Oh my goodness!!! A true blast from the past!! Do you remember these guys?!?! They seemed to be such an odd couple. I didn’t even know they were dating! I thought they were just together to promote their 1984 hit song “Perfect Combination.” This is the one and only New Edition’s Johnny Gill, and solo artist Stacy Lattisaw! You know, when I looked at Johnny Gill’s young face at the time, I just couldn’t believe that that strong voice came out of a guy that was still pretty much adolescent. “Perfect Combination” reached #10 on the R&B charts; and was released about 2 years BEFORE he was signed on as a new member of the legendary New Edition.
I was flipping through my album collection and thought I’d write about another forgotten composer. The late Herbie Mann was born in Brooklyn NY in the 1930s, and grew up to be a very well known musician/flutist. Herbie has performed many types of music (but mostly classical). However, in my opinion, I think it’s safe to say he is most remembered for some of his disco tunes.
His Music Was Very Popular, But His Billboard Ranks Were Mediocre
It’s kind of weird to explain Herbie’s music, because a lot of his music rankings were mediocre, yet at the same time many of his music were very popular. I guess the only possible explanation for that is his connection to the club & disco scenes. This particular album, “Super Mann,” released in 1978 I feel is his best work. My most favorite song on the album is “Super Mann.” Super Mann is a song with intense flirtatious energy and heavy dance beats. The piece peaked at #26 on the Top 100 Charts.
Another great composition (I think) from the same album is called “Rock Freak.” Both composition are disco infused with a Brazilian influence. Herbie had another hugely popular hit from his “Discotheque” album called “Hi-Jack (1975).” This was my jam back in the day too. This was actually an instrumental cover, taken from the original band called Barrabas. For pure disco fans, I think the works I’ve mentioned in this article will appeal to you the most. Everything else would probably be too mellow for most disco fans. However, if you like instrumental jazz, check out his cover of “Comin’ Home Baby,” written by Ben Tucker, and originally performed by Mel Tormé w/vocals. But it was made popular by a Ray Charles TV performance. I don’t remember if it was a concert or on a variety TV show. I honestly don’t remember hearing Tormé’s original until after I heard Ray sang it. Herbie died while in Mexico c. 2003.Shop JSport Shoes
Harold Faltermeyer is a music composer and record producer born in Munich, Germany. Although I’ve tagged him as being a forgotten artists, technically he’s not depending whether or not we’re talking about the public or the movie industry. Within the movie industry, he is one of the most sought after composers I can think of.
Famous Behind The Scenes
Harold is one of those talented musicians that is famous from behind the scenes. Despite the fact that he has composed scores for some pretty big well known movies, such as “American Gigolo (1980)” starring Richard Gere, and “The Midnight Express (1978),” starring Brad Davis; composers are not given the same notoriety as lead singers to a sound track unfortunately. I’m not quite sure why is that.
I’ve always wondered what is the method of figuring out a truly successful sound track producer? Because it’s not exactly the same thing as your traditional mainstream vocal performer right? Because part of their success is also about the success of the movie, which technically has nothing to do with each other. Someone can make a legitimate argument that people only buy sound tracks when they’re a fan of the movie.
Harold pretty much stayed unknown to most music fans, until his success with “Beverly Hills Cop (1984).” It was so successful, he got a Grammy Award for best original sound track (co-writer) some time in 1986. The composition that blew up the charts was Axel-F. The piece shot to #3 on the Hot 100 Charts. It is probably (as far as I’m concerned) one of the few biggest dance/synth-pop tunes of all times.
OK everybody! Let’s put our hands together for the legendary Regina Belle! You know, I’m not sure if I’m using the word “phenomenal” too much or not. But, sometimes I just can’t think of any other word to describe these very talented artists! I’m also not sure if I can truly say we’ve forgotten about Regina, but certainly, we are not playing her music anymore. Throughout Regina’s career, she didn’t have that many number ones. However, her music is iconic enough to where it’s definitely worth listening to! Especially if you love or are in the mood for mellow/romantic music.
She’s The Queen Of Smooth Jazz
She’s the queen of smooth jazz! Well, this isn’t her official title. However, much of my most favorite music from her has been within that genre. Regina started her career in the mid 80s, and her success landed her the opportunity to perform for former President George W. Bush. After Regina’s scary ordeal with having brain cancer; her loyal fans have never forgotten her, despite not having a #1 hit in decades. I’m going to make the assumption she’s cancer free, since my research alludes she’s still performing.
By the way, I’m pretty concerned with all these celebrities I’m hearing getting all sorts of cancer. This is some scary shit. Anyway, I think the moment I fell in love with Regina’s music, was when I heard her iconic song “Make It Like It Was (1989),” which hit #1 on the R&B Chart, and #5 on the Top 100 Chart. Another favorite is “Baby Come To Me (1989),” which was also number one on the R&B Chart. However, I think the song that really put Regina on the map, was a song called “A Whole New World (Theme From Aladdin) (1992),” a duet with the legendary Peabo Bryson. This song reached #1 in the Adult Contemporary category. From the same album, check out “Quiet Time,” a duet with Barry White. Oh my goodness. Barry had a way of making any song sound sexy as hell.20% Off 3-Pack. Use Code: TRIO20
You know, Barbra Streisand is one of the very few celebrities where, the mere mention of her name gets a wide variety of responses (depending on the group you’re in). In the gay community, I think it’s safe to say that a significant number of LGBT people (particularly the older group) loves Barbra. However, outside of the gay community is when the responses get really negative.
You Either Hate Her Guts, Or Love Her To Death!
Many people despise Barbra because of her personal political beliefs. Or perhaps more so because she’s a powerful Jewish woman with influence. She’s always been very political ever since I can remember. I guess now that she’s older and has lived an extremely successful career, her outspokenness has become more apparent. In fact, she’s been on Bill Maher’s HBO show called “Politically Incorrect” quite a few times. It shouldn’t be a surprise to people; especially since Barbra has an openly gay son; it’s even more of a reason to fight for equal rights. In fact, her latest album called “Walls (2018),” was inspired by what’s going on within the current Trump administration. As much as I love Barbra, I wasn’t particularly impressed with this album. And judging from the streams, a lot of her fans didn’t like it either.
Some people say she screws her fans, because she charges outrageous prices for her tickets. Well, that may be true. But at the same time, Barbra isn’t just a singer, she’s also a brand. So, if the price of her tickets are the current market value, then it is what it is. The other thing is, I can hear the unique quality of her voice; it’s like no other voice we’ve ever heard. Although I can’t afford her tickets myself, I know there is a value placed on that voice. Which is why she spent her entire life protecting it. Like it or not, she has the voice of a matured, and well trained vocal cords.
They Just Hated Her Music!
I used to hear so many people say, they couldn’t stand hearing Barbra’s music, and they think it’s the worse they’ve ever heard! I was usually taken back by this response/attitude, as if since they say “her music is awful,” then it’s true because it makes sense to them! ?
Well, the fact is whether they “know” Barbra’s music stinks, her fans gave her 2 movie Oscar Awards, 14 Academy nominations, 5 number one hits, and 12 Top Tens! It’s a hard pill to swallow when your opinions doesn’t align with true fans of Barbra’s work. My favorites songs are just too many to post them all on this article, so I’ll just give you a few. I loved “The Way We Were (1974),” although I wish the movie script could have been better. “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers (1978),” “Enough Is Enough (1979),” “Guilty (1981),” “The Main Event (1979),” “What Kind Of Fool (1981),” and finally “On A Clear Day (1961).”
You know, having Marilyn Monroe here probably seems a little out of place. Most of the time, when we hear or read anything about Marilyn, it’s usually one of three following things. It’s either about her struggles as an actress; her scandalous relationship with Bobby Kennedy; or whether her death was an accidental overdose or murder. However, as strange as it may seem, I chose to write about her because believe it or not, Marilyn was also a talented singer too. Luckily for us, Spotify has a treasure trove of music history hidden in its massive library.
Happy Birthday Mr. President!
Not to sound arrogant or anything, but… I’m willing to wage a bet that for most people, the only singing anybody has ever remembered by Marilyn (if any) was her famous “Happy Birthday Mr. President.” Marilyn sung Happy Birthday to then president John F. Kennedy, for his 45th birthday in 1962. Well, I guess it would make sense, since back in those days, Marilyn was considered a sex goddess. That performance was such a big deal! LOL. She sang to the president in such a way, that it seemed she was trying to seduce the president on stage! ?
Not only the late Marilyn Monroe could sing, she had several albums to prove it. Now, unfortunately it appears I can’t find any chart information for Marilyn, but that doesn’t mean that she did not have any popular music! Especially when it came to her movie soundtracks! One of the most popular songs I remembered growing up was a song called “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend.” The song was recorded in c. 1953. She performed this song in the movie “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” and it became the inspiration for Madonna’s “Material Girl (1984).”
You know, it’s a shame. Marilyn isn’t really spoken of, unless you happen to watch an old documentary about her, or some sort of conspiracy theory episode on one of those “unsolved mysteries” type of shows. But Marilyn had a powerful influence in American culture. From paintings, to fashion, film, photography, and even music performances. One good example is when Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) from “Bewitched,” turns in to her character “Serena.” She was basically a brunette version of Marilyn. Performers such as Madonna; even Donna Summer! It is said that Donna Summer literally channeled Marilyn when she recorded her hit song “Love To Love You Baby,” in 1975.
I was listening to classic internet radio the other day (which happens to be the best kind of radio nowadays), and “Just You ‘N’ Me” by Chicago came on. I haven’t heard this in ages. Chicago is one of my very, very favorite bands. They had a LOT of hits from back in the day. I place them very high on the music bar; alongside The Eagles, and Earth, Wind, & Fire.
Indeed, One Of The Best Bands Of The 70s/80s
The band Chicago is from Chicago Illinois, and was first formed on the year of my birthday in 1967. For the most part, they’re a soft-rock, & pop-rock. Their original name was “Chicago Transit Authority.” Awhile later they decided to shorten it to just “Chicago.” Chicago probably had more employees over the course of their existence than Earth, Wind & Fire. Actually, probably more than any band.
Unfortunately, there are only 3 original members remaining. Robert Lamm, Lee Loughnane, and James Pankow. I am so amazed and thrilled that they’re still around. You know, from a marketing standpoint, they knew their brand. Has any of my readers who are fans of Chicago took the time to look through Chicago’s album art? Very impressive, and there is no doubt that this played a part in burning this legendary band in to people’s memory.
Only 3 Members Left!
You know what? Large bands like Chicago, EW&F, MFSB, they where one of a kind. Not just because of their music, but I feel that the way the music industry is now, they would never pay for large bands like this anymore. This generation only seems to focus on single artists.
In addition to “Just You ‘N’ Me,” which hit #4 by the way. I’d like to share some more of my very favorite hits. One of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard from any band is “If You Leave Me Now,” this song is so romantic. Apparently other fans thought so too, as the song shot up to #1 in 1976. This is the perfect please forgive me song. ?? “Hard To Say I’m Sorry,” #1 on the charts, “Saturday In The Park,” #3 on the charts, “You’re The Inspiration,” also peaked #3 on the charts. I could go on and on. Check out their greatest hits album an walk down memory lane!! Oh yeah, check out their website too. It’s really cool. Thanks for reading.
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.”