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PERFORMERS (A-H)

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I could have sworn that I’ve written about this group before, but I guess I didn’t. Hmmm. Well, I think this group is one of many talented groups that were forgotten about. “Huey Lewis and The News” were also one of the very small number White groups that had both a soul and rock sound in the 80’s (at least that is my opinion). I say this because this was truly their style of music, it wasn’t like one or two songs on their album with the soul/rock style (that “hit” song), this was their sound! Huey truly knows how to take control of the mic. It’s a shame he hasn’t continued with the major success he had in the 80’s. But then again, the entire music culture has started to change shortly after the 80’s ended.

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This particular album has all the hits that I love. I could be wrong, but I think most people probably remember this group by there hit song “The Power Of Love (1986),” which was one of the major sound tracks to the movie “Back To The Future.” Other hits that I love are “If This Is It,” the remake of a song (originally done by J. J. Jackson (I believe)) “But It’s Alright,” “Stuck With You,” “Heart And Soul,” and finally a song called “I Want A New Drug.” I would have loved to see them live. Check the album out on Napster here.

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I’ve always liked Bobby Brown’s music believe it or not. But I felt that it would be more appropriate to write about him after I felt the shock of Whitney and Bobbi-Christina’s death died down. Why? I’ve heard way too many people blaming Bobby for Whitney’s addiction; rumors circulated for decades that Bobby got Whitney hooked. But, as we found out, Whitney had been hooked long before Bobby and Whitney met. Although it didn’t help that Bobby was on it too, but let’s be serious, when you have the kind of money Whitney had, do you think that just telling someone to quit drugs will stop them? We’ve seen this over and over with now deceased celebrities that had addictions.

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Some have even claimed that Bobby used Whitney’s fame to capitalize on his own career. I disagree with this, because if you don’t have talent, I don’t care who you know, you’re not going to have the long career that Bobby had if he didn’t have at least a little bit of talent. The rumors probably started just after he left “New Addition.” It was said that Bobby was such a “bad boy,” that the group really couldn’t handle him any longer, he always wanted to do things his way. Don’t quote me, I think that was one of the reasons Johnny Gill joined the group. Well, Bobby leaving the group really seemed to have paid off for his career. I really do believe he would have made it with or without Whitney.

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There were many chart topping hits that eventually became my very favorites. I think his first big hit was “My Prerogative.” Actually, if my memory serves, I think this was a song specifically written because of his relationship with Whitney back then. There’s also “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Roni,” and I ❤️ “Every Little Step.” All the beats are consistent, easy to dance to, and he knew how to carry a tune. I don’t know if he still sings as good as he used to, but his oldies are still goodies to me. Here is his greatest hits on Napster.

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I’m not going to tell you know lie, I used to think Al B. Sure was fine as hell back in the 80’s. He sort of reminded me a lot of Christopher Williams in a way (they do look alike). I’m going to take a wild guess and say that most people probably remember him for his hit song “Night And Day (188).” I used to LOVE that song, it had such a unique sound to it, I no other musician’s music that I can think of compared to it at the time. “Night And Day” was probably his biggest hit, judging by how much I remembered hearing it on the radio. However, he actually had a few more hits, which happens to be on this same album above. One of them was a song called “Off On Your Own.” Let me tell you, when I saw the video to this song, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a video where the girls in it had skirts so high and tight, if they farted they’d be in trouble. LOLOL. The next song from this album I really liked was called “Rescue Me.” I really liked this song, the lyrics were fun and the beat was danceable (although the beat is reminiscent of “Off On Your Own” with different vocals LOLOL). I do like how he redid “Killing Me Softly.” Unfortunately, this was the first and only album from him I liked.

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How many of you knew Sylvester Stallone had a brother? How many of you knew that his brother Frank Stallone could sing? Frank has sang quite a few songs that became hit soundtracks for a lot of movies. One of my favorites is a song called “Far From Over (1983),” it’s from the “Staying Alive” soundtrack. You may remember two songs “Take You Back,” and “Pushin'” which was on the “Rocky III (1982)” soundtrack. Honestly, “Far From Over,” was his best hit in my opinion. It’s a shame because he had such a great voice. Now it looks like he’s turned to country music; although I do like country music, I just wasn’t drawn to his music after that. Check him out on Rhapsody.

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My absolute favorite from this album, is the song called “The Boss.” I know a lot of my young readers don’t have a clue about this song. You’ll probably hear different opinions about it, but as far as I’m concerned this was the biggest hit of her career! Well, at least in the gay world, “The Boss” was once the anthem of the SGL community back in the day. It’s not that I don’t acknowledge her other music, it’s just this album has a special place in the “unsaid history.” This album catapulted Diana in the club and disco scenes. If you knew absolutely nothing about Diana Ross’s music, chances are you’d recognize “The Boss” immediately; this is how popular the song was. It was written by the late Nick Ashford, and wife Valerie Simpson. The song was so huge, there wasn’t enough hands to count how many remixes and LPs that existed then.

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For some strange reason, I am having difficulty trying to pinpoint the exact stats to this album. I don’t know how accurate it is but, according to some sources I’ve read in 1979, it peaked #10 in the R&B charts, but I can’t find how long. I also had difficulty finding when it hit number one and it’s duration. Fans will enjoy this album, because it includes the extended version of “The Boss.” Unfortunately, the only other hit that came from this album was “My House.” Back from that, this album did not fancy me. Listen on Rhapsody.

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500x500Although, the subtitle of this album states “Greatest Hits,” this isn’t her best greatest hits album. I suggest visitors doing a search for Dionne Warwick’s music, she has actually produced quite a number of hits, and I don’t think they’re all on one album yet (at least I don’t recall/noticed one that exists yet). I selected this particular album because there is a song on here that I don’t think has gotten enough “old school credit.” The song is called “Heartbreaker (1982),” and if I remember correctly, it was written by the Bee Gees; however, only Barry’s voice was used for background vocals. According to Billboard, the songs was on the charts for 22 weeks, and peaked at #10 on January 15, 1983. This was a huge hit, it boggles my mind how even a lot of the major radio stations don’t even play this song anymore. Another phenomenal hit that was lost in old school history was “I’ll Never Love This Way Again (1979);” the song peaked at #5 and stayed on the charts for a total of 24 weeks. There wasn’t a radio station that wasn’t playing “I’ll Never Love This Way Again.” I also enjoyed “Deja Vu,” which is a very laid back romantic song. Again, search for her music, there doesn’t appear to be one album with all her greatest hits, they are all scattered unfortunately. But you can listen to THIS album here on Rhapsody.

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Barbra

Ok guys. My small fan base should’ve known that at some point, I would write something about Barbra Streisand. In fact, I am shocked that I haven’t already 🙂 . As I’ve said many times before, my tastes are multifaceted when it comes to music and film. Therefore nothing you see on my blog should surprise you. I am not automatically locked down to a particular genre simply because I am a person of color (neither should anybody else in my opinion). That said, I absolutely love Yentl, and I say this without bias. As much as I love Barbra, I have no problem saying  it’s a bad movie if it was. However, I suppose this kind of movie may not be for everyone. If I never saw this movie before; with all the major changes happening in the gay community; in today’s climate I would have immediately assumed this movie was about transgender issues. But it’s not. Although I thought to myself, I imagined that a lot of situations Barbra’s character got into, must be similar to what a lot of transgender go through. To make a long story short; Barbra reminisces on her father teaching her about her Jewish faith as a young girl. When she grew up that passion continued. However, the problem was her passion led to her wanting to be a Rabbi; but there were no female Rabbi, it was not allowed. So she risks everything by disguising her self as a young boy in order to learn more about her religion. Things got really complicated when Barbra was ordered to marry another woman (without anyone knowing she wasn’t a guy). I don’t want to give out any spoilers, you’ll just have to see how she gets out of those situations. The movie had so many twists & turns; although this was far from an action movie, it was very suspenseful watching Barbra get out of situations. Be forewarned, this is somewhat of a  musical, yet it’s really not. But honestly, any Barbra fan wouldn’t mind. Her vocal cords were on point in this movie! Without giving to much away, there is a very happy ending. The movie is very educational as well as entertaining. The movie was produced by Barbra herself, and has one academy awards (if I remember correctly). I think most cultural movie goers would love this movie. It’s Barbra for goodness sake!! 😀 .