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Category Archives: 1970s

“Ann Peebles – I Can’t Stand The Rain (1973)”

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I Can’t Stand the Rain” is a song originally recorded by Ann Peebles in 1973, and written by Peebles, Don Bryant, and Bernard “Bernie” Miller. Other hit versions were later recorded by Eruption and Tina Turner.

Ann Peebles version

The song was written by Peebles, her partner (and later husband) Don Bryant, and DJ Bernard “Bernie” Miller in 1973:

One evening in Memphis in 1973, soul singer Ann Peebles was meeting friends, including her partner, Hi Records staff writer Don Bryant, to go to a concert. Just as they were about to set off, the heavens opened and Peebles snapped: “I can’t stand the rain.” As a professional songwriter in constant need of new material, Bryant was used to plucking resonant phrases out of the air and he liked the idea of reacting against recent R&B hits that celebrated bad weather, such as the Dramatics’ “In the Rain” and Love Unlimited’s “Walking in the Rain (With the One I Love)”. So he sat down at the piano and started riffing on the theme, weaving in ideas from Peebles and local DJ Bernie Miller. The song was finished that night and presented the next morning to Hi’s studio maestro, Willie Mitchell, who used a brand new gadget, the electric timbale, to create the song’s distinctive raindrop riff. It really was that easy. “We didn’t go to the concert,” Bryant remembers. “We forgot about the concert.”[1]

Ann Peebles said: “At first, we had the timbales all the way through the song but as we played the tape, Willie Mitchell said ‘what about if the timbales were in front before anything else comes in?’. So we did that and when we listened back I said ‘I love it, let’s do that’.”[2]

Produced by Willie Mitchell, the song became Peebles’ biggest hit when, in 1973, it reached #38 on the US Pop Chart and #6 on the R&B/Black Chart; it also reached #41 on the UK singles chart in April 1974. The organ is played by Charles Hodges.[3] It was one of John Lennon’s favorite songs and in a Billboard magazine article he commented, “It’s the best song ever.” Ian Dury chose this song as one of his eight songs when he appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.[4]

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THE ELGINS – HEAVEN MUST HAVE SENT YOU

THE ELGINS – HEAVEN MUST HAVE SENT YOU

“Heaven Must Have Sent You” is a song written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Eddie Holland when at Motown, and first recorded by The Elgins in 1966. It was also a 1979 disco hit single by Bonnie Pointer.

The Elgins

The version by the Elgins, released on the Motown subsidiary V.I.P. Records label in 1966, reached no. 9 on the Billboard R&B chart and no. 50 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Popular on the Northern soul scene in the UK it was reissued in 1971, and reached no. 3 on the UK Singles Chart. The Elgins’ backing vocals were augmented by The Andantes.

“Heaven Must Have Sent You”
was one of two remakes of Motown hits recorded by Bonnie Pointer for her 1978 self-titled solo debut album which was released by Motown: Pointer would state: “I wanted to cut that tune and the other old Motown tune: ‘When I’m Gone’, simply because I’ve always dug them.” Pointer has stated that she suggested to Berry Gordy that he have her remake “Heaven Must Have Sent You” as a disco track after Pointer had heard the Village People hit “Y.M.C.A.” and realized that “Heaven Must Have Sent You” would work well with an arrangement similar to that of “Y.M.C.A”.

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“SOUL TRAIN Theme Song – By the Sound Of Philadelphia and the Three Degree Vocals” On YouTube

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“TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)” is a 1973 hit recording by MFSB (Mother, Father, Sister, Brother) featuring vocals by

The Three Degrees

. A classic example of the Philadelphia soul genre, it was written by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff as the theme for the American musical television program

Soul Train,

which specialized in African American musical performers. The single was released on the Philadelphia International label. It was the first television theme song to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100,[1] and it is arguably the first disco song to reach that position.

The song is essentially an instrumental piece, featuring a lush blend of strings and horns in the Philadelphia soul style.

There are only two vocal parts to the song: a passage close to the beginning during which The Three Degrees sing “People all over the world!”; and the chorus over the fadeout, “Let’s get it on/It’s time to get down”. The words “People all over the world!” are not heard in the original version. The version heard on

Soul Train

also had the series title sung over the first four notes of the melody, ”

Soul Train, Soul Train”.

This particular version was released on a 1975 Three Degrees album, International.

TSOP hit number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1974 and remained there for two weeks, the first television theme song to do so in the history of that chart.[1] It also topped the American R&B chart (for one week) and adult contemporary chart (for two weeks).[2] The Three Degrees would revisit the top of the AC chart later in 1974 with their hit single, When Will I See You Again.

Don Cornelius, the creator and host of Soul Train, refused to allow any references to the name of the television series when the single was released, leading Gamble and Huff to adopt the alternate title for the release. Cornelius would later admit that not allowing the single to be named Soul Train was a major mistake on his part.[3]

Although it was rerecorded a number of times for future versions of the show, and various different themes were used during the late 1970s and early 1980s, TSOP returned in the late 1980s and remained the theme song for Soul Train through the disco, 1980s R&B, new jack swing, hip-hop, and neo soul eras of black music.

TSOP was covered by Dexys Midnight Runners and released as a B-side on the 12″ version of the “Jackie Wilson Said” single, later issued on the remastered version of the album Too-Rye-Ay. The band also used it to open some of their live shows.

Another remake of the tune was made in 1978 by reggae band Inner Circle, who had a history of covering American soul songs in the laid-back reggae style of the late 1970s.

Two more covers were made in 1987 (by George Duke), and 1999 (by Sampson); both versions would be used as themes for Soul Train. The 1999 theme would be used until Soul Train ‘s final episode in 2006.

The song is played at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia prior to every Phillies home game. The song was also played after Vancouver Whitecaps NASL home games at Empire Stadium in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and after Vancouver 86ers CSL home games in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Pilipinas, Game KNB?, a Philippines game show hosted by actor/politician Edu Manzano, used an adaptation of TSOP (Tanya) called Papayo Yowza as its theme. The song’s opening was also sampled as program identification for all Philadelphia 76ers games broadcast on WCAU-AM in the mid-to-late 1970s.

In 1998, German act BMR featuring Dutch singer Felicia Uwaje sampled the single in their song Check It Out.

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“THE LOVELITES – How Can I Tell My Mom and Dad”

“THE LOVELITES – How Can I Tell My Mom and Dad”

http://www.QZ.com

One year after the change in lineup, the single, “How Can I Tell My Mom And Dad (That I’ve Been Bad)” was released on Lock Records. The tune, written by lead vocalist Patti Hamilton and record producer Clarence Johnson, tells of a teen, abandoned by her boyfriend, who imagines horrible repercussions when she tells her parents what’s happened; the subject, teen pregnancy, was then still largely taboo on radio airwaves, and the single went on to sell 55,000 copies locally and 400,000 nationally, peaking at #15 on Billboard’s soul chart, and landing the group a recording contract with the MCA-owned, Uni Records. By this time, the group had also undergone yet another personnel change, as Joni Berlman stepped in for Rozena Petty.

The girls continued working with Johnson as well another producer, Johnny Cameron, and went on to release their only album, With Love From The Lovelites. The album was not as well received as the group’s previous single and subsequently flopped. Decades later, it is revered as one of the classic soul albums to come out of the Windy City, producing such standout singles as “Oh My Love” and “This Love Is Real.”

After leaving Uni in 1970, Johnson started up the Lovelite imprint, and the group immediately hit with “My Conscience,” which reportedly sold 70,000 in Chicago and 400,000 nationwide. The group released a handful more singles on the label, and then in 1971, Rhonda Grayson replaced Ardell McDaniel.

By 1972, the girls had signed to Cotillion Records, where they released two singles billed as Patti & The Lovelites. By 1973, the group had disbanded.

 

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“Whatcha See is Whatcha Get – The Dramatics”

“Whatcha See is Whatcha Get – The Dramatics”

The Dramatics (formerly The Dynamics) are an American soul music vocal group, formed in Detroit, Michigan, in 1964. They are best known for their 1970s hit songs “In the Rain” and “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get“, both of which were Top 10 Pop hits, as well as their later 1993 collaboration “Doggy Dogg World” with Snoop Dogg, a top 20 hit on the BillboardRhythmic Top 40.

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“DIANA ROSS AND THE SUPREMES – MY WORLD IS EMPTY WITHOUT YOU”

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“My World Is Empty Without You” is a 1965 song recorded and released as a single by The Supremes for the Motown label.

Overview
Written and produced by Motown’s main production team of Holland–Dozier–Holland, the song’s fast tempo accompanies a somber lyric which delves into the feelings of depression which can set in after a breakup; instrumentally, this is showcased with a gothic and dramatic musical arrangement, prominently featuring Earl Van Dyke’s Hammond organ shrilly configured to sound like a liturgical pipe organ, in tow with the trend of baroque pop during the mid-1960s.

“My World Is Empty Without You” was one of the few songs written by the team for The Supremes that didn’t go to number one, peaking at number five on the US pop chart for two weeks in February 1966[1] and at number 10 on the R&B chart; the single failed to chart on the UK Singles Chart. The group performed the song on the CBS hit variety program The Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday, February 20, 1966.[2]

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“Neil Sedaka – Laughter In The Rain”

Rise to fame with RCA Victor: the late 1950s 

After graduating from Abraham Lincoln High School, Sedaka and some of his classmates formed a band called The Tokens. The band had minor regional hits with songs like “While I Dream”, “I Love My Baby”, “Come Back, Joe”, and “Don’t Go”, before Sedaka launched out on his own in 1957. Eventually, after a few personnel changes, in 1961, the Tokens hit No. 1 on the Billboard pop charts with the international smash “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”. Meanwhile, the very young Sedaka’s first three solo singles, “Laura Lee”, “Ring-a-Rockin'”, and “Oh, Delilah!” failed to become hits (although “Ring-a-Rockin'” earned him the first of many appearances on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand), but they demonstrated his ability to perform as a solo singer, so RCA Victor signed him to a recording contract.

His first single for RCA Victor, “The Diary”, was inspired by Connie Francis, one of Sedaka and Greenfield’s most important clients, while the three were taking a temporary break during their idea-making for a new song. Francis was writing in her diary, Sedaka asked if he could read it, and Connie promptly replied with a “no.” After Little Anthony and the Imperials passed on the song, Sedaka recorded it himself, and his debut single hit the Top 15 on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 14 in 1958.

However, his next two singles did not fare so well. His second single, a novelty tune titled “I Go Ape”, just missed the Top 40, peaking at No. 42 but it became a more successful single in the United Kingdom with a No. 9. The third single, “Crying My Heart Out for You”, was a commercial failure, missing the Hot 100 entirely, peaking at No. 111 but it also became a very successful single on the pop charts in Italy with a No. 6. RCA Victor had lost money on “I Go Ape” and “Crying My Heart Out For You” and was ready to drop Sedaka from their label. But Sedaka’s manager, Al Nevins, persuaded the RCA executives to give him one last chance.

Knowing he would not get another chance if he failed again, and desperate for another hit, Sedaka himself bought the three biggest hit singles of the time and listened to them repeatedly, studying the song structure, chord progressions, lyrics and harmonies—and he discovered that the hit songs of the day all shared the same basic musical anatomy. Armed with his newfound arsenal of musical knowledge, he set out to craft his next big hit song, and he promptly did exactly that: “Oh! Carol” delivered Sedaka his first domestic Top 10 hit, reaching No. 9 on the Hot 100 in 1959 and going to No. 1 on the Italian pop charts in 1960, giving Sedaka his first No. 1 ranking. In the UK, the song spent a total of 17 weeks in the top 40, peaking at No. 3 (4 weeks).[5] In addition, the B-side, “One Way Ticket”, reached No. 1 on the pop charts in Japan. Sedaka had dated Carole King when he was still at high school, which gave him the idea to use her name in the song. Gerry Goffin – King’s husband – took the tune, and wrote the playful response “Oh! Neil”, which King recorded and released as an unsuccessful single the same year.[6][7][8][9] Thus, this was the only time the melody of the song was used by a popular artist and a future sensation around the same time.

Big hits in the early 1960s 

After establishing himself in 1958, Sedaka kept churning out new hits from 1960 to 1962. His flow of Top 30 hits during this period included: “Stairway to Heaven” (No. 9, 1960); “You Mean Everything to Me” (No. 17, 1960); “Run, Samson, Run” (No. 27, 1960); “Calendar Girl” (No. 4, 1961; also reached No. 1 on the Japanese and Canadian pop charts); “Little Devil” (No. 11, 1961); “Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen” (No. 6, 1961); his signature song, “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” (No. 1, two weeks: August 11 and 18, 1962); and “Next Door to an Angel” (No. 5, 1962). Singles not making the Top 30 during this period included “Sweet Little You” (No. 59, 1961) and “King of Clowns” (No. 45, 1962). RCA Victor issued four LPs of his works in the United States and Great Britain during this period, and also produced Scopitone and Cinebox videos of “Calendar Girl” in 1961, “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” in 1962, and “The Dreamer” in 1963. (His second LP was the only one made in the big band style with songs combined in a single record.) He made regular appearances on such TV programs as American Bandstand and Shindig! during this period.

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