TOTO - Georgy Porgy
In 1978 Toto released their self-titled debut album featuring their timeless classic Georgy Porgy. The song was written by the band's keyboardist David Paich - the son of legendary jazz pianist, composer and producer Marty Paich. Disco/soul singer Cheryl Lynn sings backup vocals on on the song - the only song from the album that she appears on.
WAR - Me & My Baby Brother
In 1973 War released their sixth album Deliver The Word, featuring a studio version of Me And My Baby Brother. The song was first released as a live version on All Day Music in 1971. In 1989 Stereo MC's sampled Me & My Baby Brother on Toe To Toe, which appears on their 1989 debut album 33-45-78.
JOHN LEE HOOKER - Hobo Blues
In 1948 Mississippi-born John Lee Hooker recorded his first record. One of his earliest recording was Hobo Blues - recorded in 1949. Hooker's father was a sharecropper and a preacher who felt that the blues was "devil's music". Hooker was homeschooled with his ten siblings, restricted from hearing anything other than religious music. After his father died Hooker's stepfather introduced him to guitar. When he was 14, Hooker ran away from home - never to be seen by his mother or stepfather again. Throughout the 1930's, he performed at parties and venues while drifting around working various factory jobs. After recording his first demo in 1948 his career took off, and despite that he was illiterate, Hooker was known to be a gifted lyricist.
The Delta Rhythm Boys formed in 1934 at Langston University in Oklahoma. The group broke up in 1987 after founding member Lee Gaines died of a heart attack, at his funeral fellow bandmate Hugh Grant died of an apparent heart attack while performing. The quartet was very popular in the 1940's, often appearing on Broadway, on the Amos and Andy radio show and they appeared in numerous films. In 1941 The Delta Rhythm Boys appeared in a soundie - a predecessor to music videos - for Take The A Train. The song had been recorded for the first time earlier that year by Duke Ellington and his Orchestra. It was written by Billy Stayhorn for Ellington in 1939, establishing a career long relationship playing piano and writing arrangements for Ellington's band. Take The A Train became Ellington's signature song. The songs is about taking New York City's "A" Train to the wealthy Sugar Hill neighborhood in Harlem. The subway line was brand new at the time - opening in 1936 - running from Brooklyn through New York City to Harlem in northern Manhattan.
JIMI POLO - Better Games
In 1989 Chicago singer and producer Jimi Polo (born James Perri) released his debut single on the UK's Urban label - Free Yourself on the A-side, and Better Days on the B-side. I 1986 and 1987, Polo had released a few early Chicago house records as half of duo Libra Libra. In 1989, the same year of his solo debut, Polo also had success as part of UK electronic group Funtopia. A 1996 hit by UK dance music producer known as Pianoman used a sample of the Better Day's piano melody. The song - Blurred - which also samples from the chorus of Blur's Girls And Boys, was a huge hit in Ibiza in 1995 - before the samples had been cleared for release.
JACKSON 5 - Dancing Machine
In 1973, The Jackson 5 recorded their hit song Dancing Machine. While performing the song on an episode of Soul Train, Michael Jackson performed the "robot dance" for the first time. Michael's performance and the song popularized the physically complicated dance that had been created by Charles Washington in the late 1960's. The song Dancing Machine has been sampled numerous times by artists including MC Hammer on Please Hammer, Don't Hurt Em in 1990, and by Yung Wun on Tear It Up in 2004. Yung Wun released Tear It Up on his debut album The Dirtiest Thirstiest without giving credit to the sample - which was taken from the marching band melody performed in the film Drumline.
ANDY GIBB - Shadow Dancing
Andy Gibb was the younger brother of Barry Robin and Maurice, better known as the Bee Gees. The Bee Gee's formed in Australia in 1958, the same year that Andy was born. At thirteen Andy quit school and began playing at clubs in Ibiza, Spain. Before he moved to Miami in 1976, Andy had some success with bands in Europe and Australia. Andy had moved to Miami after the manager of the Bee Gees got Andy signed to the group's label RSO Records. In 1977 Andy released his solo debut album featuring 2 hit singles. In 1978 he released his second album Shadow Dancing - the title track was Billboard's number one hit song for that entire year. The song was written by all four Gibb brothers while the Bee-Gees were in Hollywood filming Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart's Club Band. The song was written in about ten minutes - it was the first song written by all four brothers.
SYBIL - Don't Make Me Over
In 1963 Dionne Warwick had her first solo hit with Don't Make Me Over. Warwick had been signed to Scepter Records by Burt Bacharach, who composed the song after being inspired by an angry outburst by Warwick. After finding out that a song she had wanted to record for her debut album was due to be released by singer Jerry Butler, Warwick yelled "Don't Make Me Over, Man" to Bacharach before storming out of his office. The song was quickly composed and offered to Warwick. Her work with songwriters Burt Bacarach and Hal Young have made Warwick the second most charted female vocalists of all time. In 1989, R&B singer Sybil hit number 20 on the charts with her remake of Don't Make Me Over.
Melle Mel - White Lines
In 1983 rapper Melle Mel released White Lines (Don't Do It) - one of the first socially conscious rap songs. The song is based on Cavern by post-punk band Liquid Liquid, released the previous year. (see HERE) Although the song was released as a record by Grandmaster and Melle Mel, the song was Melle Mel's and Grandmaster Flash had nothing to do with it. In the early 1980's Melle Mel was the lead rapper of Sugar Hill Record's house band when Grandmaster Flash recruited him into a group to rap live in his DJ sets. By the time White Lines was recorded, which is credited to Melle Mel and Sugar Hill founder Sylvia Robinson, the group Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five had broken apart. By the time White Lines was released, Melle Mel had attached the name prefix Grandmaster to his name. Grandmaster Flash later took Melle Mel to court over the Grandmaster name.
BAD BRAINS - Stay Close To Me
In 1979, Washington DC hardcore pioneers the Bad Brains recorded Stay Close To Me. The song was released on the b-side of their debut single Pay To Cum - a release with a pressing of only 500. The band had just changed their name and style, previously performing as a jazz fusion band called Mind Power. The group's new name was inspired by a 1978 song by the Ramones - Bad Brain. Much more on Bad Brains HERE
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