Song: Till You Come Back 2 Me
Artist: Jeffery Osborne
Album: From The Soul (2005)
Genre: Contemporary Jazz
I don’t know how the hell I missed this. On my old blog, I talked about how so underrated Jeffery Osborne is. I know he’s had a lot of hits, but still it just doesn’t seem people appreciate his music like they would someone like Peabo Bryson. But… I guess that’s just me. But, anyway… I came across an Aretha Franklin cover he did, and I don’t recall ever hearing it before! It’s her old cult classic “Till U Come Back 2 Me.” Now, I don’t remember if I shared with you guys how finicky I can be when it comes to male artist covering a song that’s been originally recorded by women. But when I heard Osborne’s cover I was so impressed! I must have listened to it at least about 6x consecutively before I moved on to the next song. He sang it at just the right tempo, with just the right octave level. When it comes to songs like these, I feel that a man choosing the right octave level is important, because you can easily run the risk of sounding like you’re straining your voice just to keep up with the original vocal arrangement. Please guys… Listen to it, I think you’ll enjoy it.
Artist: Elvis Presley
You know, It’s a shame.. In this day and age, if anyone were to play any of Elvis’s music, someone would probably scream “turn that shit off!” 🤣 But, seriously. Elvis wasn’t some ordinary street dude who got hooked on drugs. Elvis was a brilliant performer that racked up 7 number one songs, and 25 top 10 hits! Do you really know how incredibly hard that is to do? Not only that, he acquired these things within 20 years from the start of his music career. In my generation, that was literally damn near Michael Jackson status (if not equivalent). It’s so heartbreaking to know that sad stories like Elvis’s life were so common, and still is.
Now, Elvis Is Just A Novelty!
It’s really mind-boggling to me, how someone who was a mega superstar, someone who reached greater heights than most performers of his time. Yet, after his death, our memories of him had shifted from being the greatest hit maker of the 50s, to a straight up novelty act, and that includes his likeness. I don’t think there is/was anyone else on this planet, that has been not only impersonated the most, but where people have made a livable career out of it, other than Elvis.
I also think it’s kind of sad that even those performers who imitate him (a large portion of them), whore costumes that projected (what I interpret to be) the worst points of Elvis life (towards the end of his career/life). Make no mistake, Elvis was a hot tamale when he was young. Maybe I’m viewing this the wrong way. But, when I was younger, I felt there was a fine line between entertaining the public, and making fun of Elvis after the fact. The playlist I made for you has many of his #1 hits, some redoes, and songs you may not have heard before. It has 26 of what I considered his best recordings. I think ultimate favorite is a song called “Suspicious Minds,” released in 1969.
Song: Our Day Will Come
Artist: Fontella Bass
Album: The New Look (1966)
This is another perfect example of why we need more older classic music fans of color blogging. Or at least some sort of national record database, independent of Billboard. Although I eventually found out my answer, but it was only because of some faint memories I had, and some smarts. Let me explain what I mean. You see, growing up as a child, the song “Our Day Will Come,” sung by Fontella Bass was one of my favorite songs. Problem? The version of Fontella’s song is completely different from how I remembered it.
Even Recording Studios Make Mistakes.
I may not always remember lyrics, or names of artists, but I am usually very good with remembering tunes and melodies. I had an old cassette tape with various artists on it, and one of them on it was Fantella, singing “Our Day Will Come,” the version I remembered. I can no longer find that tape, however, I now have Spotify. Looked her up, and the song is completely different from how I remembered it! Well, long story short, the cassette that stated the version of “Our Day Will Come” is from Fontella Bass, was actually from Ruby & The Romantics, recorded in 1963. I’m not sure if they were on the same label, and this was printed by mistake? Or there was an even bigger error. Now, both versions are actually nice, but I think I like Ruby & The Romantics’ original version slightly better. I could just imagine how easy arguments and disagreements made because of that mistake among fans who purchased that same cassette I did. You might also remember Fontella by her second biggest popular hit called “Rescue Me (1966),” from the same album. By the way, I absolutely LOVE Amy Winehouse version of the song. I still haven’t gotten over the fact she’s gone now. I’m so pissed. What a talent, and a power badass she was!
Song: Loosey’s Rap
Artist: Rick James
Album: Wonderful (1988)
You know, after all these years, I didn’t even realize, or remembered that legendary rapper Roxanne Shante was on this record! Holy crap 🤣!! By the way, I saw her in person about a decade ago. Very very nice human being. She shared a lot of her personal stories, was very inspiring. You should watch her NetFlix documentary (if it’s still there). At the time of the “Wonderful” album release, it also took me a while to realize that the person singing was actually the late Rick James. When I heard the song for the first time on the radio, for a long time I really thought it was the band Cameo, trying to do something new. Back in the day, the one thing that was so annoying listening to the radio was, the dj didn’t always say the name of the artist. I guess sometimes it depends on the station you listened to. Advertisement/sponsors were more important than informing their listeners of the artist’s name.
This cute, Prince(ish) song called “Loosey’s Rap,” hit #1 on the Hot 100 Charts. I believe this was the only hit from this album. I used to love me some Rick James, but this was not his best album. I’m glad I only got the 45RPM single. In my opinion, I think the best album Rick James ever made, was his album called “Street Songs (1981),” Just about all his biggest hits are on that album. That included the massive smash hit ballad “Fire & Desire,” a duet with the late Teena Marie. They sure don’t make music like that anymore. Hey, did you know that (according to one of National Public Radio’s websites) a Rick James Museum is supposed to be in the works? I would have loved to see that. I do hope someone would be kind enough to post photos when it’s all complete.
Song: It Hurts To Be Alone
Artist: Bob Marley & The Wailers
Genre: Reggae Love Songs
Unless you come from the Islands, most of those that profess their fanhood for Bob Marley, know nothing of this song right here! Now, I know that “It Hurts To Be Alone,” is a sad song, but it’s a very true song, and that’s what’s so beautiful about it. You know, I think I’ve mentioned this before; in my opinion, Bob Marley was what Lionel Richie was to the Commodores; meaning in terms of overall fandom, it’s always been just Bob Marley. It’s a shame that America could not comprehend his brilliance, until after he passed. Just my opinion. Almost immediately after Bob’s Death, I remember people breaking their necks trying to buy as many Marley albums as possible, as we all knew there would be a price hike like never before!
I was reminiscing on some old music, and thought of Bob Marley, and then remembered “It Hurts To Be Alone.” This was one of many sweet classic reggae songs my late grandpa used to play. You know it’s interesting, because when I heard people talk about the late Bob Marley growing up, the conversation was almost always about his political lyrics, and how he was educating everyone about apartheid, poverty, things that were happening that America was totally oblivious to. But, Bob performed a lot of sweet reggae love songs too. He was quite diverse. Check out their song called “I Need You,” released in 1965. Also, check out “And I Love Her,” released in 1966. And oh yeah, shame on myself, for almost forgetting his most successful love song “Waiting In Vain (1983).”Elton John tickets starting at $18!
Artist: Frank Sanatra
Genre: Vocal Jazz
I wouldn’t say that I’m a diehard fan of Frank Sanatra, but considering how much I love Barbra Streisand, a lot of his music is up my alley 😇. Frank Sanatra started recording music since the early 1940s. He made a LOT of albums. I was never attracted to what I called “Bing Crosby type of music,” but out of all his many many albums, this playlist I put together contains all of my Frank favorites.
The Reality Of Demographics.
Sometimes I become sad at the reality that within my demographics, most people would never listen to someone like Frank Sanatra, and would never be open to it either. It’s one of the many explanations for our lost musical culture. But… I digress. I remember reading about so much controversy over said friendship of Frank and Sammy Davis Jr. The newspapers and television literally had two entirely different views of what their relationships was actually like.
One narrative painted Sanatra as a racist who never liked Sammy, and only used him for his talents. Then we were fed another narrative of the supportive Frank, that stuck up for Sammy through a then much more racist era; especially when Los Vegas became pupular. Just for a moment, if we can just remove whatever bias, and enjoy Sanatra for his music alone, here are some of my favorites I’ve added to the playlist. A popular tune I’m sure everybody recognizes is “Love & Marriage,” which happens to be the theme for the hit cult classic TV show “Married With Children.” Another popular song was called “Come Fly With Me.” I think it was in an official Pan Am commercial. I’m not exactly sure, but I know it was in some commercial. “Young At Heart,” was my late grandpa and I favorite. It’s funny I was so young, yet I was able to connect to the nostalgia of that song. There are 18 popular hand picked Sanatra songs for you to enjoy!
Artist: Alice Clark
Album: Alice Clark (1972)
Holy shit! Talk about a lost talent! Brooklyn born Alice Clark was so underrated it wasn’t funny. It’s really upsetting to learn just how much power these record companies had back in the day. Alice had rhythm, she had soul, and she sang her ass off. There was absolutely no reason why these record companies could not had promoted her a little more. In my opinion, her style and caliber was similar to Gladys Knight. There was no excuse for this labels. Such a damn shame. Listen to the song “Never Did I stop Loving You.” She tore this song up! Alice only produced one album as far as I can tell. There is a second album floating around, but that was a special edition/ vinyl reissue. Which means it probably costs a pretty penny.
Song: MacArthur’s Park
Artist: The Four Tops
Album: Four Tops Now (1969)
You know what? I totally forgot about this song. The song “MacArthur’s Park” was written by Jimmy Web, and first recorded by Richard Harris in 1968. Man, talk about dozens and dozens of redoes! This song was covered so many times by so many people, It’s not even funny. But, I have to say, Sammy Davis Jr., version of the song is boring as fuck!! And you know I’m open to all kinds of music. This song is not for everybody. You’ll probably more likely to like the original if you like classical music. Honestly, I think my ultimate version of this song, was when the late disco queen Donna Summer turned this in to a disco cult classic! Loved the 12 inch, on her “Live And More album.”
However, did you know that the legendary Four Tops recorded this song in 1969? The song peaked at #38 on the Top 100 Chart. I was only 2 years old then. I can’t say that I love it as much as I do Donna Summer’s version, but I really enjoyed it a lot. When you listen to how it was originally sung by Richard Harris, and the way song was was structured, almost immediately I said in my mind, this kind of music was out of their league! But, The Four Tops actually did a wonderful job. Not only was the song soulful, they managed to preserve the original essence of the song. Check it out when you get a chance. You may like it. By the way, it wasn’t until I was about 18 or 19 did I learn that the song was actually about snorting cocaine! 🤣 But, I bet you’re going to listen to it closer now, aren’t you?!?!?