1989 Jody Watley – Friends
Jody Watley grew up in Chicago and had the good fortune to have singer Jackie Wilson as her godfather. She sang with Jackie at a concert when she was barely eight years old.
Jody became a regular dancer on Soul Train when she turned fourteen. Show creator Don Cornelius chose Jody to be one member of the group Shalamar in 1977 and she sang with the group from 1977 to 1983.
Jody moved to England for a few years. She was one of the singers on Do They Know It’s Christmas in 1984. She released a few solo records before moving back to the US.
MCA Records signed Jody to a recording contract, and she wrote six of the nine songs on her first album in 1987. She wanted to focus on creating dance music, and that album produced three number one singles on the US Dance Club chart, four top ten singles on the R&B chart, and three top ten singles on the Hot 100.
Her second album came out in 1989. Jody co-wrote most of the songs with André Cymone, who produced the album. The result was three more top ten hits on the Hot 100, but I can’t recall hearing any of them on any oldie station in the past 30 years.
The first single from the album, Real Love, topped the R&B chart and the dance chart and reached #2 on the Hot 100. MTV nominated the video for the song for six MTV Video Music Awards.
The next release, Friends, featured Eric B. & Rakim. The single spent one week at #9 on the Hot 100 and peaked at #3 on the R&B chart and #7 on the US Dance Club Songs chart.
Jody’s last top ten single on the Hot 100 also came out in 1989. Gardner Cole and James Newton Howard co-wrote Everything, the only song from the album that Jody did not share writing credit on.
The single peaked at #4 on the Hot 100 and #3 on the R&B chart. For once, her single did not reach the US Dance Club Songs chart.
Although her success waned on the pop and R&B charts, Jody continued releasing successful dance tunes. Three more of her singles reached #1 on the US Dance Club Songs chart and ten more reached the top twenty.
Jody’s most recent hit in the US came in 2013 when Nightlife reached #18 on the US Dance Club Songs Chart. She also reached #2 on the UK Soul chart with a remix of The Mood in 2018.
I can’t explain why her singles from 1989 no longer get much airplay as oldies.
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