Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1984 Shalamar – Dancing In The Sheets

Don Cornelius created the television show in 1971 after a few years of running record hops in local schools in the Chicago area. In 1975, Don and record producer Dick Griffey started Soul Train Records. Don broke away from the record label in 1978 so he could concentrate on the television show, and Dick renamed the record label SOLAR.

Dick used a group of session singers to produce an album for a group he named Shalamar. Gary Mumford was the lead singer for at least the band’s first single, Uptown Festival. They patched together pieces of ten old Motown hits over a disco beat to produce the record. The single peaked at #25 on the Hot 100, reached #10 on the R&B chart, and made it to #2 hit on the US Dance Chart. Don formed a group for appearances by adding two of Soul Train’s popular dancers (Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniel) to the group. Gary left the group and Gerald Brown took his place. The trio recorded the second album and had a #11 R&B hit with Take That to the Bank.

Howard Hewett replaced Gerald in 1979, and the resulting trio was the definitive group through the mid-eighties. Their recording of The Second Time Around was a top ten hit on the Hot 100 and topped the R&B and US Dance charts.

The group had released seven albums by 1984. Jody and Jeffrey left the group shortly after the release of an album that year and Micki Free and Delisa Davis replaced them.

Their last top forty single on the Hot 100 came when the new group lineup recorded Dancing in the Sheets. The Footloose soundtrack included the song. The single reached #17 on the Hot 100 and only got up to #18 on the R&B chart. The group won a Grammy award when their song Don’t Get Stopped In Beverly Hills ended up on the soundtrack of Beverly Hills Cop that year, although the record failed to chart at all on the Hot 100.

Howard left the group in 1987 to pursue a solo career and Sydney Justin became the new lead vocalist. The group broke up in 1990 when it became clear that the hits would not keep coming.

Jody Watley moved to England for a few years before returning to the US and unleashing a string of hits that included six top ten records on the Hot 100 and seven number one records on the US Dance Chart.

Jeffrey Daniel was one of the three dancers who performed a dance move they called the backslide on Soul Train. A year later, he later taught Michael Jackson the dance move, which then became known as the Moonwalk.

Howard Hewett had 17 solo R&B chart hits by 1995.

In 1996, Babyface cut a record with backing from LL Cool J, Howard Hewett, Jody Watley, and Jeffrey Daniel. The million-selling record was a brief reunion of the three Shalamar members.

Beginning in 1999, Howard Hewett and Jeffrey Daniel reformed Shalamar. Carolyn Griffey became a permanent member of that version of the group in 2003. The trio continues to tour, released a new single in 2017, and maintains a website for the group at https://shalamar.info/.


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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1983 Kenny Loggins – Heart To Heart

Kenny Loggins was a singer and guitar player who formed his own band in California when he graduated from high school. The Second Helping released a few singles beginning in 1966 that Kenny wrote, including the single Let Me In.

Kenny played guitar in the New Electric Prunes in 1969. IN 1970, four songs that he wrote were recorded by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band on the album that included their hit, Mr. Bojangles. He joined Gator Creek briefly as well. While it wasn’t a hit, Kenny wrote Danny’s Song and Gator Creek recorded the first version of the song.

Jim Messina was a musician and record producer who had been a member of Buffalo Springfield and Poco. He began working with Kenny on a few songs in 1970, and the pair eventually worked as a duo and recorded a half-dozen albums over the next six years.

Kenny recorded his first solo album in 1977.

His second album, Nightwatch, was released in 1978. The album included a duet with Stevie Nicks, Whenever I Call You Friend, a song that Kenny co-wrote with Melissa Manchester. Kenny had also begun writing songs with Michael McDonald, who at that time was a member of the Doobie Brothers. Kenny included his own version of What A Fool Believes on the album. Michael’s single with the Doobie Brothers came out the next year, hit #1 on the Hot 100, and won Grammy awards for Song of the Year (a songwriter award that they both shared) and Record of the Year.

Kenny and Michael wrote other songs together as well. They had been working on This Is It as a love song when Kenny’s ill father visited him. His father had suffered multiple small strokes and was facing the possibility of more strokes with little hope for the future. The visit changed Kenny’s idea about the song and he recast it as a song for his ill father – try listening to the lyrics with that in mind. Kenny recorded the song on his next album with backing vocals from Michael and it was released as the lead single from the album in 1979. The song won Kenny his second Grammy award, this time for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male.

In 1983 Kenny recorded another hit record with Michael’s help on vocals and keyboards. Kenny, Michael, and David Foster wrote Heart To Heart. Kenny’s single peaked at #15 in 1983.

The pair have worked and appeared together and most recently worked together on the song and video Show You the Way by Thundercat in 2017.


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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1982 Rick Springfield – What Kind Of Fool Am I

Richard Lewis Springthorpe was born in Australia but spent most of his teenage years in England when his dad’s job moved them there. He played in a few bands before returning to Australia and playing in a few bands there as Rick Springfield. In 1969 he was in the band Zoot and wrote at least one of their singles. The band had four top forty singles in Australia before splitting up in 1971.

Rick recorded his first solo album and had an international hit single with Speak To The Sky that reached #14 on the US Hot 100 in 1971. He recorded his first solo album in England and then moved to the US. Two more singles from the album failed to do very well except in Australia.

Rick’s second album was on Columbia Records, but neither of the singles from Comic Book Heroes did well.

ABC produced The Brady Kids in 1972 that was spun off from The Brady Bunch. It was a Saturday morning cartoon show that ended a year later but spun off a second cartoon show: Mission: Magic! Rick was the star of that show and performed original songs at the end of each episode. An album created from the show’s songs came out in 1974.

Rick recorded another album in 1976 that contained a single that reached #41 on the Hot 100 and two more that failed to chart.

Beginning in 1977, Rick focused on an acting career. His first role was on an episode of the Six Million Dollar Man. Additional guest appearances followed on other television shows. He also starred in the movie that morphed into the Forever Knight television show (although a different actor replaced him in the series).

RCA Records became his record label and in 1980 Rick recorded his fourth album, Working Class Dog. Rick and his agent did not expect the album to do well, so Rick auditioned and won the part of Dr. Noah Drake on the soap opera General Hospital. The record company released the first single from the album (Jessie’s Girl) in March 1981. When the single began racing up the charts, Rick began touring to promote it in between appearances on the show. The single topped the Hot 100 in August and also helped boost the television show’s ratings. Rick even won a Grammy award for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male. Two more hit singles also came off the album that year.

Rick recorded his fifth album Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet. The release of the single Don’t Talk to Strangers brought him back to #2 on the Hot 100 in early 1982. His next single failed to chart, although two more singles from the album did get onto the chart. What Kind of Fool Am I was the next single from the album. It peaked at #21 in 1982 and the video for the single got a lot of airplay on that new Music Television channel that started the month he had the number one record in the nation (MTV, which used to play music videos all day). The song shared nothing but a name with the single by Sammy Davis Jr. that reached #17 in 1962.

RCA released one last single (I Get Excited) from the album. The single only get up to #32 on the Hot 100 but Rick earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male. He lost out to John Cougar Mellencamp’s Hurt So Good.

Rick’s singing career may have faltered, but it wasn’t over. Two more top ten singles and another eight top forty singles followed by 2005. Rick recorded at least twenty more albums, including the release of Orchestrating My Life in 2019.


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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1981 Carl Carlton – She’s A Bad Mama Jama

Carl Carlton was born in Detroit, Michigan, and began recording as “Little Carl Carlton” in the mid-sixties. The attempt to cash in on the success of Little Stevie Wonder didn’t pan out. He signed with the Back Beat Records label in 1968. He moved to Houston to be closer to the record company. He released a series of singles from 1969 to 1973 that were mildly successful on the R&B chart and eventually dropped “Little” from his name.

Robert Knight was a member of several local groups before signing a solo contract with the Rising Sons Records label in 1967. The label owners,  Buzz Cason and Mac Gayden, wrote the song Everlasting Love and had Robert record the song. The single reached #13 on the Hot 100. It was Robert’s only US hit record, although he also reached the charts in the UK in the mid-seventies.

Carl recorded a cover version of Everlasting Love in 1974. His single was more successful than Robert’s and reached #6 on the Hot 100. Soul Train even invited Carl to perform the single on their show.

Rex Smith and Rachel Sweet recorded Everlasting Love as a duet in 1981 that reached #32 on the Hot 100. Gloria Estefan recorded the song without the Miami Sound Machine in 1995 and reached #27. This made the song the second song to reach the Hot 100 in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. A song that originated at Motown was the first (and there isn’t a third).

Carl had a few records reach the R&B chart in the next two years but could not record for a while because of a royalty dispute with ABC Records.

Leon Haywood was a singer/songwriter/producer who had a hit that reached #15 in 1975 when he wrote and recorded I Want’ A Do Something Freaky to You. Dr. Dre and other rap artists sampled portions of the record.

Leon helped Carl get a contract with 20th Century Records and wrote and produced a hit for Carl. In 1981 Carl’s recording of She’s A Bad Mama Jama peaked at #2 on the R&B chart and reached #19 on the Hot 100. Solid Gold invited Carl to perform his second hit record. Carl even received a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male for the recording.

Carl once again scored a few R&B chart records but never reached the Hot 100 again. He continued singing on the oldie circuit and even recorded a gospel album in 2010.

Oh, almost forgot: Temptations (#11 in 1964), Rita Coolidge (#20 in 1978), Daryl Hall & John Oates (#20 in 1985), and UB 40 (#9 in 1990) all recorded The Way You Do The Things You Do, making it the first song to reach the top forty in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s.


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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1980 Anne Murray – Daydream Believer

Anne Murray was one of the most successful artists on the Canadian Country charts, with 22 number one singles. Nine of her singles reached the top of the US Country chart, and she even had eight singles top the US Adult Contemporary chart. Her only chart-topping single on the Hot 100 was You Needed Me, which won a Grammy award in 1978.

Anne grew up in Nova Scotia and studied music in high school. Unlike many other singers, she continued on to college instead of immediately pursuing a career in music. She graduated from college and taught physical education at a high school for a year. During the summer break, Singalong Jubilee, a Canadian television show, hired her to be a member of the cast. Besides appearing on the show, she also recorded songs for two of the show’s album releases.

Anne went to Toronto and recorded her first album. They released the album in 1969. The record company released three singles from the album, but none of them charted.

In 1970, she switched to Capitol Records and recorded her second album. The first two singles from the album got some airplay and sales, but it was the third single that got everybody’s attention. Snowbird quickly reached the top of several charts, reached the top ten on the US Hot 100 and Country charts, and earned her a Grammy award for Best Contemporary Vocal Performance, Female.

Anne successfully recorded hit singles every year for the rest of the decade. Her last single in 1979, Broken Hearted Me, was a cover of a song recorded by England Dan & John Ford Coley on their sixth album. Her version reached #12 on the Hot 100 in December and slid off the charts in early 1980. Her next single was a cover of a Monkees’ hit, Daydream Believer, which also reached #12 on the Hot 100. Those two singles each topped the Adult Contemporary chart and reached #1 and #3 on the US Country chart.

Anne also covered the Beatles in 1980 with the single I’m Happy Just To Dance With You. While the record reached #13 on the Adult Contemporary chart, it peaked at only #64 on the Hot 100. The Urban Cowboy soundtrack included her recording of Could I Have This Dance to give John Travolta a chance to dance and gave Anne another Country number one hit. That single and her next one barely reached the lower thirties on the Hot 100 and were the last times she charted in the top forty on US Hot 100. She continued to have hit records on the Adult Contemporary and Country charts in both the US and Canada through 1999. She also recorded Christmas albums from 1981 to 2014.


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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1979 Lauren Wood & Michael McDonald – Please Don’t Leave

Michael McDonald was a member of Steely Dan for a spell and joined the Doobie Brothers in 1975. He wrote and sang on some of the Doobie’s biggest hits. During the late seventies, he was co-writing songs with other musicians, including  Kenny Loggins and Carly Simon. He also did studio work for other groups. He sang and/or played keyboards on records by Christopher Cross, Stephen Bishop, Jack Jones, Bonnie Raitt, and Toto.

And Lauren Wood.

Lauren began singing with Rebecca and the Sunnybrook Farmers in the mid-sixties and sang back-up vocals for a Frank Zappa album in 1973.

She formed Chunky, Novi, and Ernie with her cousin Novi Novog and bass player Ernie Emerita and released two albums in 1973 and 1977. The co-producers of the albums were Ted Templeman (from Harpers Bizarre) and John Cale (from The Velvet Underground).

In 1979, Lauren recorded her first solo album. The album cover included a picture of the three members of the group and the credit “Featuring Novi and Ernie,” on the bottom of the front cover. Several other guest musicians helped with the album. The most notable was Michael, who sang harmony on the song Lauren wrote that became her most successful single, Please Don’t Leave. The record peaked at #24 on the Hot 100 and reached as high as #5 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

During an interview with Dick Clark on American Bandstand, Lauren mentioned that her dream was to write music for films, and that dream later came true. After recording another album in 1981, Lauren wrote and performed songs for film soundtracks, including Police Academy 3: Back in Training,  The Tigger Movie, The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, and Return to Never Land.

In 1990 she wrote and recorded the song Fallen for the film Pretty Woman. Johnny Mathis and other artists recorded covers of the song.

Lauren recorded two additional albums in 1999 and 2006 and maintains her own website at http://www.laurenwood.com/


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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1978 Sylvester – Dance (Disco Heat)

Sylvester James Jr. was born in Watts, Los Angeles, and grew up singing in the gospel choir in a local Pentecostal church. He faced hostility from church members because of his homosexuality and moved to San Francisco in 1970. He became the frontman for the rock act Sylvester and his Hot Band. They released two albums, and a few singles, none of which charted.

After a few false starts with other groups, Sylvester recruited Martha Wash and her friend Izora Rhodes as backup singers. The pair had been performing as the Two Tons O’Fun, and after Sylvester recruited additional musicians they began performing primarily at gay clubs in 1976.

Fantasy Records signed Sylvester to a recording contract in 1977. He recorded his first solo album that year and finally reached the US Dance Chart with his singles.

His biggest success came from the release of his second solo album in 1978. The single Dance (Disco Heat) reached #19 on the Hot 100. Sylvester and the Two-Tons O’Fun even performed the song on American Bandstand and got interviewed by Dick Clark.

The B-side of the single was You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real). That side got enough airplay to reach #40 on the Hot 100.

His record company issued a 12-inch vinyl record in 1978 that had the extended dance version of Dance (Disco Heat) on the A-side and a remix of You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) on the B-side. The two songs sat at number one and number two on the US Dance chart for most of August and September.

He continued charting new songs on the R&B chart through 1987 when his boyfriend died from complications of AIDS. Sylvester died the next year after battling the disease himself and left all future royalties from his work to San Francisco-based HIV/AIDS charities.

The Tow-Tons O’Fun changed their name to the Weather Girls and began recording their own albums in 1980 and immediately had two singles reached #2 on the US Dance Chart. In 1982 they released the single It’s Raining Men, which topped the US Dance Chart and reached #34 on the R&B chart and #46 on the Hot 100.


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