Forgotten Music Artists
This category for Forgotten Artists is pretty much self-explanatory. These are artists that are damn near non-existent, in either mainstream, SAP stations, or internet radio. This is the category that will make you say “Oh Shit, I forgot about him/her/group.” You just may find an old favorite to play in Spotify all day!
It’s been awhile since I’ve heard anything from Herbie Hancock. The song “Stars in Your Eyes,” released in 1973, and then re-released digitally in 1980. I’d say the song was a moderate hit in my neighborhood. Not a super-favorite, however, it’s a great chill-out song to play for small get together with others, if you’re in that Black nostalgic mood. The song highest peak was #8 across internet streaming platforms. Check it out!
Song: Safety Dance
Artist: Men Without Hats
Album: Rhythm Of Youth (1982)
Ok. This is when I know I must REALLY love to blog, when almost every time I say to myself, “I need a little rest,” I windup needing to blog about something still! LOL. Oh well.. I’d rather be addicted to blogging, instead of being addicted to drugs or something worse.
“Men Without Hats” is a Canadian synth-pop group that had a really popular hit song in the early 80s. Now, according to Billboard, they only had 1 Top Ten hit, and 1 mediocre hit. I don’t know what their numbers in Canada are like, but as far as America is concerned, they’re a one hit wonder.
The song they’re most known for in America is called “Safety Dance.” I’m not sure why, but for some reason, every time I hear this song, it almost always remind of Falco’s “Rock Me Amadeus (1985).” Remember Falco? His song was another huge 80s hit too. Maybe it’s just because the 80s were a fun time in terms of music. Almost every major genre had so much creativity in the lyrics and composition. Today’s music is literally night and day. But, I digress. “Safety Dance,” hit #3 on the Top 100 Charts. It was insane how much the pop radio stations were playing this song.
Song: The Gigolo
Album: The Best Of O’Bryan (1996)
I know I shouldn’t judge, but…. I’m almost positive that hardly anyone remembers this dude!! He looks so different now. But, he also looks more handsome now with age. As far as I can tell, he never had any chart toppers in the “Top 100” category, but he had a few under R&B. I wasn’t really in to his music. However, some straight females acted as tho he was a Luther Vandross or something. I liked “The Gigolo (1982),” because the sound was very “Prince (ish).” It reached #57 on the Top 100, and it was the highest ranking on Top 100. But, the good news was that it peaked at #5 on R&B. Some of you may remember O’Bryan for his #1 R&B song called “Lovelite (1984).” Another “Prince (ish)” sound, that was very popular in the Black community back in the day. Through all the ups and downs, at age 57, he’s still performing and rocking the house!
I guess it’s safe to say that the late Bob Welch’s music has fill in to the obscure category by now. I don’t think anybody listens to him anymore, that includes myself. The last time I heard anything from him was when I was a teenager. Welch only had one major hit in his career, which happened to be my only favorite from him. The song was called “Sentimental Lady (1977),” off his album “French Kiss.” Listening to this song was almost like listening to a mellow version of the Beach Boys (in my opinion). It was a nice song though.
You couldn’t get more easy listening than this song. It reached #8 on The Billboard Charts, and as far as I can tell, it was the biggest hit of his career. His second popular song from the same album was “Ebony Eyes.” I didn’t particularly care for this song, but a lot of people liked it. Before Welch took off on his solo career, he was a former member of the legendary band Fleetwood Mac as a guitarist/vocalist from 1971-1974. Sadly, at the age of 66, Welch died from a self inflicted gunshot.
I don’t remember if I wrote about him on my old blog but.. What the hell.. Today I’d like to quickly write a little about Johnny Kemp. Johnny was a talented Bohemian singer who started his music career in the late 70s. He had a unique look and a unique sound. Johnny did not hit it big until about ten years later, when he released his smash hit “Just Got Paid (1988).” The song shot up to #1 on both R&B/Hip Hop & the Dance Charts. This song was made for Johnny, I never thought that anybody could thing that song the way he did. Also, seeing him dance to this song on his music video was electrifying in my opinion. By mid video, it reminded me a lot of the original “Fame (1980)” soundtrack video.
“Just Got Paid” was the biggest hit of his career. In fact I think that was his only #1. On The same album, he had a #5 dance hit called “Dancin’ With Myself (1988).” I didn’t particularly like that song, but a lot of people did. After shaking my ass to “Just Got Paid,” it seems like this song was a downgrade or something. It just didn’t seem danceable to me. However, I did love his 1986 song called “Just Another Lover.” The song only peaked at #26 on the Dance Charts.
Johnny died in 2015, at the young age of 55. As far as I can tell, I still don’t think there was an official cause of death. According to what I’ve read, he fell over a cruise ship he was actually scheduled to perform in. I’m not even sure if they knew exactly how he fell. I guess for most, it was written off as a freak accident.
The Quincy Jones Legacy! Man! I can’t believe I found this album. I literally said to myself “eenie meenie miney mo,” ’cause I did not know what was going to be today’s topic. I really struggled trying to figure out what category to put this article in. Quincy is definitely not a forgotten legend, at least as far as the music industry’s concern. However, as far as the general public, he is.
The Quincy Jones Legacy
Quincy is such a phenomenal and talented human being, I think it’s impossible to find the words to describe him. I think in order to figure out who Quincy is, you just have to listen to his works! Quincy has produced so many chart topping hits, that literally helped change the world throughout his career. Even till this day, I’m still finding works I had no idea he produced. One of which is actually on the above 1971 album “Smackwater Jack,” and the piece is called “Ironside.” Ironside is the theme to the hit 60s television series “Ironside,” Starring Raymond Burr. Raymond played Robert T. Ironside, an detective/lawyer who solves crimes in a wheelchair (basically). The show was actually pretty good!
Jazz Music Was His Game!
Quincy was his name, and Jazz music was his game. Very few musicians can touch Quincy when it came to producing music. My man Quincy Jones is clocking 85 years of age now, and he is still kicking butt producing and performing! There is no doubt that music is in his veins and throughout his whole body. Quincy worked with many other artists, including the late Michael Jackson, Count Basie, Sarah Vaughan, and Dinah Washington, just to name a few.
Inspired By Ray Charles!
With all the phenomenal artists he has worked with, do you know who was the very person that inspired him to become the person he is today? At about age 14, Quincy met the late Ray Charles and saw him perform in some night club. It was at that moment Quincy knew what he wanted to do with his life. While working very hard on his music career, above all other things, music did not stop him from being a lady’s(s) man. Quincy had been married several times, and fathered several children. According to articles I’ve read, he even had a relationship and 2 children with actress Peggy Lipton, of the original 70s TV show, The Mod Squad (which was another favorite show of mine btw).
I can’t end this article without writing about some of Quincy’s greatest music productions! Some of them include Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” U.S.A for Africa’s “We Are The World,” The Brothers Jonson’s “Strawberry Letter 23,” and Leslie Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me.”
I am sure I’m not wrong about this…. But….. Yes…… I do believe that singer/songwriter Larry Graham is among the many great forgotten artists. As far as I can remember, he only had two major hit songs of his career, and they were in 1980 and then in 1981. This man had a sexy *ss voice! He had what we used to call “bedroom voices.” There were very few men that had those types of voices, off the top of my head, Teddy Pendergrass, Barry White, & Luther Vandross. The first hit he released was in 1980 “One In A Million You,” grown women went bananas over that song. The song hit #1 on the U.S. R&B charts. With the exception of some college radio stations, I don’t think there were any stations that wasn’t playing this song. Growing up, almost every woman wanted this song played for their wedding. That’s how serious it was ?? I’m not joking about that either ?. When people heard this song on the radio back in the day, people would literally stop what they were doing to sing along until the song was finished.
The second huge hit of his career is a song called “Just Be My Lady,” released in 1981. The song peaked at #4 on the R&B Charts. This was another highly requested song for weddings. There was a song he recorded in 1975 that did ok on the Top 100 Charts, the song was called “Your Love.” Graham recorded the song along with a group he put together called the “Graham Central Station.” The song peaked at the 38th position on the Top 100, however, I couldn’t find anything on the R&B Chart. It probably didn’t do well enough to get on the chart’s radar.
Do you guys remember Jonathan Butler? Wow! This was one good-looking bro back in the day. Mr. Butler is a type of talented artist I think not to many people appreciate. He made some really good music, however, his music was not chart topping unfortunately. For some reason, I can’t retrieve all the stats for Jonathan on the billboard, but judging from the very low Spotify streams overall, I can make a safe assumption he did not rank high on the Billboard charts. But, But this doesn’t mean he wasn’t talented. One of the songs I remembered very well from him, is a song called “Lies,” released in 1987. This song only peaked at the 27th position on the Hot 100 Charts, however, I remember seeing the music video for this song all the time! It’s a great jazzy pop tune! It will at least get your head bopping. Another nice one was “More Than Friends,” released a year later in 1988 from his album called “More Than Friends.” I think you’ll really like both these songs. Check it out.