In 1976, on the week following the celebration of America's 200th birthday, Starland Vocal Band's Afternoon Delight was number one on the charts. The songs title was inspired the late-afternoon appetizer menu at the Washington DC trio's favorite spot - Clyde's of Georgetown. Bill Danoff wrote the song over six months, often on Sundays while watching the Redskins. In 1976, this hit song earned Starland Vocal Band a Grammy for Best New Artist Of The Year. Although this was their only hit, they also co-wrote and and back-up vocals on John Denver's Take Me Home Country Roads. From 1997-2007, Dandoff ran a restaurant called Starland Cafe, located on MacArthur Blvd in Washington DC.
MAXI PRIEST - Close To You
Maxi Priest was born in London in 1961, his parents had moved there from Jamaica. His cousin, reggae singer Jacob Miller, was hugely popular in Jamaica when he was a child. Maxi started his musical career with London's Saxon Studio International, one of the UK's best known reggae sound systems. In 1988 he had his first big hit on his fourth studio album - a reggae cover of Cat Steven's Wild World. His following album in 1990 featured his international hit Close To You. In 1990, the song was number one on the US Billboard charts. The only other British reggae artist to hit number one on the US charts was UB40 - with both Red Red Wine and Can't Help Falling In Love.
In November 1980, John Lennon and Yoko Ono filmed the video for Starting Over in New York's Central Park and in SoHo. The song appears on Lennon's Double Fantasy album from that year. Lennon originally felt unsure about recording the song, which was one of the last song's recorded for the album. The song ended up being the first single off the album - it didn't hit number one until three weeks after Lennon was shot and killed by Mark Chapman. The most valuable record in the world is a copy of Double Fantasy that Lennon had autographed for Chapman just before being gunned down. On the day Double Fantasy was released, Yoko Ono hired a skywriter to write "Happy Birthday" in the sky over New York City.
The System is a synth-pop duo that formed in New York City in 1982, featuring Mic Murphy on vocals/guitar and David Frank on keyboards. The group's sound has been called emotio-electro because of their passionate vocals and sound. The groups biggest hit was Don't Disturb This Groove, off their 1987 album of the same name. The song was number one in the summer of 1987, and by 1989 the duo parted ways. Murphy pursued a solo career, and Frank had success as a writer and producer. In 1999, Frank co-wrote and produced Christina Aguilera's signature song Genie in a Bottle.
OHIO PLAYERS - Skin Tight
In 1974, Ohio Players released their fifth studio album Skin Tight. It was their first album on Mercury Records, after earning a record deal with Funky Worm - their first big hit. The Ohio Players released six of their seven top ten singles on Mercury Records over the next several years. When the song Skin Tight was featured on Soul Train, Don Cornelius made the a special dedication to Playboy Bunny Of The Year Angie Chester.
WALLACE COLLECTION - Daydream
In 1969, Belgium pop rock rock group Wallace Collection released their debut album Laughing Cavalier, featuring Daydream - their biggest hit. The single for Daydream hit number one in Belgium, and charted in twenty other countries. After touring the world on the success of of the song, Wallace Collection broke up in 1971. The groups name was taken from the name of a famous museum in London located next to the headquarters of EMI - their record label.
In April 1989, UK soul group Soul II Soul released their debut album - Club Classics Volume One. The album's first single, the group's break out "club classic" Keep On Moving, had just been released the previous month. The album release was followed by the single for Back To Life. The single release of the song featured a re-recorded version, which added the hook (and title) "However Do You Want Me". The single remix is one of Soul II Soul's most successful releases, and it has been sampled numerous times, including on Enigma's Sadness, N-Joi's Anthem and numerous hip-hop songs. The beat on the song, as well as on their previous single Back To Life, was based on Eric B. & Rakim's 1987 hit Paid In Full. In 1989, when Soul II Soul was denied an award at the Brit Awards, winning artist Neneh Cherry protested by breaking her statuette in half and giving half of it to Soul II Soul's Jazzie B.
THE METERS - Look Ka Py Py
In 1969, New Orleans funk band The Meters released their second album Look Ka Py Py. The title track is an all-time funk classic from hugely influential funk pioneers. The Meters were formed in 1965 fronted by Art Neville, who had been recording as a solo artist since the mid-1950's - while he was still in high school. Neville had more commercial success after the Meters dissolved in 1977, when he was a member of The Neville Brothers.
In 1973, Washington DC native Sir Joe Quaterman released his biggest hit, the funk soul classic I've Got So Much Trouble In My Mind. At the time Quaterman was leading his band Free Soul in Washington DC's funk club circuit. Among the rival bands alongside Quaterman, was DC legend Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers. The sound of DC's go-go music - also called Washington DC funk - grew collectively out of the 1970's sound from Sir Joe and Free Soul, Chuck Brown and The Soul Searcher's, E.U., and many other DC bands.
CESARIA EVORA - Sodade
In 1992, Cape Verdean singer Cesaria Evora released her fourth album Miss Perfumado, featuring Sodade - one of her most celebrated songs. In Portuguese, Sodade is a unique word that does not translate - it is a was of saying "I miss you". Evora, known as "The Barefoot Diva", got her break in 1985 when Cape Verdean singer Bana invited her to Portugal to perform. Evora had been singing on Portuguese cruise ships since the early 1960's, sometimes appearing on local radio. Her performance in Lisbon got the attention of producer Jose da Silva, who signed Evora and recorded her debut album La Diva Aux Pieds Nus in France.
"If you like to lounge