I’d like to share a song I found a while ago. Meet the late, Darondo. Darondo had a cute album called “The Music City Sessions.” According to what I’ve read, the copyright is 2011. However, it’s obvious that the music is dated; and since Darondo died in 2013; either this music was never released to the public yet; or the original music was re-digitized with a new copyright of 2011. The sound is definitely early 70s. On the album there’s a song called “Luscious Lady.” I really do like this song, it has a heavy funky beat, and he has somewhat of a soulful voice. His music falls along the lines of Al Green’s style. In fact, his voice sounds almost identical to Al’s. He could’ve been a music double and know one would have known. I do also like “Get Up Off Your Butt” too; it’s a nice funk piece anybody can dance too. There are a couple of other nice songs on this album, but those two stuck on me.
Ahhh, talk about lost treasures!! This was a very talented group called “Honey Cone.” Unfortunately, like many acts back in the day; sometimes they don’t get to use their voices to it’s full potential; because of poor songwriting; or sometimes bad marketing. Honey Cone, I feel falls in to that category. If they had the right management team, their fame could have been “up there” along side “The Three Degrees” in my opinion.
They’ve made several albums throughout their career. But they’ve only had 2 number ones, and one that reached number 5. The first massive hit was everybody’s favorite; a song called “Want Ads,” from the album “Sweet Replies,” under “Margate Entertainment Records, released in 1971. The song was an instant hit, and reached #1, and stayed on the charts for 16 weeks. This one single sold well over a million copies after public release. The second number one was “Stick-up.” It hit number on the R&B Charts. But to be honest, I never cared for it too much for this song. However, the girls sang their *sses off this song. The third massive hit was a song called “One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show.” I used to play this song so much, it was a shame. I’m surprised that 45 didn’t turn in to dust LOL. This song reached #5 on the R&B Charts. I thought this was a badass song!!
I want to try and quickly kill two birds with one stone. One of my many favorite 80s songs is from the late Donna Summer, and it’s called “She Works Hard For The Money.” It was released exactly on Mar 10, 1983, under Mercury Records. This song went #1 for 3 weeks on the Hot R&B Charts. It was her first #1 hit since several songs on the “Bad Girls” album, and her #1 duet with Barbra Streisand, “Enough Is Enough,” just 4 years prior. This was a significant song back in the day; not because it happened to reach number one; but because it was in essence a tribute to all the hardworking, low income, female service workers. Donna co-written the song, and she wrote about an actual encounter she had with a restroom attendant (which to me is a fancy way of saying a female porter). The woman was even said to be pictured on the back of the album. Well, I have this album, and I don’t see her photo, neither did I remember seeing it in the protective sleeve cover. But I do remember both Donna and Mercury records giving the woman public acknowledgement in the news, promos, etc.
The second song from the same album I wanted to draw your attention to is, is a song called “Unconditional Love.” The song is a duet with a group called “Musical Youth.” Musical Youth is best known for their massive hit “Pass The Dutchie,” which reached #10 in the US, and #1 in UK and Canada. Unfortunately, “Unconditional Love” did not do well in the United States, peaking only @44. That was disappointing to read, as I thought this was a very cute song. But you know what? I think that maybe they should have had the group sing with Donna, and not use them as background chorus, I’m sure it would have been a larger hit. Sometime in 1985, Musical Youth broke up, with only one major hit to their credit, which was “Pass The Dutchie.” It was said that, two of the old five members got back together to continue their music career in 2011. However, I can’t seem to find any newer music from them. Maybe they’ve changed their group name.
You know, ever since I was a child, I’ve always been aware of remakes. However, it wasn’t until I became a serious blogger and started researching, I would come to understand just how many songs have been redone, and redone multiple times! So, that ol’ saying “nothing new under the sun,” is literally true. In fact, some of these songs, such as a song called “Our Day Will Come,” have been redone by so many people, if it were not for the internet, it would have been impossible to know who were the original artists. Now, as a kid, I’ve only heard the song sung by the original performers, Ruby And The Romantics, because that’s all I remembered hearing on the radio as a kid (and mind you, I’ve listened to just about all the stations). The song was number one on the Hot 100 and R&B charts; it had also risen to #11 in Australia.
This song was so popular that, coming to find out, this song has been done by more than 40+ artists, and that includes the late Amy Winehouse (which I LOVE the deep reggae overtones). But the group I wanted to write about today, is a group called Spiral Starecase. This particular album should have been named the remake album, because there are several of them. The Spiral Starecase’s version of “Our Day Will Come,” is a smooth pop song with the typical sound that many of the male groups in the 60s. I felt they’ve recreated a danceable love song (in essence), and it was well done. The lead singer at the time, I think it was Pat Upton, always reminded me of the group Air Supply. The biggest hit from this album was a song called “More Today Than Yesterday,” which I like very much.
The 80’s seemed to be that decade where many music labels re-released a LOT of old songs from various artists. Many labels didn’t even bother to put “Greatest Hits” on copies. To me, it was an obvious trick to get fans to pay for the exact music we already had 🙁 Knowing that this was a common practice among many record labels, I was dumbfounded that the record labels would try to convince the public they weren’t making money! However, today’s era is a whole different story! Now, although labels seem to finally turn profits via streaming, internet radio, licensing, and perhaps from vinyl collectors; but not enough to recouped what they’ve lost during the Napster through the Torrent years. Lots, and lots, and lots of money they could have made if they were not so scared of internet technology. But, like I said, they’ve also bled a lot of fan’s pockets too! so, there you have it.
I can’t believe how unrecognizable Patti is here. If it wasn’t for her signature nose and smile, I would have said this was not her. This cassette contained music I already had, with the exception of one song. It’s called “Teach Me Tonight (Me Gusta Tu Baile),” on her “Tasty” album, released in 1978. It was the only real reason I purchased it. Let me tell you, I’m so happy I did, because I laughed soooooooo hard, my stomach hurt! Do you guys remember that Lucille Ball episode, when Lucy got so drunk that she embarrass Ricky by getting up on stage and tried to sing Spanish with Ricky? I think it was the episode when she did the “VitaMeataVegamin commercial.” This was Patti when I heard this song. Oh, goodness, she was so hilarious! She sounded like one of those drunk friends we’ve all had at every party, that try to sing the words to a song they don’t know, but don’t care, ’cause they have a buzz, and they’re having fun. What even made it more hilarious, was the fact that Patti has such a vocal range she’s able to make all these unusual sounds whie singing. When you put that together with trying to pronounce Spanish words, it’s funny as hell!! Although I got a good laugh, this is not the sort of song I would put on and dance to. I’m so happy that Patti stuck primarily to her old genres. Enjoy the playlist here.
Wow!! Now this is the blast from the past!! How many of you remember Malo? I bet a lot of you don’t. Listening to Malo’s music was a lot like listening to Santana. Actually, why wouldn’t they remind us of Santana? Jorge Santana (brother of the legendary Carlos Santana), co produced the group, with a guy named Arcelio Garcia. So much of Malo’s musical accent sounded almost identical to Santanas (as if to say, this formula works, let’s stick with it). They were signed to Warner Brothers Records, and in 1972, they released their first record titled “Malo.” On this album was their first and only big hit of their career called “Suavecito.” The song had beautiful vocal harmonies, infused with Latin jazz, gave them the sound of a high-class band, that you can only see perform in a ballroom setting. The song hit #8 on the U.S. Billboard Charts, and the album itself peaked at #10 on the R&B Charts. Back from that, this was it in terms of their career. They’ve made several albums after this, but none had the success of “Suavecito.” On this particular album, Warner Bro. had put together their best songs. Some of them are worth listening to. I recommend listening to “Chevere,” you can really hear the distinct “Santana sound” in this piece. And oh yeah, I also like “Oye Mama” too. That’s a great song to dance too. By the way, I think it’s kind of ironic that, they’ve only had one hit, and their band name is Malo. Maybe they should have changed their name? 😀
Here is another extremely rare Steve Wonder Song. In 1966, Stevie released a song called “Hey Love,” on the “Down To Earth” album, for Motown Records. Despite the fact that this song only peaked at #90 on the Hot 100 Charts, I feel it’s still a very nice song. Actually the album itself wasn’t one of Stevie’s top albums, but like I said, it’s still an enjoyable album for Stevie fans. Also, let me draw your attention to yet again the same classic I spoke of before. “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down),” written by the late Sonny Bono, and performed by his then wife Cher. This seemed like one of those “go to songs” when artists needs remake something. 😀 I do like his interpretation tho. I would guess that probably the song that became the biggest hit from this album is called “A Place In The Sun.” This peaked at #29, and stayed on the charts for about 4 weeks.
Hi classic fans! How many of you were aware that the legendary Aretha Franklin had a sister? Yes she did! Google it!! Actually, she had 2 sisters. One named Carolyn Franklin, and other who is the focus of today’s article, is named Erma Franklin. She was an amazing performer in my opinion. Although Erma had been performing for more than 50 years, it appears she had very little albums to show for it. I discovered that Erma’s career was plagued by continued throat problems. Long story short, Erma was diagnosed with a form of throat cancer, and succumbed to her illness in 2002. During Erma’s brief album history, there were a couple of songs she did I really liked. One of them was called “Piece Of My Heart,” released in 1967, recorded under Sony Records. I don’t have enough fingers to count how many versions of this song I’ve heard. However, this song is not an easy song to sing; it’s almost as though the song belongs to someone with a “rock voice,” such as the late legendary Janis Joplin. Erma’s version of this song hit #10 on the R&B charts, and stayed relevant for about 14 weeks. You know, it’s interesting, I naturally thought that since Erma was Aretha’s sister that she would somewhat sound like Aretha? But she does not at all. However, when she sings certain vowels, like her A’s you can hear some Aretha. She actually sounds more like a young Cissy Houston in my opinion. Another Awesome song she sung was “Never Again.”