Forgotten Artists!

Song: Touch Me In The Morning

Artist: Marlena Shaw

Album: Go Away Little Boy (1977)

Genre: Disco

Now, I don’t mean to offend any Marlena Shaw fans out there, but her music really didn’t lit my fire back in the day. It wasn’t because I thought she couldn’t sing, she had an amazing voice. I guess it was one of those things I believed she was singing the wrong music for her type of voice (again, just my opinion). However, I do acknowledge she did some really, really good cover songs throughout her career.

She Did A Lot Of Talkin’ In Her Music




Marlena is one of those performers that did a lot of talking in her music. She kind of reminded me of artists similar to Linda Clifford (in that respect). As far as my memory goes, I think some of her best covers came from the disco genre. Her cover of Diana Ross’s “Touch Me In The Morning,” was awesome in my opinion. I don’t have access to the numbers, but I know that it was pretty big on the dance charts. I think this cover matched with her voice perfectly. It’s not easy turning a song (that was originally slow paced) into a disco hit.

Marlena Shaw - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Now, she did another cover of a song I thought was originally by Angela Bofill (1978), ’cause that’s who I heard my grandpa play a lot growing up. But it turns out that it was originally sung by legendary Martha Reeves (1975). The cover song Marlena sung was called “This Time I’ll Be Sweeter (1976),” from her “Just A Matter Of Time,” album. I love all three versions of the song. But, honestly guys…. This is such a beautiful song, unless you have a voice of a freakin’ frog, I think it’s pretty hard to mess up this song. For real 🤣. You know what? While I’m on the same album, check out her song “Brass Band,” it has a really nice smooth jazzy, disco beat to hit.

Alibris UK: books, movies & music
Alibris UK: books, movies & music
Janis Ian - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Song: At Seventeen

Artist: Janis Ian

Album: Between The Lines (1975)

Genre: Folk Music

I guess I can safely say that anyone under 30 years of age either don’t remember Janis Ian, or just never heard of her before. It’s understandable, because today I think that most people around the globe barely listens to folk music anymore. And by the way, I don’t think it’s because people now see folk music as “boring,” or not enjoyable anymore. My personal opinion is that a significant amount of folk music from the 60s & 70s were very political, and it was from an era that most people can no longer relate to, or the lyrics are no longer applicable to the average person’s life anymore (I guess).

In 1975, Ian Crushed The Charts With Her Only One Top 10 Hit




“I learned the truth at seventeen,” was the first lyric sung that pretty much said it all!! Ian’s hit “At Seventeen,” was a very special song in my opinion because it was a song of re-contemplation, perhaps re-assessment of who you are. The blend of mellow music and meaningful lyrics sort of forced one to re-evaluate yourself. The song was appropriately titled “At Seventeen,” because all the lyrics described what I think almost every child has gone through at least one in their life. Particularly young girls. The question of beauty. Being physically worthy of having a relationship. Wondering if whether or not one can even compete in the harsh world perfectionism and good looks.

Janis Ian - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

I also believed that the song hit #3 on the Top 100 Chart, because young people resonated with those lyrics. Speaking from experience, teenage social issues were emotionally heavy stuff in my era. And if you didn’t have the kind of parents with the kind of grace necessary to help you through some of those teenage issues, you become a basket case as an adult. Maybe if you read her lyrics you’ll understand what I mean. She also had a song that almost made Top 10 called “Society’s Child (Baby I’ve Been Thinking),” it only got as far up as the #14th position. I think Ian will only be most remembered for “At Seventeen.” It’s a shame because her first album “Between The Lines” was really an amazing album I think.

Hopeton Lewis - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

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!

Hopeton Lewis - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

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.

K-TEL Records - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

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 - Records - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

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.

Diana Ross - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

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!!

Shalamar - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Song: Ohh Baby, Baby

Artist: Shalamar

Album: Uptown Festival (1977)

Genre: R&B

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.

Nat King Cole - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Song: Deck The Halls

Artist: Nat King Cole

Album: The Christmas Song (1962)

Genre: Xmas

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.

Sasoul Orchestra - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

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.

Keni Burke - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Song: Rising To The Top

Artist: Keni Burke

Album: Changes (1982)/Extended (2014)

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.

Keni Burke - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

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!

Rare Disco Tunes - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Song: Various Music

Artist: Various Artists

Playlist: 20 Rare Discos (2019)

Genre: Disco

Hi guys!! Today, I decided to make a special playlist for my blog fans! Are you ready? I hope so! ‘Cause I think you’ll have a blast with this nostalgic explosion! In this playlist, I’ve put together 20 of some of the (now) most rare disco tunes! Growing up, we used to burn the dance floor with some of these tunes, and I think they will go great with your new years celebration!

I Know You Forgot About Many Of These Songs!




I’m so happy to be on Spotify. Almost every day, I’m just stunned by what’s in Spotify’s library. I mean, the music that Spotify has, isn’t just the same oldies that other streaming services have. I’ve found a LOT of music that are now considered obscure. When I was on Rhapsody several years ago, I had to hand write a lot of music I wanted, because Rhapsody just didn’t have it. Not even iTunes had some of the music I wanted. Although I still saw the value in streaming services, it almost became impractical in my case, just because (I guess) my taste was just too specialized {then}.

Soul Train - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

So happy I gave Spotify another chance. It is a classic bloggers dream. Having said that, one of my extremely rare gems few streaming services had was “Keep Your Body Workin’ (1979),” by a group called Kleer. This was my sh*t as a kid! I used to play this all the time. If you needed a good 70s work out song, this was it! Another was, “Dance Across The Dance Floor (1978),” performed by a guy named Jimmy “Bo” Horne. He reminded me A LOT of KC and the Sunshine Band, their music sounded a lot a like. I also included in this list, the legendary Jacksons, with their hit “Can You Feel It (1980)!” As we used to say when I was growing up, “this was my joint right here!!!!” I hope you enjoy my playlist!

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