CLASSICS: GET DOWN AND GROOVE
It’s been a long time since I’ve heard anything from singer and actress, Thelma Houston. I forgot what a talented singer she really was. I may be wrong, but, it doesn’t look like she has had any hits, or released any albums since the late 70s. The last CD I saw released was 2010, but unfortunately, it only had her old hits on it. Thelma, is best known for her iconic cult classic, reinterpretation of “Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes'” 1975 version of “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” released in 1977. The song instantly went to #1. Now, today’s song though, is about another reinterpretation she did called “I Got The Music In Me,” released in 1976. The song was originally performed by Kiki Dee in 1974. This was what I called “WTF” kind of song 😀 The reason why I say this, is because if we listen to the lyrics, I can’t make out what the song is actually about.
Ain’t got no trouble in my life, No foolish dream to make me cry. I’m never frightened or worried, I know I’ll always get by. I heat up (I heat up) I cool down (I cool down) When something gets in my way I go round it. Don’t let life get me down Gonna take life the way that I found it. [Chorus] I got the music in me, I got the music in me, I got The………
I think to myself, is the song talking about drowning her sorrows in music? Is she actually talking about the struggles of the music business? I never had a clue. Every once in a while we get one of those WTF songs, and this is one of them for me. However, It was a great song to dance to. Thelma was named “Best Female Artist” in 1977. She is still performing today in her early 70s. Rock on Thelma!!!
It was really difficult for me to pinpoint the release date for my next song; apparently the song was so popular that it had several re-releases. I think “Soul Of The Man,” was the original album where the song “I Get My Groove From You” was first recorded. There’s no billboard information for this song, so I’ll just assume that this wasn’t on anybody’s radar. Unfortunately, this great artist didn’t have any major hits. In fact, the highest he ever gotten on the charts was #36, for a King Floyd (sort of) styled dance song called ” T.C.B. or T.Y.A.” in 1969. So, anyway…. The song I’m introducing to you today, “I Get My Groove From You,” I feel is sooo underrated. This is a very nice music piece, with the perfect voice to go with it. In fact, I am hesitant to believe that this wasn’t a hit; but, as I’ve always said, the history we are losing isn’t just the music itself, but searchable and document-able history. So, I can’t prove it was, or wasn’t 🙁 All I do know, is that I think this is a badass song!
Let me tell ya’ll about this song…. LOL… This song by Maze (featuring Frankie Beverly) was the biggest, and most popular song of the 80s (in my opinion); at least when it came to the Black community. I remember this song being played in almost every single birthday party, every single picnic, and every single barbecue in my community. When people heard this song come on; automatically hands go up, people start screaming “ooooohhh that’s my sooooooong,” and 5 seconds later people started groovin’. I’ve also realize that although the song was released in 1981, there was an (before 1981) “old school nature” about the song “Before I Let Go” that made it so great. It had to have been that groovy baseline. They don’t make great music like this no mo’, fo sho. 😀 This iconic song was written and produced by Frankie Beverly himself, under Capital Records. It peaked at #7 in the U.S. and #13 on the R&B Charts.
Being that I am much older, and grew up in an entirely different generation, I still find it hard to call this song (or group for that matter) “Old School!” However, the fact of the matter is, it is old school. Could you believe this song is already 20 years old? Wow!! But, let me also say that, by my standards, it’s not just old school because it’s now 20 years old, it’s old school because it’s real good music with great harmonies by three amazing male voices. Next was a very talented group; and I say “was,” because R.L. was “kicked out of the group,” according to R.L. himself. And that’s a shame, because 80% of their songs I like and remember, R.L. was their lead singer, so it’s just not the same. Listen to the interview he did for VladTV. You know, for a long time I mistaken Robert “R.L.” Huggar (far right) for Guy’s Teddy Riley.
I have to say, “Too Close,” released in 1998, I think is my most favorite song from Next, hands down. It has a nice steady rhythm, and people of all ages can get their dance on when this was played. In addition, it has that element of old beat (almost like R&B disco (if there is such a thing)) that appeals to many people in my age group. The song shot up to #1 on the charts, and stayed relevant for a whopping 60 weeks!! There was another cute song that was also popular, and it’s called “Wifey,” released in 2000. “Wifey” hit #4 on the R&B Charts, and stayed relevant for 10 weeks.