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 😞.
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.
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’.“Official Star Wars Rebels Photos at Star Wars Authentics Shop
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.
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.25% off Presidents Day Sale using code : Presidents25
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!” 😂
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.
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!Save $2 off $40 with Coupon Code 2SCHOOL
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.
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.
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.
Yes!! Her two massive covers made her over. They made her over in to a very successful international superstar. Like Madonna and Cher, she is simply known by one name. Sybil. Do you remember her? Vocally, this lady had it going on back in the day! This little lady is from Patterson, New Jersey; and sings a variety of genres, including new jack swing, and house/club. She’s got a soft singing voice, with banging dance beats.
This Song Reached #2 On The R&B Charts
What? You still don’t remember her? Well, you may remember her from hearing her biggest hit of her career! The song is called “Don’t Make Me Over.” It was written by legendary writers Burt Bacharach and Hal David. It was written specifically for Dionne Warwick, and she released her original recording in 1962. Sybil’s version of “Don’t Make Me Over” only reached #20 on the Top 100; however, it shot up to #2 on the R&B Chart & #4 under Dance. Dionne’s original peaked at #5 under R&B.
Sybil had one more major international 80s hit; which also happens to be another Dione Warwick classic called “Walk On By.” This song hit #3 on R&B and #7 on Dance. Now, it seems as though the Black community played both these songs so much, we have played her out of our memory! I don’t even recall hearing internet Black radio playing her music. Her music is definitely worth jamming to.
My opinion is that, after her two major 80s hits, she became severely underrated. Her voice and music was really bangin’, and still is! There’s a lot of her music and remixes that deserved the same recognition. I’d like you to check some of (what I think) is bangin’ dance remixes, and is deserving of your ear. Check out “It’s Too Late (Thommy & Spen Dub),” “Don’t Give Up (Club Mix),” “Troubled Waters – MuthaFunkaz Vocal,” and “Make It Easy On Me.” Now, I was a little bit taken back by the song “Make It Easy On Me,” because I almost didn’t recognize her voice. She sounded a lot like Deniece Williams. 😱
A once, Gangsta’s Paradise! I had absolutely no intentions on writing about rap today; but I indirectly found photos of Coolio and said to myself, “damn! What the hell happen to you!! Holy cow!!! Oh, hell…. Let’s talk about it! Coolio has gone from an almost “king of rap” status, to becoming a hasbin in the span of only a single decade. Coolio is one of those cases that gives me many mixed feelings about rap in general. But, the truth of the matter is, the whole subject around the genre is very complex, because there are many elements that surround it; as there are many opinions that go along with them (both in support, and against).
Coolio hasn’t had a major hit since “Gangsta’s Paradise,” from the movie soundtrack “Dangerous Minds (1995),” starring Michelle Pfeiffer. By he way, Dangerous Minds was an incredible movie in my opinion. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, but I do remember enjoying it very much. Michelle did a hell of a good job; way more than I gave her credit for in the beginning. Not only did Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise hit number 1, it stayed number one for 3 consecutive weeks! That was very impressive. This rap title was very unique, in that it’s one of the very few compositions that captures the raw emotion of being young and out in the streets. I also think the movie helped to bring further context to Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise.
Now, once I started to see photos like this emerge on the internet, I knew Coolio has finally lost his last mind. A once Grammy Award winning artist, has not only been in jail multiple times, but has had more run-ins with police than most people can change clothes in a day. And you know what else? Like father like son! I found an article from NY Daily News, that says that Coolio and his son was actually in the same prison. Discovering Coolio’s website was also somewhat of a shocker. Coolio’s World, is a decent looking website. However, it also screams “I’m trying desperately to keep my old rap career alive.” Which would explain why Coolio insist on keeping those damn few strands of braids. He most likely feels it’s the only way people would remember him. Another sign that Coolio is not doing well, on his website he as a section called “Cooking With Coolio.” This man is just screaming for attention. A stark contrast from the Coolio we once knew.
Wow!! Look who I dug up! Does any of my readers remember the legendary Jeffrey Osborne? Yes, I’ve called him legendary because, although he never had any Billboard Top Ten Hits, Osborne hit the charts hard enough that most 80s kids like me still remember him. His song “On The Wings Of Love,” was released in 1982. It only peaked at #29, but it remains one of my most favorites from Jeffrey. Interesting to note that, what I didn’t know was that Jeffrey’s version was actually a cover song 😱 !! Yup. The original song was recorded by Regine Velasquez. But, sorry Regine, I love Osborne’s version better. Turns out that Velasquez released quite a few albums; but her music is not my cup of tea. All her music sound like demo tapes! Anyway, it doesn’t stop there; the song became a cover once more; done by an artist named Kyla as part of a soundtrack to a romantic/comedy TV show. What Show? You’ve guessed it! “On The Wings Of Love (2015).”
Not having a top ten hit didn’t stop Osborne from landing a Miller Beer ad contract. I remember this ad being all over Jet and Ebony magazine. You know, it’s funny, I always laugh when I see this particular ad. Because it reminds me of his song, “Stay With Me Tonight (1984),” which hit #30 on the Top 100 Charts. I laugh because if the ad was actually a TV commercial, this song would fit right in, in a bar, and he’s with the woman he’s interested in. Don’t ask me why, it’s just one of those crazy thoughts that come in to your head. That would have been a cool commercial tho. 😄
He Still Is So Very Talented
To be honest, I’ve only listened to his old popular hits from back in the day. However, I acknowledge that Jeffrey is a very talented brotha. The dude can sing, and he still got soul! In fact, I don’t know if my readers realized it yet, but, Jeffrey just released an album last year in 2018! The album is called “Worth It All.” It has some pretty good tracks in there! I love it when veteran performers continue to make themselves musically relevant. One song I really like from the album is a song called “Just Can’t Stand It.” The song has a nice modern funk sound to it. His voice is still on point. Another song I think you should check out from his album is called, “That Man.”
Ever since Valarie Simpson met Nick Ashford in 1963, they were inseparable. Together they’ve made some really massively remember-able hits; such as “Solid,” “Is It Still Good To Ya,” and “Street Corner,” just to name a fraction of their great works together. But, did you know that in addition to Valerie being an awesome singer, she was and still is a phenomenal songwriter in her own right? I happened to listen to an internet radio station that played TV jingles 24/7; and on that radio station, I’ve learned that Valerie written a lot of songs for commercials! I didn’t realize this at all.
Even Hershey’s Almond Joy
Even more surprising to me was that one of them (I considered to be) was one of the biggest ad campaigns of it’s time. She written and performed jingles for many companies such as “Canada Dry,” & Hershey’s “Almond Joy,” “because sometimes you feel like a nut, and sometimes you don’t.” 😂😂😜 I absolutely had no idea! But then again, even today, songwriters are not acknowledged and given much credit. You really have to dig and search for them nowadays. I found a tribute to Valerie on YouTube, singing some of her most famous jingles and themes. I’ll give you another tidbit… Did you know that Valerie co-wrote, along with her late husband Ashford, the lyrics to The Supremes’ hit “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough?” Now, that I knew! 😜 Homage to all the songwriters out there!!!