Mon, 29 August 2016
We're ringing out 1982 in the latest episode of the Jheri Curl Chronicles podcast. Me and Thomas Inskeep decided to deviate slightly from our 5-songs-at-a-time format last episode so as not to end on a bad Richard "Dimples" Fields-related note. In the interest of...symmetry (I guess?) we decided to complete the year we started in Episode 8, and deliver the last 7 number 1 R&B tracks of the year.
Before we jump ahead, have you listened to our previous episodes? No? Well, check out every JCC podcast thus far and catch up!
The songs we discuss in this episode are:
"Let It Whip" by The Dazz Band
"Early In The Morning" by The Gap Band
"And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" by Jennifer Holliday
"Dance Floor" by Zapp
"Jump To It" by Aretha Franklin
"Love Come Down" by Evelyn King
"Sexual Healing" by Marvin Gaye
And now for some show notes...
-The Dazz Band, like so many funk bands from the '70s and '80s, hail from Ohio. We stop to marvel at how that state spawned so many great soul and funk acts, and give props to two of our favorite (but not funky) Ohio natives, Annie and Matt.
-Is it us? Or do the intros to "Let It Whip" and "Beat It" sound somewhat similar?
-The second chart-topper by The Gap Band causes us to once again wax rhapsodic on the genius of Charlie Wilson, and we also give props to "Heaven's Girl", which unites Uncle Charlie with his direct descendants R. Kelly and Aaron Hall. There's also a little Ron Isley in there.
-"Early In The Morning"'s excellent B-side, "I'm In Love", which many folks recall from a Mary J. Blige cover version.
-The saga of Dreamgirls, and how the musical was a phenomenon not unlike Hamilton is today. We also give props to the other women in the cast with Jennifer Holliday, including Sheryl Lee "Moesha's Mom" Ralph and Loretta Devine, who appears to have acted in everything except a show in the Law & Order family.
This stunning performance from the 1982 Tony Awards.
-How "Jump To It" revived Aretha Franklin's career, thanks to the production touch of Luther Vandross. Given their egos, it's not much of a surprise that Aretha and Luther didn't always see eye to eye.
-"Champagne", and how it was a much better nickname for Evelyn King than her original pet name, "Bubbles".
-Genius author/biographer (and co-writer of "Sexual Healing") David Ritz, who both of us had the pleasure of meeting earlier this year.
-Marvin's genius string of '70s and '80s albums, and how they've been given proper justice with remastering and repackaging. We give special shouts to his underrated classics I Want You and Here, My Dear.
...and a lot more. Given the quantity of songs we discuss, this episode runs slightly longer than usual, but we hope you stick with us to the end!
-Of course, we should also give props to our opening and closing songs-Stacy Lattisaw's "Attack Of The Name Game" and Ashford & Simpson's "Street Corner"-songs that didn’t hit the top of the charts, but are definitely near the top of our hearts.