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Phenomenal Artists

The Isley Brothers - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Song: Between The Sheets

Artist: The Isley Brothers

Album: Between The Sheets (1983)

Genre: R&B

Oh shit!! Could those pants have been any tighter?! 🤣 The material that was used for many “stylish” clothes for men back in the day, was so uncomfortable and non-flexible. Just trying to sit down was a problem for me. Honestly, I don’t know how I made it through the 70s 😜 Anyway, I was gonna pick a dance song, until I came across these legends. Surely a forgotten group, as far as I can tell. They’ve had more hits than I can think of. “Between The Sheets” hit #3 on the R&B charts, and has gained the status of “baby makin’ music” in the Black community. If I’m not mistaken, “It’s Your Thing (1969)” was their biggest hit of their career, landing at #2 on the Top 100 Chart. Although, if someone said to me “off the top of your head, think of an Isley song,” I’d probably think of “Between The Sheets” first.

The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Song: Do Your Thing

Artist: The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band

Album: Together (1968)

Genre: Funk

Ok, I’m really taking it back now!  A guy by the name of Charles Wright had an awesome band called “The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band!” What a hell of a long name right? The bulk of their music has been mostly funk, and perhaps a little bit of R&B. I liked a lot of their music growing up. Unfortunately, I’m having trouble finding Billboard information on their music. However, I remember two of their major hits that were burning up the radio stations. The first was a song called “Do Your Thing (1968).” This song was the bomb back in the day. It was hilarious to see adults get down to this song. I mean to watch my elders dance to the point they were down on the floor was a sight to see. This was a song that pretty much allowed you to dance in anyway you like, and not feel awkward or out of place. Simple and steady beats allowed everyone from any age to dance to its music. The second song was called “Express Yourself (1970).” Again, I’m having trouble finding chart information, but from what I remember as a child, it seems that “Do Your Thing” was the biggest hit of their career. Ah, the good ol’ days.

Heavy D. & The Boyz - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Song: We Got Our Own Thang

Artist: Heavy D. & The Boyz

Album: Big Tyme (1989)

Genre: Hip Hop

Yes.. I think even the biggest classic music fans has forgotten about Heavy D. & The Boyz. And I definitely have not heard their music on classic radio stations! Sad part is, they were one of the very few hip hop artists that produced music that appealed to a wider audience. A lot of people loved and admired this groups. In addition to my favorite “We Got Our Own Thang,” you should also check out my other favorites. ” Now That We’ve Found Love (1991),” and “Somebody For Me (1989).” Such a shame we lost Heavy D. so early in his career. Not only was he talented lyrically, he also could dance his ass off. Not many “overweight lovers” could dance the way he did.


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Taste Of Honey - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Song: Boogie Oogie Oogie

Artist: Taste Of Honey

Album: A Taste Of Honey (1978)

Genre: Disco

I’m pretty sure most people under the age of 40 barely remember (if any at all) the group Taste Of Honey. Let me tell you, these women were some badass bitches (in a good way)! To watch them perform, be it live or on TV, was a sight to see. There are very, very few female musicians who could pick a guitar like these women. The only other Black female (long before this group) I can remember off hand that could beat the hell out of a guitar like that was Rosetta Tharpe. Unfortunately, as talented as this group was, they only produced two major hits (although iconic). The first was “Boogie Oogie Oogie,” which hit number #1 on the Top 100, and “Sukiyaki (1981),” which hit #3. Also check out “Rescue Me (1980).” Does the beat sound familiar to you? I’ll give you a hint “I Got A Man (1992)!”

The Impressions - SpotifyThrowback.com

Song: We Must Be In Love

Artist: The Impressions

Album: Check Out Your Mind (1970)

Genre: R&B

You know how sometimes we discover a classic on the radio we had not heard for ages, and then you’re moved to find your copy of that album hidden somewhere, and all of a sudden you realize you can’t stop playing the record? That was me with this classic Impressions song! I could be wrong, but.. Sometimes I think that Curtis Mayfield’s music was and still is really under rated. He’s written and performed some phenomenal music! He was one of the very few artists where I loved his music both before and after he gone solo. However, it just seems to me that most people don’t remember his music beyond his iconic “Superfly (1972)” soundtrack. “Superfly” might be dated, but it’s still a great album to listen to, even today!


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Stevie Wonder - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Song: Uptight [Everything’s Alright]

Artist: Stevie Wonder

Album: Uptight (1965)

Genre: R&B

Today’s recommendation comes from my 45 collection. You know, Stevie Wonder has got to have been one of Motown’s most successful popular artist. I remember watching an interview that talked about how Stevie demanded a significant higher pay (upon first contract). Everybody thought he was out of his mind. But, Motown eventually gave in. I’m sure Motown never expected that Stevie would not only be so successful, but well loved by millions. Stevie’s song “Uptight” not only hit #1 on the Top 100 Charts, it stayed #1 for 5 weeks! Some of the most talented artists never got that!

Will Smith on the set of “Wild Wild West (1999).”

No doubt! In my opinion, Will Smith is either “The King Of Bubblegum Rap,” (or at least one of). To my recollection, I don’t think I’ve heard the slightest bit of profanity in any of Will’s music. Will definitely had his own unique style, and he made his rap music fun to listen to. He was one of the few young rap artists that took control of the images he was projecting out in the media. Not too many rap artists cared, or even understood the long term impact of negative imagery within hip hop.

Gave Strong Positive Messages To Our Youth Without The Profanity!




As many of my long time readers my know already, when it comes to rap music, almost anything that was not considered bubblegum, and or anything past the 80’s time line was a no-go for me. I wasn’t really attracted to most rap music beyond that. However, as a kid I’ve listened to my fare share of late 70s and 80s rap. Having said that, when I look at rap documentaries, or read articles about rap’s GOATs, I don’t understand why Will Smith is never mentioned.

Will Smith - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Sometimes I think this is so because the younger generation doesn’t think rap is good unless there are at least 15 expletives in a single rap verse. To be honest, I’m really not sure what people use as a criteria to figure out who and what music are the “greatest of all time.” Once again, I’ll admit, this could be of my own ignorance of the scope of rap history. However, the fact remains, even his music that didn’t make the Top 200 Billboard Charts, such as “Ya’ll Know (1997),” was extremely popular on Black radio stations.

Will Smith - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Not only that, I don’t think there has been any other rap artist, turned actor, who has taken their acting career to the level he has. I know many rap fans consider LL Cool J as being a GOAT (in terms of rap to acting); however, Will Smith has been in pretty big budget films. From “Independence Day (1996),” to “I, Robot (2004),” to “Men In Black (1997).” Those films were nothing to sneeze at. Will has not done a rap album in about a decade and a half. Some of my favorites are, “Switch (2005),” “If U Can’t Dance (2005),” “Miami (1997),” and “Wild Wild West (1999).” You know, the beauty of watching Smith’s career is that, he was one of the few rapper turned actors that wasn’t typecasted. He can literally play any character. Both Hollywood and fans accepted Smith as a true actor, and didn’t pigeonhole him into one type of role, simply because he was a rapper.

 
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