The Sounds Of Disco
Song: Boogie Oogie Oogie
Artist: Taste Of Honey
Album: A Taste Of Honey (1978)
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)!”
Artist: Melba Moore
This awesome song actually came out in 1982, and was digitally remastered in 2010. I love “Love’s Comin’ At Ya,” because it reminds me of the same kinds of rhythms that Evelyn “Champagne” King used to perform. In fact, in many ways it sounds almost identical to the T. Then again, Melba also had that same kind of voice; and as I’ve mentioned earlier, record companies were about finding that “formula” for making millions. I highly recommend that you research Melba Moore’s store. It’s pretty inspirational. She gone from being a huge success, to suddenly having no money to the point of applying for welfare/food stamps. She picked herself back up, and successfully rebooted her career. I consider her a very underrated talent. Although she didn’t have big hit’s on the Top 100, she did had a few top hits on the dance charts, including “Love’s Comin’ At Ya,” which reached #2, and another song I loved a lot called “You Stepped In To My Life,” which reached #5 in 1978.
Song: Push, Push In The Bush
Album: Keep On Jumpin’ (1978)
WOW!! 😨 Guys, talk about old!! If it were not for digital technology, this gem would be extinct! The interesting this about this is, I remember this song burning up the turntables when I was growing up. However, I was surprised to find out that the song only peaked at #58 on the Top 100 Charts! No way this song ranked so low, I thought to myself. It is examples like these that make you realize, the type of community you live in, where you live, and the stations you listen too all make a difference. Now, their song “Keep On Jumpin’” shot up to #1 on the dance category, and I barely remember hearing it on the radio. Another example of one hit legends that fell in to obscurity. We can still dance to this music! Come on ya..
Song: Smarty Pants
Artist: First Choice
Now, this is old! You can definitely put this in the obscure category. This song was not a big hit. It made its highest peak @ #56 on the Billboard Charts. However, I think it was a very nice song though. Interesting the phrase “Smarty Pants” had a different meaning growing up. The phrase was more associated with people who were arrogant. Never expected to hear this in a disco love song.
I’m saddened to say that this incredibly handsome guy had only 2 big hit to his name 😞. This is Peter Brown. At the age of only about 24 years old, this guy was smoking ♨️hot♨️ in the late 70s disco scene. His first 12 inch hit sold for over a million copies in 1977. That song was called “Do You Wanna Get Funky With Me,” off his album “A Fantasy Love Affair.” Not to be confused with Sylvester’s 1982 mega hit “Do Ya Wanna Funk.” Now, unfortunately, although “Do You Wanna Get Funky With Me” peaked at #18, I wasn’t particularly feeling this song at all. I was shocked to find out that he sold that many copies to be honest.
However, I did not go completely bananas until I heard his smash hit “Dance With Me (1977).” This was actually on the same album, but the song wasn’t a hit until mid 1978. This song was the shit back in the day. Even though I was too young to go out clubbing, when my mom or grandparents had their house parties I remember sweating to this song. This 12 inch was all dance!! I mean Studio 54 dance music! The song only peaked to #4 on the Hot Dance Charts.
Other than the two songs I’ve just shared with you, I really wasn’t feeling any other of his songs. Although there was another song called “They Only Come Out At Night (1984),” that hit #1 on the Dance Club Charts, I just didn’t like it. I think the problem was that his music started to sound like novelty. You know, like all his music were from specific 80s soundtracks; similar to “The Last Dragon (1985),” or that similar to Rockwell’s music. Such a shame his voice was phenomenal!
The one thing Donna Summer fans can’t complain about, is the fact that Donna left us with more 12 inch singles, remixes, mega-mixes, and more redos we could ever handle. There was a reason why we called her the disco dance queen! She certainly earned that title! The above 12 inch single is probably one of my most favorite Donna Summer dance albums. This is actually a double hit album. Side B has my favorite “Winter Melody (1976).” This was from her “Four Seasons Of Love” Album. However, this extended mix with additional lyrics was not published as a single 12 inch until about a year later (if I’m correct). Unfortunately, because I didn’t own the original album I’m really not sure, it’s an assumption.
You know, Winter Melody was such a mellow “easy listening,” song that sometimes it’s hard for me to still perceive it as disco music. This song always reminds me of just how diverse music is. there are sub genes upon sub genres. On side A of this 12 inch album was a song called “Spring Affair (1976).” This is actually a great disco to do moderate exorcise with. Both these songs was recorded as a combo on American Billboard. I’m guessing this is the actual album I’m writing about, apposed to what was on the original commercial album. They both only peaked at #43. Great songs tho.Vintage-inspired. Modern Fit- MaddaFella.com! Click Here!
I’d like to introduce young folk to the late Joe Tex. He was another favorite of mine I used to listen to all the time. I think that in this era of music streaming, young folk who are starting out in the music business today can learn a lot from knowing about artists like Joe Tex. The reason is because he only had a total of 27 songs that registered somewhere on the Top 100 Billboard Charts; however, only 3 of them reached Top 10 status.
Why is that important? Because the longer I blog, I’ve begun to clearly understand that numbers don’t always equate with someone’s true talent. Even more complicated than that, sometimes an album could be on the low #200 position, but a song on that same record could reach Top 10 status. Despite Joe only having 3 Top 10 Hits, his other music was so popular that even the singles that didn’t make good sales, were played very much on radio and clubs. So, there was no question about his vocal talent.
One of my very favorites growing up was a song called “Ain’t Gonna Bump No More (with No Big Fat Woman) (1977).” It only peaked at #12, but this was the sh*t back in the day. I don’t remember not hearing this song on family parties and barbecues. You know, when you listen to the lyrics of this song, it was innocent yet hilarious! But, a song like this would never be made again in this day and age; every single “fat” activist would have overwhelmed both the artist and label with accusations of fat shaming. Great song tho.
Another popular favorite was “I Gotcha (1972),” which reached #2 on the Top 100 Charts. I absolutely loved this song, because it had a very Blaxploitation feel to it. Sounded like it could have came straight out of a Cleopatra Jones soundtrack. Now, Joe didn’t only sing dance music; he sang a many of wonderful ballads. At #5 “Hold What You’ve Got (1965),” was a very popular song that contained a lot of true wisdom about love and relationships. Another beautiful ballad (but never made the charts); was called “Green Green Grass Of Home,” originally sung by Johnny Darrell. However, I only remembered hearing Tom Jone’s version. In fact, Joe kind of sounded like Tom a lot. My late grandpa used to play this a lot too. So many interpretations by many artists, but for the life of me I can’t find when Joe originally released this version. My best guess is around 1978. This wonderful and talented man was taken away from us at the age of only 49.Allure Best of Beauty Award Winner – Chap Guard, Great Barrier Coco Herbal Lavender For Skin And Lip
Today, I’d like to write about an awesome classic, Rock The Boat by Hues Corporation. The Hues Corporation probably became the most famous Black musical group on the planet, because of their hit “Rock The Boat,” which was released in 1974. This massively popular song became their one an only major hit single. The song reached #1 for a total of one week!
Song Reached #1 For One Week!
Although the song only stayed number one for a week; It felt like it was still number one for years I remember waking up, the stations were paying it; came home from school and the stations were playing it; barbecues parties were playing it; oh my goodness!! You young kids just don’t understand. Despite only having one big hit, that big hit was a major contribution to Black disco music.
They officially got together as a group in 1969, and dominated the disco scene with their first album featuring “Rock The Boat.” Now, according to sources, the single sold over 2 million copies. However, I don’t know what the cut off date was? Because even when the song finally dropped off the charts, we still heard it in commercials and other venues, which means it was till making money. I am almost positive that even when they removed their 7″ from circulation, the 12″ versions are usually sold for a lot longer. Not sure if those are under a different category? Interesting now that I think about it.
The group disbanded by the eighties, and once again reformed sometime in the 90s. I believe the current members are Flemming Williams, St. Claire Lee, & H. Ann Kelley. The group still looks good by the way, especially Flemming; I’ve read reports that he was heavy in to drugs unfortunately. Can’t say that I’m surprised at that. This was something that was unfortunately common. Other musicians loved to work with The Hues Corporation. To my understanding, they had great relationships with other groups such as The Spinners.
The Group Appeared In The 1972 Cult Movie Classic, Blacula!
There’s one other song that did not do too bad on the charts. The song is called “Rockin’ Soul,” which is on the same album. It reached #18 on the Top 100. I think it’s an ok song. It’s kind of reminiscent of “Rock The Boat,” it has that same obvious flavor. Let me say that this album was not a bad album; they’re a very talented group; it’s just unfortunate that they didn’t have a lot of huge hits.
I’d like to recommend one last song from this album. The song is called, “I’ll Take A Melody.” I am very surprised that this didn’t make the charts. The medley kind of reminds me of Ann Murry’s “A Love Song,” which is also another one of my very favorite classic country songs.