Song: Johnny Too Bad
Artist: The Slickers
Album: Johnny Too Bad (1971)
Genre: Sweet Reggae
Ok… I know, in general we shouldn’t judge people. But, I’m betting almost any amount of money that, unless you’re an old school Jamaican, or West-Indian (with age, or “seasoned” as we used to say), it’s likely you don’t know this group at all. The even sadder part is, there is so little written about this obscure group that there is little chance of discovery, unless you come from a family connected with reggae history. The Slickers was a Jamaican group that performed mostly rock-steady style of reggae. The Band’s career in music was extremely short (around 10 years give or take).
Only Well Seasoned Folk Would Know About This Group!
It’s unclear to me why they disbanded. It’s a shame because their song “Johnny Too Bad,” literally catapulted their career in ways we could not imagine. I mean, they were in fact talented, there was absolutely no reason why their career could not continue. I couldn’t even find an original album for this song. Almost every work I found from the group have all been released as singles. Now, this could also be possible that if there were more albums, they may have been released only in the UK.
If after listening to this reggae gem, you still can’t remember, or figure out where you’ve heard this song from. “Johnny Too Bad,” was on the hugely successful soundtrack to the movie called “The Harder They Come (1972),” starring legendary singer Jimmy Cliff. You know, I’ll share with you something interesting about the movie soundtrack. Growing up, I’ve always assumed that Jimmy Cliff was the only artist that sung “Many Rivers To Across,” just because I never recalled anyone else covering it. However, while searching for more of The Slickers’s music, Lo’ and behold, they have an UK album called “Many Rivers To Cross (1976).” Wow, it was strange listening to someone else sing this song. I really like the Slickers’s version of “Many Rivers To Cross,” but, I don’t know, if felt a more emotional connection to Jimmy Cliff’s version. Maybe I’m just a little bias ’cause I love Jimmy’s music. What you guys think?
Artist: Elvis Presley
You know, It’s a shame.. In this day and age, if anyone were to play any of Elvis’s music, someone would probably scream “turn that shit off!” ? But, seriously. Elvis wasn’t some ordinary street dude who got hooked on drugs. Elvis was a brilliant performer that racked up 7 number one songs, and 25 top 10 hits! Do you really know how incredibly hard that is to do? Not only that, he acquired these things within 20 years from the start of his music career. In my generation, that was literally damn near Michael Jackson status (if not equivalent). It’s so heartbreaking to know that sad stories like Elvis’s life were so common, and still is.
Now, Elvis Is Just A Novelty!
It’s really mind-boggling to me, how someone who was a mega superstar, someone who reached greater heights than most performers of his time. Yet, after his death, our memories of him had shifted from being the greatest hit maker of the 50s, to a straight up novelty act, and that includes his likeness. I don’t think there is/was anyone else on this planet, that has been not only impersonated the most, but where people have made a livable career out of it, other than Elvis.
I also think it’s kind of sad that even those performers who imitate him (a large portion of them), whore costumes that projected (what I interpret to be) the worst points of Elvis life (towards the end of his career/life). Make no mistake, Elvis was a hot tamale when he was young. Maybe I’m viewing this the wrong way. But, when I was younger, I felt there was a fine line between entertaining the public, and making fun of Elvis after the fact. The playlist I made for you has many of his #1 hits, some redoes, and songs you may not have heard before. It has 26 of what I considered his best recordings. I think ultimate favorite is a song called “Suspicious Minds,” released in 1969.
Song: Our Day Will Come
Artist: Fontella Bass
Album: The New Look (1966)
This is another perfect example of why we need more older classic music fans of color blogging. Or at least some sort of national record database, independent of Billboard. Although I eventually found out my answer, but it was only because of some faint memories I had, and some smarts. Let me explain what I mean. You see, growing up as a child, the song “Our Day Will Come,” sung by Fontella Bass was one of my favorite songs. Problem? The version of Fontella’s song is completely different from how I remembered it.
Even Recording Studios Make Mistakes.
I may not always remember lyrics, or names of artists, but I am usually very good with remembering tunes and melodies. I had an old cassette tape with various artists on it, and one of them on it was Fantella, singing “Our Day Will Come,” the version I remembered. I can no longer find that tape, however, I now have Spotify. Looked her up, and the song is completely different from how I remembered it! Well, long story short, the cassette that stated the version of “Our Day Will Come” is from Fontella Bass, was actually from Ruby & The Romantics, recorded in 1963. I’m not sure if they were on the same label, and this was printed by mistake? Or there was an even bigger error. Now, both versions are actually nice, but I think I like Ruby & The Romantics’ original version slightly better. I could just imagine how easy arguments and disagreements made because of that mistake among fans who purchased that same cassette I did. You might also remember Fontella by her second biggest popular hit called “Rescue Me (1966),” from the same album. By the way, I absolutely LOVE Amy Winehouse version of the song. I still haven’t gotten over the fact she’s gone now. I’m so pissed. What a talent, and a power badass she was!
Song: It Hurts To Be Alone
Artist: Bob Marley & The Wailers
Genre: Reggae Love Songs
Unless you come from the Islands, most of those that profess their fanhood for Bob Marley, know nothing of this song right here! Now, I know that “It Hurts To Be Alone,” is a sad song, but it’s a very true song, and that’s what’s so beautiful about it. You know, I think I’ve mentioned this before; in my opinion, Bob Marley was what Lionel Richie was to the Commodores; meaning in terms of overall fandom, it’s always been just Bob Marley. It’s a shame that America could not comprehend his brilliance, until after he passed. Just my opinion. Almost immediately after Bob’s Death, I remember people breaking their necks trying to buy as many Marley albums as possible, as we all knew there would be a price hike like never before!
I was reminiscing on some old music, and thought of Bob Marley, and then remembered “It Hurts To Be Alone.” This was one of many sweet classic reggae songs my late grandpa used to play. You know it’s interesting, because when I heard people talk about the late Bob Marley growing up, the conversation was almost always about his political lyrics, and how he was educating everyone about apartheid, poverty, things that were happening that America was totally oblivious to. But, Bob performed a lot of sweet reggae love songs too. He was quite diverse. Check out their song called “I Need You,” released in 1965. Also, check out “And I Love Her,” released in 1966. And oh yeah, shame on myself, for almost forgetting his most successful love song “Waiting In Vain (1983).”Elton John tickets starting at $18!
Song: A Playlist
Artist: Various Artists
Album: Romantic Nights (2019)
Genre: Romantic Love Songs
You know, with the thirties of thousands of songs (and climbing) saved on my Spotify alone, you’d think that it would just be easier for me to just create playlists. But for me, even creating a playlist is a lot of work (not if you want to create a meaningful playlist, that is). A true classic blogger, who has lived through the various music eras will not just dump any ol’ songs in a playlist and say “here!” That’s just not gonna happen (unless you’re lazy as hell, and in that case why bother going through the trouble of starting a blog in the first place?) Putting together what I consider a perfect playlist, takes just as much work (perhaps more) as it does writing about a single artist. I still believe that people in my age group would more appreciate hand picked songs from someone who lived through our generation, appose to a teenager high on marijuana trying to give you a 7,000 song playlist of a bunch of random shit. I don’t know what the fuck these people are thinking? Let me be the first to tell you it’s retarded.
The Kind Rare Classics You’ll Remember
My new playlist consist of 30 amazing songs starting from 1960s up to 1990s. There should be at least about 6 songs you’ll enjoy regardless of the time line. If you’re looking for a real romantic playlist (and not twerk music) this is the playlist to follow. In this playlist I have music from Eric Benet (I know a lot of you forgot about his ass), BoyzIIMen, Carole King, & Monica. For my older readers, I’ve added groups like The Dupress, The Flamingos, and Jerry Butler. I don’t think even Time Life could have put together a better playlist! That’s right! I said it! ?
Song: Being With You
Artist: Smokey Robinson
Album: Being With You (1981)
Genre: Easy Listening
Even at this age, in my opinion, Smokey Robinson looked pretty damn fine if you ask me. Based on when this album was released, I estimate he was about 41-42 years of age. I love me some Smokey, but as far as I can remember, the song “Being With You” is my only top favorite, after his reign with “The Miracles.” The song peaked #2 on the Top 100 Chart. Oh, wait!! I just remembered! A second top favorite of his, after The Miracles, is called “Just To See Her (1987).” The song peaked at #8 on the Top 100. They just don’t make legendary music like this anymore. I can just cry. If I had a time machine, I would go back and just stay there. Or every time the year hits 1990, I’d jump back in to my time machine and dial it back to 1970s! ? Can’t go wrong with listening to Smokey! His smooth silky voice will put a smile on your face every time!!
Song: Movin’ On
Artist: Elliot Yamin
Album: Elliot Yamin (2007)
Genre: Pop Music
Wow, I haven’t listened to this dude in a really long time! Judging from his last name, I’m gonna make a safe assumption he is Jewish. When I tell you Elliot Yamin is talented, this man can sing his ass off! I totally love his work! His self titled album “Elliot Yamin,” was the first of his albums I listened to, and I fell in love with his music ever since. If you love popin’ pop music, please don’t judge Yamin by his album cover. He is seriously talented in my opinion. “Movin’ On,” I think is the perfect song for me to use to introduce my readers. The bulk of his music is primarily a mixture dance, pop, and hip hop.
Hip Hop, Pop, & Dance, All Rolled Up In To One
Unfortunately, Elliot has only produced about 3 albums, yet according to what I’ve been reading, he is still performing. Out of the three albums he has done, his first self titled album received the most success. But not nearly enough in my opinion; he was seriously underrated. Plus, I guess since music streaming has changed music forever, unless you were already a music legend before streaming took over, it’s bloody difficult.
So, his song “Movin’ On,” charted #61 on the Top 100 Billboard Chart (which I think is bullsh** because the song is hot). The second song from this album, “Waiting For You,” ranked #13 on Top 100. But his entire album ranked #3! How confusing is that? Well, winning 3rd place on the 5th season of American Idol may have had a lot to do with it. I really would have liked to see more promotions by him. Check out “How Do I know,” and “Virginia.”Corel Photo Editing Software
Song: The Air That I Breath
Artist: Simply Red
Album: Blue [Expanded] (1998)
Genre: Slow Pop
I absolutely love me some Simply Red. In my opinion, this is a really talented group, and lead singer Mick Hucknull is a true blue “blue eyed soulster.” I mean, based on his look, when you see Mick, you’d never think such power and feeling would come out of his mouth. I’ve always been a huge fan ever since they came out with “Holding Back The Years (1986),” and “Money$ Too Tight (To Mention) (1986).” The first time I discovered them was when I was watching MTV late one night. At that time, I was hypnotized because I just never heard any other White guy sing like that (other than Tom Jones, but his music was totally different). “The Air That I Breath” is a 1974 cover song from a group called the “Hollies.” I feel that Mick has done such a wonderful job, I didn’t even realize it was him, because it sounded just like I was listening to a remix of the Hollies and their song. Check it out.