This is an example of the kind of music my grandfather introduced me to when I was a baby. I clearly remember listening to Brook Benton’s music on my grandfather’s ginormous Reel2Reel. “Rainy Night In Georgia” still remains to be one of my favorite childhood songs of all times. His voice was so smooth, calming, and enjoyable. Benton was one of the very few artists that reminded me of the late Nat King Cole; because they both had that added (what I call) xmas texture to their voices. The song was originally written and produced by a guy by the name of Tony Joe White. I didn’t particularly care for Tony’s original. Brook’s voice added that romantic magic to the song, that took it to #1 on the R&B Music Charts, and stayed relevant for 14 weeks. However, long after the song fell off the charts, Brook’s version continued to play both on the radio and our homes for decades later after it’s release. Another favorite song of mine from this same greatest hits album is a song called “Kiddio (1960).” Kiddio reached #7 on the Hot 100 Charts, and stayed relevant for 17 weeks. Also Check out “It’s Just A Matter Of Time,” and “Baby (You’ve Got What It Takes),” a duet with Dinah Washington.
I absolutely loved this song back in the day. I think this may have been a one hit wonder, cause I’ve never heard any other song that I’ve liked from Mr. Mister. “Broken Wings,” from their album “Welcome To The Real World,” was released in 1985 for BMG records. This song reminds me a lot of the band “Sting.” Although this love song was composed brilliantly in my opinion, the lyrics kind of sends a mixed message. It almost sounds like he’s saying, I know I emotionally broke you to shreds, now take your “broken wings,” learn how to fly again, so we can get back together again, and I’ll screw up (without saying he was responsible in the first place). LOL.. “Broken Wings” reached #1 on the Hot 100 Billboard Charts, and stayed relevant for 22 weeks.
O.K. guys, this has got to be my most favorite 80s club remix of all times!! Well, I know I must have said this quite a few times on quite a few songs, but this song is very high on my list. Oh, this song takes me back when I hear it. I am literally transported back to the days when I used to hang out in the village. It was a very different time then, the culture, type of clothing, and the music compared to today, are “night & day.” Unfortunate, Spotify does not have the license for “Instinctual,” by Imagination. So, this is one of those rare instances I have to use YouTube to share my memories. This song hit #1 on the Dance Charts, and stayed relevant for about 10 weeks. But I have to be honest, I love this remix 100x more than the original release.
I’ve always had mixed feelings about this song, however, she tore the sh** out of this song!! This is Barbara Brown, and her brother and sisters make “The Browns.” Their genres are R&B, as well as gospel. The song “If I Can’t Run To You I’ll Crawl,” is not only a powerful song about the deepest love you can have for a person, but the lyrics clearly explain the kinds of relationships we used to have way back in the day. If this song was re-recorded, I don’t think it would have received any accolades, simply because I don’t think most of today’s culture could relate to this kind of devotion. Let’s be real, in today’s world, the average person (especially a woman), can love her man to death, but she’s not crawling to anybody. That’s just my opinion. The song was recorded (then) under XL / Sounds of Memphis label. I actually recommend that you listen to the rest of the album; although my favorite is “If I Can’t Run to You I’ll Crawl,” the album as a whole is pretty bad*ss. There is very little information about Barbara and her siblings. But I do know she stopped recording early in the ’70s, and she died about 2010. She was in her late seventies.
O.k. Today….. A lot of you maybe squeezing your brains trying to remember exactly, who the hell is Colonel Abrams! This Detroit Michigan born musician, was best known for his club music. Throughout his career, he’s had about 3 #1 dance tunes. Out of those 3, the only one I really loved, was the song called “Trapped.” The song was originally released in 1985, under Universal Music. I believe it was only released as a single. I remember this song was playing a lot in the clubs back in the day. I couldn’t even remember his other #1 hits; “The Truth,” and “I’m Not Gonna Let You.” The only one I really remembered us dancing to was Trapped. Unfortunately, Abrams died from complications of diabetes, and other health issues in 2016.
How do I describe the group called “After 7?” Well, their music is kind of like in the style of, New Edition. But their vocal styles are sometimes more like Tony, Toni, Tone. In 1989, After 7 produced what would become a favorite song of mine called “Ready Or Not.”The song was from their first self-titled album, under Virgin Records. This was one of the very few true romantic songs I’ve heard from a male group. On both Adult Contemporary Charts & The Hot 100, it reached #7 (WOW). However, on the R&B Charts, it reached #1. A great love song for you 80s Babies. There was also one more amazing song from the album, it’s called “Can’t Stop.” A wonderful love song that talks about how much the girl of his life made him happy. “Can’t Stop” also reached number one on the R&B Charts. Their self-titled album remains their best selling album to date. I loved this kind of music back in the day.. *Sigh* Well… That’s all over now…
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.