Song: Free Me From My Freedom
Artist: Bonnie Pointer
Soulful singer Bonnie Pointer is the sister of singing group, the Pointer Sisters. I started off my title with “What A Shame,” because quite frankly, it is. It’s a same because she has become one of many really, really talented forgotten American performers. Also, I say it’s a shame because of her battle with drugs and alcohol. It breaks my heart to see people who have the gift of singing, and their careers have literally been obliterated by drugs. But, it is also so common among extremely famous music artists of the 70s & 80s (mostly in my opinion (it seems)). From her public divorce, to her embarrassing mugshot after being caught for drug possession. Bonnie became a steamy hot plate of mess. The worst thing in the world is for a music artist to be on TMZ’s list, because a significant amount of music fan base reads and watches TMZ. You can read more about it from The Daily Mail.
In Essence, She Lost Her Career Through Drugs & Alcohol!
I’m not sure if a lot of people remember, but… Back in the day, we had a lot of what I think was called “Double Featured Albums,” such as the one I have below. Usually the music labels would release 12 inch version of 1 hit song from 2 different artists on the same album. Side A for one artist and side B for the other. Man, I played the hell out of “Free Me From My Freedom (1978).” This was my sh*t. This was a powerful, soulful and a fun disco love song, that in essence talks about telling her man to take her off the singles market. I love these kinds of love songs. I hate love songs where the lyrics sound like the singer is begging.
Now, I have to be honest, I hated “What You Gave Me (1978),” by Diana Ross. This should have been on Side TWO instead, but I knew the game. It was “Diana Ross,” ooooooo. Bonnie has such a soulful voice, I really think Motown should have picked another performer that complimented her (Sorry Diana Ross fans). Now, according to Wikipedia, “What You Gave Me,” was actually a cover of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, ’cause Wiki recorded the release date as being 1969. By the way, I liked Marvin & Tammi‘s version better. Way better.
After Bonnie Gone Solo, She Only Had 3 Major hits (Tho Not Number Ones)!
It was absolutely disappointing that Bonnie’s amazing song “Free Me From My Freedom,” only peaked at #58 on the Top 100, and only #26 on the Club Chart. Perhaps despite being a dance song, the rhythm wasn’t fast enough to appeal to more dance fans? Two other popular hits you should listen to. “Heaven Must Have Sent You (1979)” should be the first you listen to! This song was not only the most popular, but the biggest one of her career. It shot up to #11 on the Top 100. Wasn’t a Top 10, but it was close enough 😄. Lastly, she made a cover of The Four Tops “I Can’t Help Myself (1980).” I have to say tho, this song had to grow on me. I wasn’t immediately turned on by the song, but I’ve come to like it over time.
Song: I Wanna Love You Forever
Artist: Jessica Simpson
Album: Sweet Kisses (1999)
Ok, I’ve really changed gears on my readers today! Do you guys remember Jessica Simpson? I’m gonna make an assumption that ruffly the middle aged group have heard of her, or played her music. Boy, talk about celebrity media drama! This girl’s life stayed in the news! I used to wonder which celebrity had the most personal stuff out on the news; Jessica or Britney Spears! Actually on some songs, they kind of sound a like. LOL However, make no mistake, Jessica is the one with the real golden voice.
Media Portrayed Jessica As A Space Cadet!
Whether the news was about her then estranged relationship with her now ex-husband Nick Lachey, or her children, you name it, it was out there to be judged and ridiculed by the media. One of the main awful things I remembered about the media at the time, was how they did their damnedest to portray Jessica as stupid, or a “dumb blonde” if you will. Granted, I never knew her personally, I’m just a blogger. However, any fan that followed her career can see she’s not just a vocalist, she’s also a fashion designer, author, and an actress!
In order to do any one of those things, you must have some level of brain capacity. And I’m learning from experience, writing a book is NOT easy. I believe her album “Sweet Kisses (1999),” was her first. From that album “I Wanna Love You Forever” shot up to #3 on the Top 100 Charts. I think she sang the shit out of this song! It remains my most favorite out of all her work. On that same album, she has a song called “I Think I’m In Love With You,” using sample music from John Cougar Melloncamp’s song “Jack & Diane.” I really liked this one as well, but it only reached #21. Still a good number tho! Say what you will about Jessica, you can not deny her vocal talents.
Song: Get Up And Dance
The story of this group is so sad. This was a group that created a funky disco song that was so popular back in the day. Now, the group known as “Freedom,” is so obscure, I struggle to even find photos of them. Growing up as a child, I remember “Get Up And Dance,” being one of the most favorite barbecue dance music in the Black community.
Caleb Tyrone Armstrong and Ray Smith Formed Their Group “Freedom.”
Caleb Tyrone Armstrong and Ray Smith met in college. Their friendship grew until eventually they decided to form “Freedom.” As with many famous artist, they started their career singing gospel until eventually they turned secular. When they finally got their record deal, “Get Up And Dance” was the first song off their first album in 1979. I’m unsure of the name of their first album tho.
Sadly, and tragically, by the time the group released their third album called “Changes Of Time,” in 1981, the lead singer, Joe Leslie, was killed. Shortly after Joe’s death, the group began to split apart. Unfortunately, I couldn’t obtain the numbers for all three albums. However, today’s feature album “The Best Of: Get Up And Dance,” supposedly has their best music. So far, in addition to “Get Up And Dance,” I also like “All For You,” and I think “Set You Free,” is nice also (has an Earth Wind & Fire style to it). These were great performers, stunned by a major tragedy.
Song: It Hurts To Be Alone
Artist: Bob Marley & The Wailers
Genre: Reggae Love Songs
Unless you come from the Islands, most of those that profess their fanhood for Bob Marley, know nothing of this song right here! Now, I know that “It Hurts To Be Alone,” is a sad song, but it’s a very true song, and that’s what’s so beautiful about it. You know, I think I’ve mentioned this before; in my opinion, Bob Marley was what Lionel Richie was to the Commodores; meaning in terms of overall fandom, it’s always been just Bob Marley. It’s a shame that America could not comprehend his brilliance, until after he passed. Just my opinion. Almost immediately after Bob’s Death, I remember people breaking their necks trying to buy as many Marley albums as possible, as we all knew there would be a price hike like never before!
I was reminiscing on some old music, and thought of Bob Marley, and then remembered “It Hurts To Be Alone.” This was one of many sweet classic reggae songs my late grandpa used to play. You know it’s interesting, because when I heard people talk about the late Bob Marley growing up, the conversation was almost always about his political lyrics, and how he was educating everyone about apartheid, poverty, things that were happening that America was totally oblivious to. But, Bob performed a lot of sweet reggae love songs too. He was quite diverse. Check out their song called “I Need You,” released in 1965. Also, check out “And I Love Her,” released in 1966. And oh yeah, shame on myself, for almost forgetting his most successful love song “Waiting In Vain (1983).”Elton John tickets starting at $18!
I don’t remember if I wrote about him on my old blog but.. What the hell.. Today I’d like to quickly write a little about Johnny Kemp. Johnny was a talented Bohemian singer who started his music career in the late 70s. He had a unique look and a unique sound. Johnny did not hit it big until about ten years later, when he released his smash hit “Just Got Paid (1988).” The song shot up to #1 on both R&B/Hip Hop & the Dance Charts. This song was made for Johnny, I never thought that anybody could thing that song the way he did. Also, seeing him dance to this song on his music video was electrifying in my opinion. By mid video, it reminded me a lot of the original “Fame (1980)” soundtrack video.
“Just Got Paid” was the biggest hit of his career. In fact I think that was his only #1. On The same album, he had a #5 dance hit called “Dancin’ With Myself (1988).” I didn’t particularly like that song, but a lot of people did. After shaking my ass to “Just Got Paid,” it seems like this song was a downgrade or something. It just didn’t seem danceable to me. However, I did love his 1986 song called “Just Another Lover.” The song only peaked at #26 on the Dance Charts.
Johnny died in 2015, at the young age of 55. As far as I can tell, I still don’t think there was an official cause of death. According to what I’ve read, he fell over a cruise ship he was actually scheduled to perform in. I’m not even sure if they knew exactly how he fell. I guess for most, it was written off as a freak accident.
Today I’d like to talk about the late legendary Bobby Womack; who is arguably one of the hardest working men in show-business. I say arguably because I think originally the late James Brown earned that phrase. In fact, the music industry used that phrase so much that it literally became James Brown’s slogan. You didn’t even have to mention Mr. Brown’s name, people already knew who they meant. Now, depending on who you talk to, Womack may not have worked as hard as James (comparatively speaking), however, Womack has certainly paid his dues to the industry.
Mr. Womack Was A Secret History Maker!
Womack was one of those secret history makers. The average Womack fan has no idea how much he helped to change history. For instance, did you know Womack wrote and performed a song called “It’s All Over Now (1964)” with his group called The Valentinos; which eventually became The Rolling Stones first number one hit in the UK? Not impressed? Well how about this tidbit… Did you know who originally discovered Bobby Womack and his family? It was the late Sam Cooke! Yup! After Sam saw what the Womack family can do musically, Sam damn near signed Bobby’s entire family to his record label, which was called SAR back then.
Wow, I never realized till today just how much Bobby resembled Lou Rawls. Bobby’s life’s work payed off in a huge way, as he was inducted in the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. Throughout Bobby’s career, he has worked with some huge names in the business. Many include Sly & The Family Stone, Janis Japlin, and George Benson to name a few. After reading some of the things Bobby has gone through, including the murder of one of his brothers (in Bobby’s home) by a jealous girl friend, noway would I have thought that after all that trauma, he would have had the frame of mind to still be musically creative. This man went through a slot of sh*t. But then again, he had the support that most artists didn’t in his era.
One of my most favorite songs from Womack I can remember, was a cover he did of The Mamas & The Papas’s song “California Dreamin’” in 1969. I actually love both versions. I was blown away Bobby reinterpreted the song inside out. The bass and the rhythm made me feel I was listening to a blaxploitation movie soundtrack. Another favorite of mine is a popular hit called “Across 110th Street (1972),” a story of street life in the ghetto. Also, check out a song called “Lookin’ For A Love (1974).”For some reason, every time I hear him sing “Lookin’ For A Love,” I almost always think of Wilson Pickett.
ny time we talk about rock legends (for those of us who are old enough), what are the names that usually pop up immediately in our heads? I think it’s safe to say that the one name that’s always on the top of that list is Elvis Presley, you agree? Maybe another name that would probably pop up is, the legendary Chuck Berry? Or perhaps I should drop one more name. How about Bill Haley & The Comets? Although their probably only known today (if any), by their massive global hit, “Rock Around The Clock (1973),” which was the opening theme song to the TV cult classic “Happy Days.” It was a pretty good show I may add. Who would have ever thought that Ron Howard would move on to be a big time movie producer huh?
Although I’ve just named some good ones, there is one major rock legend that (in my opinion) seems to slip from many people’s memories. That is Jerry Lee Lewis. Jerry was like a one man Beatle(s), that’s the easiest way to describe just how popular this man’s music was, to those who are not familiar with him. This guy has published so many albums, he can literally have his own library. Although he’s best remembered for his rock ‘n’ roll, he also done a lot of country music as well. In fact, quite a few of them rose to #1. However, to be quite honest, I much preferred his wild “Chuck Berry” style of rock ‘n’ roll. Most if not all his country put me to sleep (and you guys should know by now, I love me some classic country music, but I’ll have to pass on Jerry’s country 😂). Now, I could be wrong with what I’m about to say, but I am just going by my memories of actually listening to his music growing up. I’m going to say that based on my opinion that Jerry’s song “Great Balls Of Fire,” released in 1957 was one of his (if not the) biggest memorable song in his entire career. I say this because out of all the other songs I’ve heard by Jerry, I remembered this one to be the dominant song on the radio. It reached #2 on the Top 100 Charts, and #1 on the Hot Country Charts. It was ranked 96 as the greatest song ever made according to Rolling Stone Magazine.
So, it’s kind of difficult for me to find out just how many hit songs Jerry actually had, because some songs of his I personally would categorize as rock, is actually under country. So I’ve obtained a few numbers, I’m just going to assume they include all his hits. O.K., I have the following; 4 Number Ones, 23 Top Tens, out of a total of 55 songs that actually made it to The Billboard Music Charts. This was impressive, considering his career could have been completely destroyed, after a scandal that broke about him marrying his cousin. Americans didn’t tolerate those things in the 50s (still don’t), and it’s quite shocking that he found venues to even perform after that. Now imagine the public rage, when the story broke about director Woody Allen married his adopted daughter. Jerry’s scandal was 10 times worse.
Jerry is now about 83 or 84 years old, alive and kicking. I’ve read some sources that say he’s still performing. Other songs I’ve enjoyed were “What’d I Say,” which was originally song by Ray Charles I believe. Finally a song called “Jailhouse Rock,” which I believe Elvis sang this song as well. Despite Jerry’s scandal somehow he still managed to achieve legendary status in rock music. If not for his music, he still would have been legendary for the scandal. Either way.Save up to 94% off cover price on your favorite magazines