The Crests were probably the most respected and revered doo-wop group by the end of the 1950s. In fact, they were hailed, as not only the first integrated musical group, but the first successful interracial music group. The group’s faces changed frequently shortly after the 60s. However, when the group originally started, there were a two African American males, one Puerto Rican, one Italian, and one African American female. Wow, I had absolutely no idea a woman was in the group 😨.
For many of my younger readers, the group’s name will not “ring a bell.” Perhaps maybe my older readers too, as they have fell in to the realm of obscurity. However, I think you’ll remember their single big hit that cemented their careers once you hear it. The song that put them on the American Billboard map was called “16 Candles!” Then Italian lead singer, Johnny Maestro, took this song to #2 on Top 100 Charts in 1959. You may also remember the song from the movie “16 Candles (1984).” However, it was not sung by The Crests, it was actually covered by a rock group called “The Stray Cats.”
The group’s song “16 Candles” was played and used everywhere. In fact, I’m pretty certain I heard it on one or two episodes of “Happy Days (1974),” which was an extremely popular TV show, that dealt with a lot of normal teenage issues. The Crests had other hits as well. “Step By Step (1960),” “Trouble In Paradise (1960),” and “Six Nights A Week (1959).” However, “16 Candles” remained their biggest and most memorable hit.
You know, one thing I find weird about having an almost photographic memory, is that I am continuously stunned as to how both age and drugs changes one’s appearance. I literally took a mental snapshot of how the legendary Leo Sayer looked during the prime of his career. Now, my jaw drops as to how he looks now. Leo is almost unrecognizable in my opinion. He even lost his trademark’d fro! I haven’t been in that much shock since I’ve seen the drastic physical change in Billy Joel (Joel has also done a lot of drugs too, not surprised).
Sayer Is Almost Unrecognizable!
Leo had not produced any hits since the 70s and mid 80s. Before Leo even opened his mouth, fans immediately new who he was by his trademark fro! Most of my older readers might remember him from his massive #1 disco hit “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing (1977).” Another song that was a huge hit for him was a beautiful ballad called “When I need You (1977),” which by the way also hit number 1.
I guess Leo has cleaned himself up, and now he has a brand new album called “Selfie (2019).” I have to say that I am utterly impressed! Very impressed. I think fans will enjoy most of this album. I think he’s done a really nice job staying in line with the kinds of music he used to do, yet the album is updated and the lyrics are relevant.
The first song I really like is “Soul Mining (2019).” This song has a pop/southern sound to it, and it brought out Leo’s old “blue-eyed soul” spirit (if you will). Judging from the streams, this song is his fan’s favorite, as it is now mine as well. Also check out “Occupy (2019).” This is a very youthful song about life, and I think that it could standup to today’s young pop music in my opinion (if promoted the right way). This album is not going to be everyone’s cup of tie, but if you’ve been a Leo fan in the past, you’ll certainly appreciate this album I think.Take $50 off all Robb Vices Subscriptions with code VICES50
I don’t think I would be out of line, if I said only true club heads from back in the day would remember these guys. In the early 90s, when club music was still a major genre, a guy hot on the club circuit named Lidell Townsell (pictured in the middle) (who produced Chicago style house music), got together with a two guy group called M.T.F. (Martell and emcee Silk E) and produced one of my favorite 90s mixes of all times!
This Song Made Them Massively Popular
“NuNu (1992),” was released from their “Harmony” album, distributed by Mercury Records at the time. On the Billboards, the song reached #2 on the Hot Dance category. I never really been a fan of songs that only talks about getting a girl in bed (throughout an entire LP). But the beat to this mix was hot as hell! Almost everybody my age (then was about 23-25) played this song, particularly the ones that also liked freestyle. This song was so hot, both straight and gay clubs were playin’ this.
But, you know.. As much as I loved this song, after all these years I never actually heard their full album. But through the magic of Spotify I finally have. It’s a damn good album! I enjoyed the whole album very much! Lidell knows how to lay down some dance music lovely! Before I forget, there was also another massive dance hit from this same album called “Get With You,” which reached #4 on the Dance Charts. There was another favorite of mine that didn’t seem to register anywhere on the charts. The song was called “So Fine,” again from the same album. I’ve read that Townsell is still active, however, I haven’t been able to find any recent activity, or any information health wise.
Not sure if many of my blog fans remember an old group called “The New Birth?” (Not to be confused with “New Birth Brass Band”) They were a funk & R&B band from Detroit. This was a gigantic band back in the day. They probably were about the same size (in numbers) if not larger than Earth Wind & Fire. Ha! Those days of big bands and BoysIIMen performers are gone. Your group would have to be pretty spectacular for any label to sign a group of equal size.
I have to say that although I was not turned on by most of their music, that’s not to say that they weren’t a talented group. I wouldn’t hold them under the same candle as Earth, Wind, & Fire, but they were good! They’ve made more than several albums throughout their career, and managed to produce 3 top 10 hits. Their first song to hit #1 was a song called “Dream Merchant (1975).” #4th position was “I Can Understand It (1975).” Their 3rd top 10 hit was ok “It’s Been A Long Time (1974),” which peaked at #9. Unfortunately, I wasn’t particularly drawn to those songs despite being huge hits.
However, that changed when I heard a cover they did of one of my absolute favorite songs by Perry Como, “It’s Impossible.” It’s Impossible only reached #12 on the Hot R&B Charts in 1971. You know, even if you didn’t like that kind of music, the lyrics to this song is absolutely the sweetest I’ve ever heard. Also check out their cover of Michael Jackson’s “Never Can Say Goodbye (1971).” Lastly, listen to their cover of Hamilton, Joe Frank, & Reynolds’s classic “Fallin’ In Love (1976).” I guess it appears that all the songs I love from them, were all covers.Save up to 30%. See what’s on sale!
Lately I’ve been on an instrumental music kick 😃, I guess it’s because I had not listened to them in a while maybe. Today, I randomly chose a really OLD group, and I’m sure almost no one reading this post would know who they are, or perhaps remember until you listen to some of their music. Today, I’m sharing with you music from a forgotten group called “El Chicano.” They are a Mexican American 70s rock group.
It’s Difficult To Explain Their Music
It’s funny, I dug a lot of their music growing up. Now that I’m older I can’t even explain what it is. I guess it’s one of those things you just have to listen to it yourself. This is no doubt a very eccentric band. Although in general, they were categorized as a rock group; however, in my opinion they really were not. Most of their works were infused with so many different styles of music, that at times it seemed experimental. Then there are other works from them that clearly sound psychedelic, which doesn’t surprise me because a lot of people were still into that kind of music in the 70s.
Personally, I much preferred to listen to their traditional Latin jazz. In many ways some of their jazz music was reminiscent of Santana I think. One example of that is my favorite cover they done of Gerald Wilson’s “Viva Tirado (1970).” Now unfortunately, Viva Tirado only reached #28 on the Top 100 Charts. If I’m not mistaken, it was their only closest thing to a hit record. But, this is where the charts get complicated. Because, while the song had a moderate peak, it was hugely popular in New York City. I heard this all the time! I tell you, the more I blog, the more I realize these charts don’t always tell a true story.
However, on their 1998 album called “Painting The Moment,” there is a song I really like as well called “Ron Con Con.” It’s a shame this didn’t turn out to be a hit, because most definitely this song will make you move your body in any party. Listening to them perform this, was like Tito Puente himself came back to say “this is how you do it my brotha!” Although most of the original members are either now deceased, or moved on to other projects, the band is still performing.
We’ll know that rubbing Styx together makes fire! And the band Styx were hot in the 80s! Styx is a rock band that formed around the early seventies. They’ve had a few Top Ten Hits over the course of their career. Man! Musically speaking…. Talk about confusing?? You see, for me… Dennis DeYoung, who’s the primary lead singer for Styx, sounds almost identical to Air Supply’s Russell Hitchcock. It was a frustrating time for me, because every time I walked into the record store, I’d ask for Air Supply, when I really meant Styx. Today, we don’t have to worry about those things, because most mobile audio apps show all this information. Or we can just Shazam it.
Well, I guess technically I can’t say they’re a one hit wonder, because they have more than 8 Top Tens under their belt. However, I only have one huge favorite from them, that not only hit #1 on the Hot 100 Charts, but it stayed #1 for two consecutive weeks! The song is called “Babe,” released in 1979, from their 7th album called Cornerstone. The band has broken-up a couple of times. They’ve pretty much went on their separate ways. I’ve read that the lead singer DeYoung was extremely difficult to deal with. With so many hits they’ve made together, I’m not even sure if their attempts of creating a reunion will be successful. However, in a recent article, DeYoung states that it might be possible (only if) they’re inducted in the Hall Of Fame.Birthdays, Holidays, Weddings, Thank you’s, Condolences & More. We have gifts for every milestone covered at GourmetGiftBaskets.com
Wow! Look what I found in my magazine collection! Just been awhile since I’ve done a snapshot. So, let’s do this! When it comes to me listening to hip hop back in the day; Whodini’s music was the type of music you’d most likely witness me listening to. Yeah, young kids may laugh at rap groups like this now, calling it “bubble-gum music.” But back in the day, raps like these where considered serious music, especially when you looked at it from a sales standpoint. Didn’t matter if you personally hated this music, because the massive profits made these types of opinions irrelevant. This was an era where, rappers enunciated their lyrics, and we understood what they were rapping about. Not only was Whodini on top of the rap game, they were also very active in anti-drug campaigns, which included a collaboration with the late (then NYC governor) Mario Cuomo.
OK everybody! Let’s put our hands together for the legendary Regina Belle! You know, I’m not sure if I’m using the word “phenomenal” too much or not. But, sometimes I just can’t think of any other word to describe these very talented artists! I’m also not sure if I can truly say we’ve forgotten about Regina, but certainly, we are not playing her music anymore. Throughout Regina’s career, she didn’t have that many number ones. However, her music is iconic enough to where it’s definitely worth listening to! Especially if you love or are in the mood for mellow/romantic music.
She’s The Queen Of Smooth Jazz
She’s the queen of smooth jazz! Well, this isn’t her official title. However, much of my most favorite music from her has been within that genre. Regina started her career in the mid 80s, and her success landed her the opportunity to perform for former President George W. Bush. After Regina’s scary ordeal with having brain cancer; her loyal fans have never forgotten her, despite not having a #1 hit in decades. I’m going to make the assumption she’s cancer free, since my research alludes she’s still performing.
By the way, I’m pretty concerned with all these celebrities I’m hearing getting all sorts of cancer. This is some scary shit. Anyway, I think the moment I fell in love with Regina’s music, was when I heard her iconic song “Make It Like It Was (1989),” which hit #1 on the R&B Chart, and #5 on the Top 100 Chart. Another favorite is “Baby Come To Me (1989),” which was also number one on the R&B Chart. However, I think the song that really put Regina on the map, was a song called “A Whole New World (Theme From Aladdin) (1992),” a duet with the legendary Peabo Bryson. This song reached #1 in the Adult Contemporary category. From the same album, check out “Quiet Time,” a duet with Barry White. Oh my goodness. Barry had a way of making any song sound sexy as hell.20% Off 3-Pack. Use Code: TRIO20