Della Reese was such a great singer, AND a very talented actress by the way. One of my most favorite and memorable movies I’ve seen her in was Harlem Nights,” starring Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, and many, many other huge stars. In this gritty, gangster, Black comedy drama; Della Reese plays a character named Vera. I think this scene here, where she gets in to a fist fight with Eddie Murphy, is the funniest in the entire movie. I just couldn’t stop laughing, I just never seen anything like it. Although, there was just way too much profanity for my taste; however, it definitely fit this kind of movie, and I enjoyed watching it very much.
The very young Della’s song “When I Fall In Love,” from the album “What Do You Know About Love,” was released in 1958 under Parlophone Records. I didn’t even recognize her at first, cause her voice changed so much as she got older. This is such a beautiful song; it was produced for a movie called “One Minute To Zero” in 1952, starring Ann Blyth. However, the song did not become a hit, until Dorris Day recorded it in 1952. The song became a music standard, and has been interpreted by many since then; and that includes Celine Dion and Clive Griffin, for the movie soundtrack “Sleepless In Seattle (1993).”
I loved Shalamar back in the day. I think Howard Hewitt had (and still has) an amazing voice. I never heard a voice like his before. This album is actually a compilation of songs from across many albums. I have to be honest, I don’t remember hearing a lot of them. However, all the important memorable hits are on it. Such as their biggest notable hit called “Second Time Around,” which hit #1 on the Hot 100 Singles Chart, AND #1 on the Dance Charts. This song became (along with many others) an anthem in the Black community. EVERYBODY was singing this song. If you didn’t know who Shalamar was, or wasn’t at least familiar with this song, people looked at you as though you must be from a different planet! 😀 Also “Right In The Socket,” I have this 12 inch. “A Night To Remember,” which is another favorite of mine, “Make That Move,” “Dancing In The Sheets,” and finally “This Is For The Lover In You.” Their song “This Is For The Lover In You” was a nice slow jam that people played a lot. Absolutely no home made cassette tape was complete without this song back in the day.
This is one of my favorite old school reggae albums, and given how rare these songs are, I am shocked that the actual album is on Spotify. It has various artists, which includes Horace Andy, Gregory Isaac, Michael Rose, my favorite singer Ken Boothe, and more…. This particular CD’s physical release was 1994. Not sure if it’s older than that, but usually there’s an album before the CD, so until I find it, I’ll stick with ’94. I think Ska fans will love “Legends Of Reggae Music.” This CD will Take you back in time, with “Rock On” by Gregory Isaac, and “Nice And Easy” by Horace Andy. Extremely rare music. The album was produced by JA Records. No doubt this is out-of-print by now. Enjoy!!
I consider myself to be very well informed when it comes to music, and streaming especially. Although the statistics are very complex, because I’m not sure what things were being factored in these stats, and what were not, it’s really hard to predict whether or not we’d be even listening to old school anymore in the future. But, here is my general synopsis of where we’re at now. Using rounded numbers here (I know they’re a little off, but it’s to make an easy point), between the ages of 12 thru 25 are using the bulk of music streaming services. I believe it is by these statistics, the music industry is saying they’re finally seeing profit (this includes not just on-demand streaming, but internet radio and the like).
Where I find still a problem for the music industry are ages 25 thru about 40, who were heavily active during the old Kazaa & Napster era. With the 25/40 group, although many indeed purchased music, they usually don’t as much as they say the do. In fact, many then and still do feel entitled even though they know it’s wrong (citing fair use bullsh**). Then the final problem are the 40+ age group, who grew up during the CD, vinyl, and cassette era. The 40+ group with an infinite wishlist of all the albums they say they still want; but can’t find it cause physical media is being phased out, and most still can’t accept it in their minds; and or the music that does still physically exist, you’re being charged a fortune ’cause it’s either an import, “a limited time offer,” or a collector’s item. The 40+ group (for the most part) still believes this is the way you support the artists, not having a full understanding, or realizing just how music has changed in the last several decades. There are less then a few labels that are reproducing limited vinyl copies of anything, such as Sony. Although, I still acknowledge the fandom aspect of it, that need for memorabilia. I get it…..
It may be a cruel thing to say, but the reality is, once people are locked in to a behavior, very few people can come out of it. I don’t think the music industry and independent artist will see any real rewards until the next 4-5 generations that will be born in to music streaming (not YouTube, unless the industry decides to make them pay royalties). If music streaming were the standard culture, artist would make more money than on iTunes. Do you realize iTunes only pays artists 25 to 30 cents on the dollar, per download? The artist does all the work creating, and they iTunes takes 70%. It may actually be less, depending whether you’re signed to a label or not. If everyone used Spotify (or any legal streaming you’d like), an artist can make 20x more for that same singular downloaded sale. I want you guys to understand that I’m not just someone who recently discovered Spotify, and want to proselytize everyone. I’m also a music lover and collector, I see the value and convenience of music streaming.
Because the majority of paid streaming users are young people, we’ve lost a significant amount of music culture. Yes, many of our great classic music can be found, but if people aren’t playing it, it’s not there. It is evedent by the fact that people are always looking for playlists. I’ve read a lot of people asking others to make playlist for them. If that is not an indication that we are starving for good music culture, I don’t know what is? If more old season folk were using music streaming, finding good music wouldn’t be that much of a problem. What even baffles me more, many old folk have Facebook accounts already! You don’t even need a credit card for free Spotify, just use your Facebook to log in, and you still use YouTube. But you look down on young people for not supporting Black music? You kidding me right? Anyway…. This is why I’m working so hard on my site, not just because classic music and blogging are my hobbies, but because it’s needed. And hopefully when seasoned folk start to recognize not just how much music they’re missing, but all the titles they’re unable to discover from full albums they’re not getting on YouTube! Maybe then, they can stop being so stubborn and at least want to know more about how easy music streaming AND internet radio is…… Especially when most are free now. By the way, I know some of you smart asses are saying, “there are a lot of full albums on YouTube too!” No, there aren’t that many. Now, ask me, how do “I,” your knowledgeable classic blogger knows this? Because YouTube only allows unverified YouTuber’s 15 minutes per upload; and most understand they’re uploading music illegally, and they’re not going to offer up their personal telephone number and or other personal information. So, no…… Only a handful….. (relatively speaking)
Damn!!! Another great album that reminds me of how old I am. I can’t believe it’s already been 20 years ago since Deborah Cox’s album “One Wish,” released in 1998. This woman can sing her *ss off. But let me start off by saying, a lot of people may not know that she’s not just a talented singer, Deborah was also a model as well! She also hosted a show called “Vanity Insanity,” where she discusses our obsessions with beauty and looking good. When she released her song called “Nobody’s Supposed To Be Here,” I instantly fell in love with the song. It had strong background vocals, and a great beat to support them. But when I heard the club mix version from Hex Hector, I lost my mind. Hector took the same voice track and not only transformed it in to a new song, it seemed as though she put more in to it, but in actuality it was the same voice track. Wow… That’s a talented DJ. The song eventually hit #1 on the Hot 100 Charts, and stayed relevant until 32 weeks. I can’t say that this was my ultimate favorite that year, but, it’s high on the list. BTW, I also highly recommend that you check out “Things Just Ain’t The Same,” also remixed by Hex Hector.
Just curious… How many of you are old enough to remember we had a 16 RPM capable turntables? How many of you remember we had 78 RPM capable turntables? How many of you actually seen a turntable before? LOLOLOL!!! Here’s a blogger that has written a little something about it here.
In 1991, three of the biggest legendary female artists (Gladys Knight, Patti Labelle, & Dionne Warwick) came together to record a new interpretation of a then popular song. The song was called “Super Woman,” and I first saw them perform the song on the Oprah show, and it was an awesome performance I’ve never forgotten. I was in awe watching the three on TV, I could only imagine what the audience was feeling watching them live. There voices are so completely different, the genres they sang were different, yet the harmonized together is if they’ve practiced the song a million times. Not only that, do you realize just how hard it is to get 3 huge celebrities to sing on one stage? It was almost impossible with the kinds of work schedule most of them had. The song was originally sung by Karyn White in 1988 for her self-titled album, which peaked #8 on the R&B Charts. This song became just about every Black woman’s anthem.
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.