CLASSICS: RHYTHM AND BLUES
Son of Jewish business man Sy Kravitz, and the very famous actress Roxie Roker (you may remember from the hit 70s TV show “The Jeffersons”); this morning’s artist is none-other than the legendary Lenny Kravitz. Damn, he was handsome back in the day! LOL. Lenny Kravitz is successful singer, songwriter, producer, and some say “actor.” And I’ve used quotes because I never thought of him as an actor, because the little films I saw him in were more like cameo appearances. Kravitz is also another one of those talented performers, where his music is almost impossible to categorize. It seems as tho he incorporates elements of every major genre & style into every song. However, tonight’s song falls in to the category of R&B. My all time favorite from Lenny is a song called “It Aint Over ‘Til It’s Over,” from the album “Mama Said,” released in 1991 under Virgin Records. Oh my goodness! I thought this was one of the most beautiful and romantic new songs from a male performer at the time. Everything including the music was well composed. I also love the fact there was an old school element to the song’s melody. I actually searched for months thinking it was a remake, but as it turned out, it was all Kravitz. The song hit #2 on the billboards and stayed relevant for 19 weeks.
Lenny has been performing since the very late 80s. He was married to actress Lisa Bonet, and they both had daughter together named Zoe. They later divorced, and I was soo happy after that!! LOL. I know some of you may think I’m mean but…. Have you guys seen her lately? Oh my goodness!! I’m telling you guys, she looks awful!! Go here and see for yourself guys. I am almost positive she is abusing drugs; she has that “look” that many heavy “users” have. I’ve sift through too many photos to be wrong about that. Granted, I couldn’t find any proof that she is/was on it, but that’s not good when both your ex and daughter look healthier than you do. Just sayin’. I just saw an article that she’s reportedly a “vegan.” Maybe she’s not consuming enough protein, because sometimes she looks emaciated. But, I still say something is going on with her. Shucks, Lenny still looks hot for his age (53).
I just have one question? What the hell happened to Tevin Campbell? I haven’t heard anything from this b*tch in ages! First off, for those who never heard of him before, he was and still is one of the very few male voices in music, that has the widest vocal range! Let me tell you, he is one of the very very few artist I consider to have one of the best voices in music entertainment. Now at age 41 he still maintained that golden voice! I became a huge fan of his music the first time I heard his song “Can We Talk,” released in 1993 under Warner Brothers Records. This particular song is on the album titled “I’m Ready,” and it seems like it was almost entirely produced by Babyface. I’m not going to lie, I laughed at this song at first, because there was an instrument on this song (and don’t know what it’s called), that sounded like water coming down from a leaky pipe in a bathroom. But when I heard his voice……. I was done… I became a fan from that day on. The song peaked @ #9 on the billboards, and sold a little over a half a million copies. The song was nominated for best R&B song of the year.
The “I’m Ready” album was one of those very few albums I can honestly say I liked all the songs. With Banging songs like “Don’t Say Goodbye,” and “I’m Ready,” he was not playing around. Tevin’s parents must have musically trained him as a kid, because by the time he came out with his first album, his voice sounded like a veteran. Like a said, very few males have the kind of range and control of their voices the way he did, and still does. “Tell Me What You Want Me To Do,” was another fierce song I loved. So many of the songs Tevin were singing seemed so beyond his years, but then again, the average child didn’t have his voice either. Tevin released a single last year called “Safer On The Ground,” which I like a lot, but you can’t help but acknowledge that it is a 180° turn from the music we were used to hearing from him. Although I like this song, it didn’t appear to hit anywhere in the charts. To my understanding Tevin is doing well today, and has even done some Broadway.
Clarence Carter was another phenomenal performer, songwriter, and record producer. Carter primarily sings blues and soul music. He’s in his 80s now, so I’m not sure if he’s still performing. One of my favorite songs from him is a song called “Slip Away,” released in 1968, for Atlantic Records. I remember hearing this a lot on the radio. I just loved the sound of the type of guitar he used; it gave the song that “signature blues sound.” But this wasn’t just any o’l blues song, it was also very danceable; which allowed the song to reach #2 on the R&B charts, and #6 on the pop charts. From this same album, there’s another song I like called “I’m Qualified.” The rhythm of this song reminds me of Otis Redding’s music. But his second biggest hit I believe, was a song called “Patches,” released in 1970 (which is also a favorite of mine). The song was originally written and performed by General Johnson, lead singer of a group called “Chairmen Of The Board.”
Hello oldies family! I have a really nice classic for you tonight. The artist’s name is King Curtis, and the song “Memphis Soul Stew.” Memphis Soul Stew was released in 1967, and although its highest peak was only #33 on the charts, the song will still make you move your feet. I remember hearing this a lot on the radio as a kid. It has a smooth sound, and is one of those easy songs you can dance to that doesn’t require you to breakout in a sweat. In Kurtis’s short life, he wore many hats; he was a record producer, composer, music director, and played many instruments. At the moment, I can’t recall of King having any #1s, however, I think it’s safe to say that he was most remembered for “Memphis Soul Stew.” Oh, yeah, King also reinterpreted an instrumental version of one of my old favorites that didn’t get much attention. The song was called “Groove Me,” and I really do recommend you check it out. Today it would be considered “Modern Jazz.” Originally song was performed by King Floyd.
LOL, I keep forgetting which one is James/Bobby, but the guy on the right cracks me up, because for whatever reason, he reminds me of Jay-Z. Don’t they look like they could be related some how? 🤣 Anyhow, James and Bobby Purity really hit it big with their hit “I’m Your Puppet (1966).” The song peaked at #6 on the American Billboard’s Top 100, and stayed on the charts for 14 weeks. Growing up, I remembered just about every Black household playing this record. Everybody bopped their heads to this song. In fact, you know what? They reminded me a lot of the duo “Sam & Dave.” The only difference is Sam & Dave did a lot more soulful ballads I think. Definitely a good choice for any seventies party! Another hit you should check out from this same album is called “Let Love Come Between Us (1967),” which was another huge hit for them. Although this song only peaked at #23, it’s still a great song.
Now, this is a badass song from the legendary Nancy Wilson. Her song “(You Don’t Know) How Glad I Am,” was released in 1964, and ran all the way up to #11 on the American Billboard charts, and stayed there for about 11 weeks. In 1965, the entire album received a Grammy for best R&B album of the year. I love everything about this song; the musical composition; the sharpness of the violins; together with Nancy’s voice made it the perfect song. From this same album, I also loved her rendition of “Boy From Ipanema,” which was a very popular song, sung by many artists, including Frank Sinatra.
I love this song, “Space Children” by Labelle, released in 1975. This song was during the peak of Pattie Labelle’s career. Indirectly, this song represented the music culture in the seventies. Why, many artists (Black artists in particular) that were considered under the category of rock, wore a lot of space suits and really outrageous outfits to out do each other. This included acts such as Bootsy Collins, The Commodores, George Clinton, and perhaps we can add Afrika Bambaataa to that list as well. But this was a time when music was fun! Watching a concert was almost like watching a circus and musical performances at the same time. Of course, I had loads of trouble trying to find good stats for “Space Children.” However, I know this had some success, because included on this same album were the 2 hugely successful songs “Lady Marmalade,” and “What Can I Do For You;” Marmalade probably being the biggest hit out of this album; yet what a shame I’ve never heard it in most seventies parties (unless it’s the redo with Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya, and Pink (I hate that version)).
Classic portrait of the old New Edition and fine a$$ Ray Parker Jr. around 1980s. Question…. Did you know that it was Ray Parker Jr. that produced “Mr. Telephone Man” for New Edition? Yup, learn something new every day!