many people’s memories. That is Jerry Lee Lewis. Jerry was like a one man Beatle(s), that’s the easiest way to describe just how popular this man’s music was, to those who are not familiar with him. This guy has published so many albums, he can literally have his own library. Although he’s best remembered for his rock ‘n’ roll, he also done a lot of country music as well. In fact, quite a few of them rose to #1. However, to be quite honest, I much preferred his wild “Chuck Berry” style of rock ‘n’ roll. Most if not all his country put me to sleep (and you guys should know by now, I love me some classic country music, but I’ll have to pass on Jerry’s country 😂). Now, I could be wrong with what I’m about to say, but I am just going by my memories of actually listening to his music growing up. I’m going to say that based on my opinion that Jerry’s song “Great Balls Of Fire,” released in 1957 was one of his (if not the) biggest memorable song in his entire career. I say this because out of all the other songs I’ve heard by Jerry, I remembered this one to be the dominant song on the radio. It reached #2 on the Top 100 Charts, and #1 on the Hot Country Charts. It was ranked 96 as the greatest song ever made according to Rolling Stone Magazine.

Jerry Lee Lewis - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

So, it’s kind of difficult for me to find out just how many hit songs Jerry actually had, because some songs of his I personally would categorize as rock, is actually under country. So I’ve obtained a few numbers, I’m just going to assume they include all his hits. O.K., I have the following; 4 Number Ones, 23 Top Tens, out of a total of 55 songs that actually made it to The Billboard Music Charts. This was impressive, considering his career could have been completely destroyed, after a scandal that broke about him marrying his cousin. Americans didn’t tolerate those things in the 50s (still don’t), and it’s quite shocking that he found venues to even perform after that. Now imagine the public rage, when the story broke about director Woody Allen married his adopted daughter. Jerry’s scandal was 10 times worse.

Jerry Lee Lewis - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Jerry is now about 83 or 84 years old, alive and kicking. I’ve read some sources that say he’s still performing. Other songs I’ve enjoyed were “What’d I Say,” which was originally song by Ray Charles I believe. Finally a song called “Jailhouse Rock,” which I believe Elvis sang this song as well. Despite Jerry’s scandal somehow he still managed to achieve legendary status in rock music. If not for his music, he still would have been legendary for the scandal. Either way.

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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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One Draw by Rita Marley. SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Ok Rita, I’ll be nice for this post, and out of respect for your late husband. I wasn’t ever a fan of Rita Marley, wife of the late Bob Marley. But I guess I have to give her credit for her one hit. Well, sort of hit. “One Draw,” became a major hit in both the Black and reggae community. It was the only song I ever liked from Rita. It was a catchy tune, but unfortunately it only reached #48 on the dance club category. Despite my strong dislike for Rita, I think this song should have ranked much higher than this. Sometimes I wonder if the song being about weed had something to do with it. In the 80s, marijuana was an unbelievably huge debate.

At Age 72, I Think That’s It For Rita!




My late grandfather loved “One Draw.” The 12 inch single had what appeared to be a funny improvisation towards the end of the song. Kids talking to their teacher while smoking marijuana. Personally, I thought it was hilarious! I thought that was the best part of the song. So, I think this is pretty much it for Rita. She’s about 72 now, and I can’t see her making any fierce comebacks (if any). But, then again, she doesn’t need to. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Rita is valued at $50 million as a singer. But let’s be honest, her late husband, and her late husband’s estate had a lot to do with that. No one was taring up the record shops looking for Rita’s music. But you know, according to Modern Ghana, Rita’s house/recording studio was burned down in c. 2010. The article states that there was about 20 million dollars in damages.

Rita & Bob Marley. SpotifyThrowbacks.com

You know, Bob Marley left an unbelievable legacy to the world, I’m just so sorry how his story ended. You really get to see the true colors of people when it comes to money; especially after a loved one dies. When Bob died, people wasted no time taking his estate to court, claiming unpaid royalties. Or even claiming birthrights. It was disgusting! Even The Wailers! The Wailers has been with Bob Marley since forever; why would they claim Bob cheated them after he dies? If The Wailers were such talented writers, how come I don’t see any new music on the charts since Bob’s death? It is not logical for anyone to work for a considerable amount of time for someone, knowing they’re missing substantial payment. Why would you do that? For charity? I digress. I’m sure the fact that Bob messed around with a lot of women did not make things easier either. Money turns a men in to animals.

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Singer and porn star, Samantha Fox! SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Legendary 80s dance deva Samantha Fox (not to be confused with the porn star Samantha Fox), was one of the baddest bitches in club music! Now, I know that some of my readers may disagree with Samantha being a dance deva; but this completely depends on the environment your in. Hate her/love her, her music was a must have in terms of the underground.  In fact, believe it or not, her music just wasn’t big in the straight night clubs; but she was also a massive hit in the gay clubs too! Strangely enough, she had a considerable connection with Black gays. The common answer I got was “her music was easy to vogue to.”

She Was One Of The Biggest Dance Devas Of The 80s!




When I tell you records and tapes? Every mix, remix, dubs, tribal mix, and mega mixes that was released by Samantha, the gay community had it. Back in the 80s when we still purchased albums, about every hour someone would ask if a store had the latest Samantha Fox mix. It was so serious that if a club didn’t play Samantha Fox, I remembered people saying “They didn’t play my song!” 😂

Pinup girl Samantha Fox. SpotifyThrowback.com

Unfortunately, for this UK girl, Samantha was often confused with the porn star whose stage name was also Samantha Fox, because Samantha (the singer) done a lot of risque pinup work. Most of her pictorials were topless, and unfortunately, this was the only “safer for work” photo I found I could share. Ok straight boys, don’t drool all over your keyboard. LOL. Samantha started off posing semi-nude in a London paper at the estimated age of 16.

Samantha Fox, dance deva. SpotifyThrowbacks.com

One of my ultimate favorites from Samantha was her massive 1989 hit, “I Wanna Have Some Fun.” This song peaked at #8 on the 100 chart. Another favorite is a song called “Love House.” I was quite surprised that the song only peaked at #14 in the U.S. But, then again, like I’ve mentioned earlier, it depends on your environment. I remember gay children literally jumping over each other just to get on the dance floor when this song was played. Goodness, I really do miss those days. The music was different, and the people were different. I’ll give you one more huge favorite of mine. It’s called “Naughty Girls (Need Love Too).” The song peaked at #3 in 1988. I think it’s a great dance tune!

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Musician and vocalist, Michael Henderson. SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Today’s topic is, “An Artist’s Magic In The Background.” I guess, unless you’re an actual musician, the average person doesn’t know who Michael Anderson is. Michael has had a couple of R&B hits, one song is called “Take Me I’m Yours (1978),” which unfortunately although it hit #6 on R&B charts, it only got as high as #88 on the Top 100 Billboard. That was a shame because the man can sing. By the way, I think this song would be a perfect for this coming Valentine’s Day.

Henderson Reminds Me So Much Of Ray Parker Jr.




Back in the day, I just couldn’t get over the uncanny resemblance between Henderson and fine ass Ray Parker Jr. I’ve been going crazy trying to find any evidence that Henderson is Parker’s brother. However, I could not find anything, so I guess it’s just a coincidence. But, interestingly enough, Henderson has worked with many artists in the background, and that included Ray Parker Jr.

Legendary bass player Michael Henderson. SpotifyThrowbacks.com

In addition to Henderson being a talented vocalist (although I think he doesn’t project his voice enough), he’s also an accomplished bass player. As a result, he’s been able to work with lots of very famous people, such as the late Miles Davis, Bob Seger, Phyllis Hyman, and even Adele. The list goes on and on. He is very much sought after.

The legendary bass player Michael Henderson. SpotifyThrowbacks.com
DETROIT – SEPTEMBER 1976: Legendary Motown bass player Michael Henderson poses for a portrait session in September 1976 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Michael Marks/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Probably one of the biggest projects (that I can remember) Henderson has been a part of, is his collaboration with Norman Connors. Henderson was featured on the #4 R&B hit “You Are My Starship (1976).” Another great collaboration was with the legendary Phyllis Hyman, on the song called “Can’t We Fall In Love Again.” The song hit #9 on the R&B charts; but only #57 on the Top 100 Charts in 1981. Great song! Check it out.

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