Phenomenal Artists

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I don’t think it’s my imagination, but finding album stats are becoming harder and harder to find. In my opinion, “Rhythm Nation,” has got to be Janet’s second, most successful album of her career (next to her “Control” album)! Or if not, it is my second most favorite Janet Jackson album! Almost all the songs in this album were in the top 10 range, and just about all her videos were perfect as well.

Now, I have to be honest, normally I’m not attracted to albums like these because there are some portions of the album that are political. Yet, there is enough diversity in the album that still managed to catch my attention. I think the best songs (and videos) from this album are “Escapade,” “Alright,” “Black Cat,” “Love Will Never Do,” and “Rhythm Nation.”

Céline Dion, Celine Dion, album, greatest hits, spotify, spotifythrowbacks, throwbacks

It’s sort of troubling to me, when I think about just how fast music streaming is moving (including YouTube). Between the fast movements of social media/streaming services verses the old folk who simply isn’t interested in tapping in to what streaming has to offer; I realize it’s very hard to measure the level of appreciation we still have for classic music. Classic music such as one of Celine Dion’s album “The Colour Of My Love (1993).” It’s been a REALLY long time since I’ve heard anything of Celine on either mainstream radio or radio streaming. It’s a shame because she’s had many, many hits. But, I suppose with America’s culture shifts, if there are people who still do remember Celine, would be mostly likely associated with her Titanic theme song.

One of my favorite hits from this album, is her cover of Jennifer Rush’s “The Power Of Love.” I feel that both artists have done an amazing job with this song. I’m not sure if I like one over the other. “The Power Of Love,” is definitely one of those “made for females” romantic songs. We don’t talk about it much, but woman can make romantic music too. Another amazing song from this album is her cover of “When I Fall In Love,” featuring Clive Griffin. If you are a fairly good singer, I can’t see how anyone could screw this song up! It’s a simple love song, with easy notes that almost anyone can carry. Check out this classic album, and add it to your favorite streaming service.

 

Queen Latifah, Spotify, spotifythrowbacks

Do you remember this album? Did any of you hip hop fans even knew this existed? This was Queen’s first jazz album! I had mixed feelings about this album (but neither one of my feelings were negative tho..) I guess it’s because Queen took such a 360 degree turn, it made me do a double take. Let me say this, Queen was one of the very few artists from back in the day that could actually sing! And was one of the very few hip hop artists that could have pull that off. Probably the only other person I can think of that was pure hip hop that could have pulled this off was Lauryn Hill. But, not even then, because she would have turned her album into a jazz/beats project.. I know for most of you youngin’, this album is perhaps too mellow for you liking, but it’s really a good album. Although her album is called “The Dana Owens Album,” the album is really filled with a bunch of cover songs which she performed quite well. I liked her cover of “I Put A Spell On You,” she sounded like a mellowed down version of Nina Simone. I also really liked “Simply Beautiful,” and “California Dreamin’. This may not be the album many of you would add to your daily music consumption, but it’s a nice album for relax time. Check it out..

 

Aaliyah, Spotify, Aliyah's Death, classic music, music streaming

You know, I hadn’t realized just how stunningly beautiful Aaliyah was until after her death. The media showed lots of candid photos I never seen before. We tragically lost an artist that could have been just as large as the late Whitney Houston maybe? But, because this is of a different generation from mine, a lot of her music I didn’t connect with. However, there are a few songs I feel are worthy mentions. I really liked the song she did for the Dr. Doolittle soundtrack called “Are You That Somebody,” and I also liked “More Than A Woman.”

 

Song: Star Search

Artist: Various

Album: CBS Productions (1983-2003)

Genre: TV Show

Hi guys!!! Today, I thought it would be fun to write a little ’bout a forgotten talent show called “Star Search.” To be honest, I forgot what channel I used to watch it on, but, it had to have been either channel 5 or 7 in NYC. This show was on way longer than I realized. I remember watching it in the early 80s, however, the show lasted until about 2003. Star Search was a show similar to the Apollo; the only difference was that Star Search’s format was a lot more formal, and appeared to be more structured. The show was hosted by a number of people throughout the seasons, including Arsenio Hall (believe it or not). But the host I remembered the most was the late Ed McMahon. Mr. McMahon literally became a house hold name back then; in fact, I dare to say his popularity could be compared to the legendary sports announcer, the late Howard Cosell. They both had very distinctive voices. You knew immediately who they were the second you heard their voices. In fact, Ed McMahon was so popular, he often appeared on the late Johnny Carson Show just to hangout.

Truthfully, I Only Remembered Two Performers On The Show That Became Mega Famous!





To be honest, despite the fact that I did enjoy the show most of the time, I was an occasional watcher. Thinking back, I hadn’t realized just how many people Star Search has made famous! One guy that stuck in my head was a guy named Sam Harris. No disrespect, but…… If the late Patrick Swayze was gay, I think he’d look something like Sam Harris ? ?! Come on, you know it’s true! LOLOL.. The audience appeared to have fallen completely in love with Harris. The song that put him on the map, was his rendition of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” You know, it’s funny, back then I thought he tore the shit out of this song. Now, 30+ years later, I think he put a lot of stress on his vocal chords. Then again, Star Search was the first of it’s kind, and perhaps that was what it meant for contestants to “give it their all.”

Some Of The Biggest Celebrities That Started Off On Star Search Didn’t Perform All That Well!





One of my all-time favorite contestant of the show was a woman named Linda Eder. She left such a huge impression on me. Listen to Linda sing her rendition of “I Dreamed A Dream.” My jaw completely dropped to the floor when I heard her sing on the show for the first time. This was one woman I wish I could have saw perform live. Linda performs mostly Broadway tunes, and music standards. If you’re into this kind of thing, I definitely recommend you check her albums out. Sam Harris and Linda Eder are the only two performers that were prominent in my memory. However, below is a list of just a few contestants that became big names in their profession.

SINGERS:

Beyonce, performed with a group called “Girls Tyme.”

Justin Timberlake

Britney Spears

Christina Aguilera

User

LeAnn Rimes

Alanis Morissette

Jessica Simpson

Aaliyah

Billy Porter

COMEDIANS:

Martin Lawrence

Jenny Jones

Norm Macdonald

Sinbad

Carlos Mencia

Bill Engvall

Loni Love

Ray Romano

Rosie O’Donnell

Dave Chappelle

Three Dog Night, spotify,spotifythrowbacks, streaming, classic music, soft rock

Song: An Old Fashioned Love Song

Artist: Three Dog Night

Album: Celebrate TTDN Story 1965-1975

Genre: Soft Rock

Unless your preferred music listening has always been rock, you most likely forgot about this group, or never heard of them at all. I don’t think they’re necessarily an obscured band, but I definitely think so among general music fans (especially 30 and younger). When I look at their streaming numbers, relatively speaking they’re not really that high. However, this doesn’t mean they didn’t do great music in the rock genre. To be honest, I hadn’t listened to their music for a really longtime. There are so much great classic music that exist, neglect of our old favorite classics is just bound to happen. It wasn’t until I started lookin’, that I actually realized how many songs they’ve done that turned out to be some of my favorites.

If There Is A Such Thing As Quality Rock Music





Three Dog Night, spotify, spotifythrowbacks.com

You know, I still don’t consider myself a “rock expert.” However, I’ve always said to myself, if there is a such thing as “quality rock music,” I think Three Dog Night’s name would be on that list. They’re one of the very few rock bands that create real love songs that actually borderline between soft and hard rock. I can’t think of too many bands that make these kinds of music. Surprisingly, one of my most favorite songs by them was one of the least played on music streaming. “An Old Fashioned Love Song,” for some reason was one of my favorites. Thinking back, the song sort of reminded me of one of those early eighties travel commercials. You know, one of those vacation resorts ?. However, their biggest hit of their career was actually a song called “Joy To The World.” You know, I still couldn’t figure out the meaning of this song. I think what threw me off was the title. It automatically sends a message that this is a xtian song, but it’s not. Perhaps the lyrics in the song were cryptic. Then again, maybe it was just one of those quicky songs where random sentences were put together. We had a lot of those in the 70s & 80s. America’s “Horse With No Name,” was another annoying song I couldn’t figure out. WTF?? Anywayz…… Although I can’t figure out what the hell the song meant, it had an awesome tune that made it popular.

Joy To The World – The Lyrics Didn’t Make Sense To Me!





Three Dog night, spotify, spotifythrowbacks

Throughout the band’s existence, they’ve gone through a heavy turnaround rate. It’s amazing how many members they’ve gone through, and yet they still managed to pump out hits. Today, the band is unrecognizable. If it were not for their brand name, and the consistency in their music, I wonder if they’d still have that faithful fan base? Checkout some of their other awesome hits. Such as, “Mama Told Me (Not To Come),” “One” (I always mistaken “One,” for a Beatles song), and “Black and White.” Lastly, I want you guys to check out a cover that was first made popular by Otis Redding. It’s called “Try A Little Tenderness.” Wow!! They sounded amazing! In my opinion, they tore this song up! I really appreciated that they kept Otis’s spirit in the song. Very nicely done for all you old Otis fans out there!

The Elgins, spotify, spotifythrowbacks, music streaming, classic music, black music

Song: Heaven Must Have Sent You

Artist: The Elgins

Album: Hitsville USA Motown Singles (1992) (1971)

Genre: Dance

Another forgotten treasure! Maybe I should have called my blog “forgotten treasures!” Because most of the artists a blog about are. One thing I really love about myself, is that I am open to so many different types of music, and it allowed me to find such phenomenal artist, as well garner enough culture to hand create a blog such as this one. Today, my focus is on a wonderful group called The Elgins. To me, this was such an unusual name back in the day, and I don’t recall ever hearing this name in my personal circles or otherwise. Back then, very few radio stations mentioned the name of these artists after their music was played. Having said that, because The Elgins were on the Motown Label, and since Motown had their own distinct sound, I easily mistaken the lead singer’s voice, Saundra Mallett, for groups like The Vandellas, or Martha Reeves.

The Height of their career only lasted about 10 Years





The Elgins, classic music, black music, music streaming, spotify, spotifythrowbacks.com

I don’t remember my family owning any of The Elgins’s music (at least I don’t own any original albums, but I may have one or two of their songs on a cassette compilation, I think). However, their biggest hit song “Heaven Must Have Sent You,” was heard all over the radio. This was my jam back in the day. You couldn’t help but to involuntarily dance to this song. The beat sort of made you dance. I was shocked to discover that in 1966 the hit song only reached #9 on the R&B chart, and 11 on the Hot 100 Chart. That song became one of many Black Anthems (I remembered growing up). I would have sworn this song was number 1, it was so incredibly popular in the Black community. But, no matter, it was still a colossal hit, and at the time appeared to have immortalized them.

Even Motown Sort Of Forgotten The Elgins!





The Elgins, spotify, music streaming, soul music, classic music, spotifythrowbacks.com

Another great forgotten song you guys should investigate, is their song called “Darling Baby.” Personally, I felt this was an amazingly beautiful romantic song. What I find really strange tho… Also released in 1966, the song hit #92 on the Top 100 Chart, yet an the R&B Chart, it reached #4. Now, I am no expert when it comes to the flow of Billboard numbers, but to me that’s a huge gap, and I’m wondering if this had to do with the fact that “Darling Baby,” was originally released as a side B. I truly feel that The Elgins were truly underrated, and that includes by Motown too to some extent. I say this because despite only having a few hits under their belt, they were huge enough to be included in much of Motown’s memorabilia collections. And in my opinion, it had a lot to do with people like Berry Gordy. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but lets not forget, Berry Gordy had his hands in Diana Ross’s pants for quite some time. Not only that, performers such as Martha Reeves, The Temptations, and The Four Tops, got all the promotion when it comes to being included in collectable albums. Their existence felt almost compulsory. There were so many more talents on the Motown label that were not acknowledged until well after the very artists were forgotten by fans. Now, if you do find music from The Elgins, it will be on some sort of “obscure collections.” By the way, Summer is approaching. See what Google found for designer T-Shirts!!

The gay club scene - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Gay life, house music, club music, rare classics, 12 inches, vinyl, records, rare music, gay classics

Song: Various

Artist: Various

Album: Playlist

Genre: Club Music & Remixes

I’ve been meaning to do this for a very long, long time ?!  As I’ve said before, just as straight people have history, so does the LGBT community. We have a history that is unique to us as LGBT people. In addition, LGBT/SGL Black American and Boriqua/Hispanic American have our own unique sub-history within LGBT history. And like the straight community, we have huge generation gaps within our gay history. Learning about gay history is just as important as any other history, especially when it comes to Black and Hispanic gay culture. We are presented with our own unique challenges, and our ability to try and convey our stories largely depends on the gay generation you come from. It is unfortunate that it appears that there are more young LGBT people in politics, that aren’t connected to any part of gay history. This should not be, as understanding our journey gives you a deeper understanding and perspective of our diverse realities. Not only that, I’ve seen str8 hip hop videos where the dudes where actually vogueing. But because it’s hip hop, and you’re supposed to be “gangster,” it’s not seen as anything… No one bats an eye… Meanwhile, my gay brothers and sisters where beat-up and chased for our uniqueness back in the day, and straight people are allowed to steal and recycle something that’s been created by us, and been in our community for decades. Know your gay history MF. LEARN!! It’s important.

LGBT People Have Our Own Unique Music History!





I can honestly say that for most of us, the music we listened to literally kept many of us alive, both in our mind and spirit. The club scene allowed us to escape from our deepest emotional pain; as well as escape from abusive relationships. The pressures put on LGBT people to be straight was immense. I don’t think I could find the words to even begin to explain to a straight person what that’s like, and the damage they’ve caused for many LGBT people. When I was growing up, for many straight people, having a Walkman and headphones was simply optional. However, for most gay people in the poorer communities, owning a Walkman or CD player was a necessity. It was the only effective tool we had to use that helped to block out negativity and devastatingly hurtful words.

Most Music Played In Gay Clubs Were Str8!





I’m not sure if there was a reason for this, or perhaps it just happen to be the way it was back in the day, but…. You’d think in the clubs we’d hear our own music made by gay artists. However, for whatever reason, there just wasn’t that many. And when I came out, RuPaul hadn’t emerged yet. Actually, there was only one prominent gay performer producing his own recordings. That was performer’s name was Kevin Aviance. The best way to describe Keven was, he was almost like a male version of Grace Jones ?. Unfortunately, I only liked one song he produced, and that was a song a called “Cunty (1999).” Yeah, I know, some of you may take issue with the title song; however, this was what the gay culture was back then. For many LGBT people, embracing words that would normally be considered inappropriate, were used to take back our lost power in defiance. The power that was lost due to living in a predominantly oppressive hetero society. I love this song because it had a fierce vogue-able dance beat in it’s background.

Back Then, In The Black/Hispanic Gay Club Scene, Our Music Was Very Much Underground For The Most Part!





Kevin Aviance, gay culture, SpotifyThrowback, gay history

One reality that wasn’t talked about in regards to underground music; gay clubs played a significant role as to whether or not an underground song/beat would be successful or not. Also, let me just say that, back then, I think it’s safe to say that if a song/beat was not vogue-able, it would be a guaranteed flop! I knew so many people who refused to go to certain clubs if the music played were not vogue-able (hissy-fit and all). It is also interesting that a lot of underground str8 music played in gay clubs, were usually not heard in str8 clubs unless the song went mainstream. It is also true that a lot of good Latin club music would not be heard in a predominantly gay Black establishments either. This not only baffled me, it frustrated me too. This was an era where both Black and Hispanics done the most music collaborations. I couldn’t for the life of me understand why in this aspect, we appeared to be separated. Unfortunately, if we wanted to hear Latin club music in the 80s, we needed to go to specific places, such as an establishment called “Escuelita.” Escuelita has been closed for about 5-6 years now I think. To be honest, I hated that club, because if I remember correctly, they functioned like a lot of the str8 clubs did. That being, they used to pick and choose who gets to enter in the club. I’ve been in too many situations where many of them that operate like that, didn’t live up to the hype (once you finally get in).

Some Of The Biggest Club Mixes Where Dirty As F***!





So, this is the largest playlist I ever made for pubic consumption. It has a whopping 101 major gay anthems I could remember growing up in the gay clubs. This isn’t even all of them. I may consider doin’ a part 2 in the future, I’ll think about it ?, I darn near popped a brain cell trying to remember all these greats! One of my many most memorable favorites was, “Break 4 Love.” You know, it was funny, although this was one of my most favorite club mixes, I was frightened to play this around family back then. For me, I felt it was way too raunchy, and was not appropriate to play for family. At times I kind of felt embarrassed. However, when I started hearing it played on the radio, I was like, f** it, I’m gonna play it too. LOLOL

Today, EDM Appears To Be The Replacement Genre For What Was Once The Greatest Club Music Of My Time!





A club called "The Garage," or "Club Paradise."

Another dirty song I used to like a lot was a song by a performer named, Sweet P**** Pauline.” She had a song out called “Work This P****.” Unfortunately, this was one of those songs that was so popular, there were like a million remixes for it. It seems that Spotify doesn’t have the original (or at least the most popular one I remembered), but, I think the one I found on YouTube is ok, because it contains full lyrics. This song was hilarious!!!! Other favorites on this list is “I Can’t Get Enough,” by Liz Torres; “Work That Muth*****,” by Steve Poindexter; “The Party,” by Kraze; “Magic Carpet Ride,” by Mighty Dub Katz. We also vogued to a lot of traditional classic oldies, such as Diana Ross’s “The Boss,” and many music by Salsoul Orchestra. I hope you enjoy your trip through memory lane.

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