May 26, 1984: Sister Sledge, Tyzik, Margie Joseph, Frederick ‘M.C. Count’ Linton, Sun


Thomas Dolby is mooted as possible producer of Michael Jackson’s next LP! … Fatback ‘I Found Lovin’’ is suddenly due on remix/dub/original 12in from new label Master Mix (via PRT) … Yvonne Gage’s ‘Haunted House’ has evidently met opposition from the ‘Thriller’ publishers … Grandmaster Melle Mel ‘White Lines’ is now on picture disc 12in to accelerate its chart climb! … Anne LeSear is due on 12in, Emotions ‘You’re The Best’ is on US 12in remix, but Change will not be a remix … Streetwave’s Julian Woolley wants all the pirate jocks to contact him on 01-993 1512 … Jez Nelson’s Horizon show early Sunday morning was his radio debut — “I was on a Dave Brown phone-in once, but then who wasn’t?”! … Froggy is another Horizon recruit, Tuesday evenings, which is when he also returns with the Rappers night to Epping Forest Country Club near Chigwell … London’s soul pirates would pay royalties for the music they play but until they’re legalised they can’t get a licence to do so … Carlos and Gary Kent, TV stars! … Gallup’s UK singles chart last week again held steady with a third being black, if not necessarily soul, while Top Of The Pops was a sea of black faces … Edwin Starr will be compere of a ‘Soul Train’-type show on Channel 4 … ‘StreetSounds Electro 4‘ is being mixed by new team Noel & Morris, ‘UK Electro‘ by Herbie Mastermind, and whichever charts highest will determine who mixes ‘Crucial Electro 2’ (stir, stir)! … Alan Coulthard’s May mixes on Disco Mix Club cassette are an extended return to Sharon Redd ‘Beat The Megastreet‘, an exciting pop set, and Alan s exploration of the “hot tempo” which brilliantly runs Yes ‘Leave It’ under Y&P (the only guy to pick up my tip?) … Creole Records are updating their DJ mailing list at 91-93 High Street, Harlesden, London NW10 … Record Shack sold a controlling share to IDS … Greg James’s Hammersmith Spin-Off’s record shop at 98 Fulham Palace Road is open Sundays noon-6pm, as now (11am-3pm) is Rayners Lane’s Record & Disco Centre … O’Jays ‘Extraordinary Girl’ should have been 0-115bpm last week, when a miscalculation by our Mike Gardner meant most disco dates didn’t get printed — his brother Brian Gardner’s amongst them! (Brian, ousted after three years at the Whisky A Go Go when it became the Wag Club, now funks Wed/Sat at Soho’s Le Beat Route) … Pete Haigh & Richard Searling’s monthly ‘Mecca Soul Revival night’ is again at Blackpool Baskervilles this Friday (25), yet Pete says he’s glad he wasn’t at Caister as it sounded like a Wigan oldies session! … ‘Breakin’’, a budget hip hop movie set in LA rather than the Bronx, beat ‘Beat Street’ into US cinemas to boffo box office … K-Tel in the States have a teach-yourself ‘Breakdance’ video and LP, a sure sign that anyone hip will soon have to stop! … Yarbrough & Peoples is now top US Black single, The Earons rapidly replacing Deniece Williams atop US Dance/Disco (where Womack & Womack ‘Baby I’m Scared‘ is huge) … Arthur Baker collaborates with Daryl Hall on a future Dana Ross track ‘Swept Away‘, and Maurice Starr is producing the Stylistics for the Streetwise label … The Kane Gang (a thinking man’s ‘Relax’) I now see is produced by Pete Wingfield … Shakatak take another less commercial jazz direction on their next LP, teasingly promo-ed for radio … “Any football hooligans?” I quipped on entering Mayfair’s late nite Rockafella’s eaterie last Friday night – “Yes, Kevin Keegan” was the true reply … LET’S BE PARTICULARLY CAREFUL OUT THERE!


Scotland’s funksters have a sort of weekender at Coatbridge (Glasgow) Le Club De France with Kenny G live Friday, a Radio Clyde alldayer Saturday, “normal get-together” Sunday, farewell party Monday, jocks involved at some stage including London’s Cleveland Anderson, Birmingham’s Frenchie T, Bedford’s Stanford John, Radio Merseyside’s Kenny James, not to forget local lads Radio Clyde’s Jim Simon, Alan David, Derek Money, while down in the south-west “the most exciting sound system outside of Jamaica” Saxon Studio and its MC posse tour Bristol Trinity Hall Sat/Gloucester Jamaican Sports & Social Club Sun/Cardiff Penylan New Ocean Club Mon. Otherwise, FRIDAY (25) Plymouth’s old Palace Theatre reopens as The Academy, as with the Boscombe branch stuffed full of hi-tech effects and featuring live music, theatre and circus acts with uptempo sounds Fri/Sat; Steve Walsh Wheels Edwin Starr & Paul Hardcastle PA-ing to Torquay Monroes and then Paignton Ritzy’s; Darryl Hayden’s videotheque & Radio One’s Gary Davies do Fareham’s Ferneham Hall near Portsmouth; Phil England funks two nights at Yeovil Carnabys; SUNDAY (27) Simon Edwards promises Second Image, Central Line and more at Liverpool Wavertree Dallas Club’s first alldayer (noon-midnight, only £1.50); Kev Hill & Gary Campbell soul Harlow Whispers’ second charity allniter (midnight-7am Mon, £4 including breakfast); BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY (28) Luton Pink Elephant alldayer (noon-midnight) has Kenny G live and Chris Hill, Jeff Young, Pete Tong, Martin Collins, Chris Brown; Wigan Pier alldayer (2pm-midnight) has Colin Curtis, Kev Edwards, Mike Shaft, Jonathan, Richard Searling, Pete Haigh, Chad, Kenny McLeod etc; Birmingham Millionaires’ first alldayer (5pm-2am so more an all-eveninger?) debuts also ‘The Knights Of The Sound Table’ Steve Dennis, Frenchie T, Paul Dixon & Shaun Williams with Pressure Point live and lots of fun promised; Sean French & Nicky Holloway have a shorts ‘n shades party at Bermondsey Dockheads’s Swan & Sugarloaf; Evelyn Thomas, Miquel Brown & Earlene Bentley represent Record Shack at Preston Clouds Star Bar’s Hi-NRG alldayer; Marsha Raven plays Bournemouth’s Cabaret Club. Happy holidays!


SISTER SLEDGE: ‘Thinking Of You’ (Atlantic B 9744T)
Originally flip of 1979’s ‘Lost In Music’, this guitar-jittered pleasantly sung rolling 102⅓bpm jogger strangely has become something of a spearhead for the banner waving “back to soul” brigade and finally resurfaces on 3-track 12in with the previously better known 117-118-119bpm ‘We Are Family’ and 115-116-115¾(break)-116bpm ‘He’s the Greatest Dancer’ which doubtless have helped its rapid initial sale.

TYZIK: ‘Jammin’ In Manhattan’ LP (US Polydor 422-821 605-1 Y-1)
First cousin to ‘Funkin’ For Jamaica’ and scorching the floor in London already, trumpeter Jeff Tyzik’s sizzling hot 114½bpm funk instrumental title track is evidently due on better value 12in, if you can wait (the rest is jazz/slow).

MARGIE JOSEPH: ‘Ready For The Night’ LP (US Cotillion 90158-1)
Drummed by executive producer Narada Michael Walden, Margie’s label debut is loaded with dancers like the Teena Marie-ish 116bpm title track (also on 12in), brightly strutting 115bpm ‘Midnight Lover‘ (possibly best), Aretha-ish 115½bpm ‘I Wants Mo’ Stuff‘, raunchily worded 114bpm ‘Big Strong Man‘, lurching (0-)107bpm ‘Tell Me‘, swaying 112bpm ‘Adonai’, plus two slowies … in fact, there may be too many to take in. Continue reading “May 26, 1984: Sister Sledge, Tyzik, Margie Joseph, Frederick ‘M.C. Count’ Linton, Sun”

May 19, 1984: Bianca, Patrice Rushen, Change, Fatback, Cuba Gooding


BEGAN CEKIC, the Brooklyn producer who specializes in sound-alike remakes, has now got the Michael Jackson impersonator in Main Line to do a ‘One And Only (Jackson Medley)‘ (US Master Mix MMR-003) which in ‘Stars On 45’ style follows exactly the format of Alan Coulthard’s ‘Michael Jackson Megamix‘, the widely broadcast but commercially unavailable Disco Mix Club cassette/Epic 12in promo which legally used the genuine article (maybe now’s the ideal time for it to come out?): anyway, after I’d alerted him Alan’s comments were “An absolute blatant copy down to the most minute detail — incredible! I suppose I’m flattered really, but it’s a bit a cheek — I was flabberghasted when I heard it” (Alan is reading law at London University and had a few other things to say, tool) . . . London’s pirate soul stations must have started showing up in the ratings as increased pressure by legal stations is being brought on the Home Office to wipe them out — they certainly supply a real community service now, soul being available 24 hours now on Horizon, all day on JFM and nights on Invicta (who’ve been getting swamped by an Arab pirate!), not to forget every weekday morning with Tony Blackburn on BBC Radio London (all this regular exposure is creating Increased record sales if only to DJs) . . . Capital Radio’s Sunday pre-dawn soul slot is now filled with Peter Young doing a sort of updated ‘Pete’s Party — Part 2’, enlarging on the ‘Soul Cellar’ segment of his Friday evening show, and is soon to be followed early Sunday morning by Mister Ouch! Al Matthews’ new ‘When The Spirit Moves’ gospel show (mmm-hmm!) . . . Kashif’s imminent ‘Baby Don’t Break Your Baby’s Heart‘ (for rush release here) is a jolting 115bpm swayer with extremely mannered pent-up panting, muttering and beseeching vocal in Jackson style, while George Benson and Al Jarreau guest on his LP due next month . . . Roni Griffith’s 126bpm ‘(The Best Part Of) Breakin’ Up‘, an ever-present chart threat for the past two years thanks to its enduring Hi-NRG popularity, actually hit the Nightclub list this week in its original Vanguard form, but by total coincidence has just been re-released by new label Making Waves (SURF 101T, via Rough Trade)! . . . The System has been remixed to replace current pressings, and Jive re-pressed (promo only) Hugh Masekela with his shorter LP version replacing the Stretch Mix which really was proving too monotonously stretched out and boring! . . . Circle City Band ‘Magic’ is now on US Becket, so will PRT finally get it out here? . . . Roy Floyd (Okehampton Scandals) echoes us all in his disappointment that the Detroit Spinners ‘Love Is In Season‘ isn’t out here yet on single (maybe WEA think it’s the Christmas season!) . . . The Jacksons’ ‘Victory’ LP, due in a month, has fair shares with each brother contributing songs to prevent it being dominated by Michael, while unbelievably their US tour is rumoured so far to miss such key cities as Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Atlanta and New Orleans — maybe they’ll be literally “barnstorming”, as what’s left?! . . . Polydor ought to put it about that sister LaToya Jackson was of course recording for them before her current new Private I affiliation . . . Harry Belafonte-produced hip hop movie ‘Beat Street’ is having a huge promotional push in the States, with ranges of merchandise and even special boutiques in stores, which as previously predicted should both explode and ultimately kill the whole genre . . . Herbie Hancock & Grandmixer D.ST. live in concert are on US video . . . ‘Don’t Look Any Further’ was originally planned as Jermaine Jackson’s duet with Whitney Houston until Dennis Edwards beat him to it with his own partner Siedah Garrett — who incidentally, after working with Sergio Mendes and duetting on Kashif’s new LP, has been signed to Qwest as part of the group formed to sing on the next Quincy Jones LP (which is how James Ingram surfaced, if you remember) . . . Qwest have also signed jazz veterans Jimmy Smith and Sarah Vaughan, MCA dropped Oliver Cheatham (who sadly stiffed Stateside) but picked up Rockie Robbins . . . Julio Iglesias’s next singing partner will be Diana Ross! . . . Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis-produced Cherrelle is really Cheryl Norton. who’s sung with Michael Henderson . . . Billy Ocean is looking for PAs via In Store Music on 01-274 1563, similarly Intrigue via Nick on 01-800 6113 . . . Paul ‘Suzuki Kidd’ Anthony, producing legal ‘Mastertrax’ background/foreground music cassettes for Tape Techniques, still does Mon/Wed at Wolverhampton Eve’s but has taken over Fri/Sat at Luton’s refurbished Tropicana Beach where manager Dave Cahill (0582-458750) is keen to be included in any PA itineraries . . . Disco Gary funks Fri/Sat at Croydon Club Musique and does St James’s posh Tramp Wed, but could handle more gigs on the other nights (Medway 0634-683841) . . . Matt Hayward, responsible for putting out so much black material while managing PRT, has formed his own Shepperton Studio Centre-based Sierra label and is after masters/artists for the UK on 09328-62688 (I include this especially for our US readers) . . . Suzie Halls has left Jive to live in New York (and sing on more records?) . . . Z.Z. Hill the soulful blues man sadly died aged 48 from a blood clot on April 27: without meaning to name drop, I’ll never forget finding my first Z.Z. Hill single twenty years ago at New York’s Colony record shop on Broadway, where they used to let me play all the new stuff myself behind the counter — I’d just put ZZ on when my friend the then jazz star Les McCann came into the shop and we both raved about ZZ’s soulfulness (incidentally, how long before the jazz mafia latch onto Les?) . . . BBC-1 on Monday showed 1972’s ‘Across 110th Street’ with soundtrack songs by Bobby Womack — how many spotted the opening shot of 125th Street with the Apollo’s marquee advertising the Miracles and Jr Walker?! . . . ‘Black On Black’ this Thursday (17) are filming the first semi-final of ‘Miss Gullivers’, and Channel 4 are also at Mayfair’s Gullivers for the next few Mondays making a programme about soca . . . Heatwave are in town to record a new LP, and Sharon Redd is also about (sporting a new red Jeffrey Daniel haircut!), interestingly between labels . . . Divine Sounds ‘What People Do For Money‘ (Streetwave here) stormed into the US Black chart, while John Rocca ‘I Want It to Be Real‘ topped US Dance/Disco . . . The Earons give themselves numbers rather than names, so they’re comprised of .22, .33, .18, .28 and .69 (I wonder what he’s into?) . . . Norman Scott is packing the floor at Harringey Bolts with an exclusive Proto preview cassette of Divine’s ‘So You Think You’re A Man‘, due in June and reportedly fab . . . Chris Lucas (Earls Court Copacabana) has left the counter at Record Shack to work instead at original Embassy DJ Greg James’s brand new record and equipment shop in Hammersmith (98 Fulham Palace Road) . . . Robbie Leslie, top jock at the world’s biggest gay club, New York’s The Saint, flew to London last weekend evidently just to hear Ian Levine mixing at Heaven but got jet lag and overslept until 5am, missing it all! . . . Colin Holsgrove (London Hippodrome) was “only an inch away” from that lion . . . I find my current killers are Local Boy/Yvonne Gage ‘Haunted House ‘/Loose Ends ‘Emergency (Dub)’ (amazing effect with the exact same beat sound taking over!)/Brass Construction; Patrice Rushen/Change/The SOS Band ‘For Your Love (Dub)’ (dynamite out of Change’s break!)/Pointer Sisters; Jermaine Jackson ‘Come To Me’/The System ‘I Wanna’; Hugh Masekela/Timmy Thomas . . . El Chicano’s vocal works if you start with the instrumental, synching the vocal side over it to mix in at the first chorus —but why should we have to (a) buy two copies (b) do the producer’s work for him? . . . London Stringfellows jock Peter Anthony drove 1,500 miles in two days touring Scotland, Lake District & North Wales with not surprisingly often comatose girlfriend Philippa — hey, hey, hey, LET’S STAY FRESH OUT THERE!


BIANCA: ‘Where The Beat Meets The Street’ (EMI 12EMI 5459)
With at least a title line that sticks in the mind after just one play, this Peter Collins-produced over anxious 120bpm attempt to muscle in on Madonna territory is sung by a delightful Belgium-based Hungarian who’s even foxier in the flesh than her photo suggests! If she can just be persuaded to face the audience at PAs she should go far…

PATRICE RUSHEN: ‘Feels So Real (Won’t Let Go)’ (US Elektra 0-66970)
Quietly satisfying rather than an epoch-making mind blower, so likely to stay within soul circles without crossing over in a big way, her long awaited newie comes in two similar vocal versions with the sharper so-called ‘Dub Version‘ flip already being the floor scorcher — a repetitive gently swaying 104bpm delicate cool tugger with her usual precise singing and a perfect subdued hot tempo (great between Jocelyn Brown and Change), all very sneaky.

CHANGE: ‘Change Of Heart’ LP (WEA WX5)
Hotter than hot, in fact THE hot tempo, the Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis-prod/penned 107½bpm title track tensely tugging ultra nagging jitterer is poised to top the soul disco chart once UK 12in copies (remixed it seems) appear in the next fortnight, but meanwhile the original already sizzling LP is out here now and well worth getting as there are some venues which amazingly prefer the toned down jitter of the blander 110bpm ‘You Are My Melody‘ and 109bpm ‘Warm‘. If excitement comes in colours, colour this black! Continue reading “May 19, 1984: Bianca, Patrice Rushen, Change, Fatback, Cuba Gooding”

May 12, 1984: Jimmie Gray, Yvonne Gage, L.J. Reynolds, Cherrelle, Jermaine Jackson


Giddy up and yi-hah! All those clubs wanting to hire mechanical bucking broncos/bulls can get them from Western Rodeo UK (01-785 6169) or Dave Gilbrook (Farnbrough 0252-510934), and Dave is planning to tour the country’s clubs with a package as The Club Indoor Rodeo Championships 1984 including a gunslinger fast draw contest as well as the bull, so contact him if interested in that too . . . Thames Valley DJ Association again awarded Record Mirror the Best Industry Publication prize at their Shownite ’84 last month – the first I knew about it was from some understandably bitchy remarks in their current newsletter, just received (nobody told me, but I couldn’t have got there that night anyway: however, many thanks and apologies) . . . Jocelyn Brown tells me that as well as being lead singer for Inner Life and certain records by Cerrone and Change (about which we knew), she’s also been on sides by Chic, The Jammers, while session work has included backups behind everyone from Roberta Flack to John Lennon . . . Bobby King is THAT Bobby King, the one who used to come down to Mayfair’s Gullivers whenever over here as vocalist with Ry Cooder! (he had two albums on US Warner Bros in the ‘70s) . . . Capital Radio’s Roger Scott remarks how strong black music is at the moment, all but two of the American singles on the station’s playlist being black – and a third of last week’s UK pop chart was black too (so, did Top Of The Pops going off air have anything to do with it?) . . . Patrice Rushen’s c105bpm hot tempo-ish swayer ‘Feels So Real’ doubtless surfaced on import last weekend, after my deadline . . . Edwin Starr had scheduled a DJs-dedicated ‘Play It Again’ single for this month prior to rushing ‘Marvin’ instead (er, any chance of re-recording the word “Sunday” as “Monday”, Edwin?) . . . Bobby Womack’s LP review last week confused the Patti LaBelle-duetted 35-71½bpm ‘Love Has Finally Come At Last’ and George Benson/Wilton Felder-backed 67/33½bpm ‘Through The Eyes Of A Child’ . . . Mercury here will have a 4-track LJ Reynolds 12in with ‘Don’t Let Nobody Hold You Down’/’Weigh All The Facts’/’Love Me All Over’, while Malaco soon belatedly issue Baiser ‘Summer Breeze’ . . . Island are entering the disco competition market with ‘Crew Cuts’ (clever title) including Malcolm X, Art Of Noise, Grandmixer D.ST., Warp 9, Nuance, Junie Morrison all mixed by Chad Jackson (St Helens) – who calls himself “The Man Of The Mix” and recently sent me a cassette of his efforts, a live mix one side and pause button-edited medley t’other, all very good but exhausting (incidentally, is it Chad rather than Chaz who’s walking around under Greg Wilson’s hairstyle?) . . . Bernard Penn, a buyer at Glasgow’s Goldbergs store, got talking soul with Steve Davis when he’d come in to promote his line of snooker tables and played Steve some cassettes he’d mixed himself on a home twin-deck system: this so intrigued Steve that Bernard now wonders if it was this that prompted his subsequent purchase of a disco unit and a course of mixing lessons from Froggy? . . . I can tell you, if you want to make Steve mis-cue, just shout out “Dee Dee Bridgewater”! . . . Cino Berigliano, now doing Ilford Palais Wednesdays with Coral King and Stevenage Annabellas Mondays, is looking to add DJs outside the London area to his Dance Disc Promotions mailing list on 01-551 0631 (office hours) . . . MBT Records want to get PA bookings for new group Universe – call Barry Jameson on 01-476 1880 . . . Switch Records are looking for black music cassette demos or full unsigned masters for a planned compilation LP, or doubtless singles release if up to scratch – details from Loftus Burton on 01-969 7135 . . . Horizon’s Gary Kent needs a new gig for his 1K disco rig to replace a 4 year pub residency (messages on 01-599 1471) . . . ‘Segue’ Steve Goddard sadly has left Horizon – he recently discovered the source of the term “segue” (pronounced segway, meaning one tune following on immediately after another): not surprisingly it’s from “seguera”, Italian for “to follow” . . . Dr Soul more or less knew that! . . . London Town Radio needs more soul DJs: send demo tape and brief CV to LTR, c/o 23 High Street, Little Sandhurst, Camberley, Surrey GU17 8TB, and try and beat the Home Office, and stay off the white lines . . . ‘Fatman’ Graham Canter has horrified his real friends with the avowed intention of buying a pub – don’t even do it! . . . Hammersmith Palais later this month (31) wobbles under the weight of the Weather Girls AND Steve Walsh together on stage – heavy jelly! . . . Cameo play Nottingham Rock City Fri 25, Hammersmith Odeon Sat 26, with more dates due, and Kenny G (minus vocalist Barry Johnson) tours Glasgow, London, Luton, Colchester & Birmingham around that time too . . . Record Shack have formed Anglo-American Management for tour representation of Miquel Brown, Earlene Bentley, Evelyn Thomas, Break Machine (and soon the likes of Lisa, Pamela Stanley, Thelma Houston, Viola Wills, Vicki Sue Robinson, Village People & Ritchie Family): contact Bill Grainger 0506-54305/The Shack 01-434 1498 . . . Misses Brown, Bentley & Thomas will be live together at a Hi-NRG alldayer next Bank Holiday Monday (28) at Preston’s Clouds, but meanwhile Evelyn Thomas continues energizing London Palm Beach Fri (11), Charing Scanners Sat (12), Brighton Bolts Sun (13), Rayleigh Pink Toothbrush Tues (15) . . . Linda Lewis PAs along with a Miss Wet T-Shirt contest Fri (11) at Bournemouth Boscombe’s The Academy (presumably not a Boys Town night!), Harringey Bolts has Simone Sat (12), Edinburgh Fire Island has Jimmy Ruffin & Jackson Moore Sun (13) . . . Steve Allen & The Mad Mixer attempt to re-establish a regular soul night in Leicester at Coasters Nightclub (Lee Circle off Charles Street) this Thursday (10) and again in three weeks (31) . . . Peter Lee launches a Shredded Wheat guzzling contest over the next three Thursdays at Bolton’s Dance Factory, where Monday (14) break dancing Broken Glass Street Crew and zany DJ (it says here) Wayne Curtis Blow II join him for a teenage disco . . . Chris Dinnis, recovering from glandular fever, now souls Exeter Boxes Wednesdays and Taunton Kingstons Thursdays, plus Yeovil Olivers the Fri (11) . . . Froggy funks Southend Zero 6 Fri (11), and Canning Town Bentleys every Thur/Sat . . . Gary Oldis starts a break dancing competition this Sat (12) with cash prizes (teams or singles) – teams wanting a gig at Scarborough Victorias call him on 0325-84619 (days) . . . Jin Kenny, mixing at Dublin’s Tamango, is trying Hi-NRG on Saturdays although product is head to find and due to Eire’s high VAT even UK releases (imported) are very expensive: Miquel Brown ‘So Many Men’ is huge, KC ‘Give It Up’ hit in Ireland a year before Britain – Jim also needs replacement Destination ‘Move On Up’, Brian Adams ‘Let Me Take You Dancing’ . . . Pete Haigh (0253-824156) needs Bloodstone ‘My Love Grows Stronger’ (US T-Neck 12in), Island’s Adrian Sykes will pay anything for the rare 12in of Willie Bobo ‘Always There’ (Big Phil Etgart still wants it too), and Bobby Lyle’s ‘The Genie’ LP . . . Dougall DJ’s computerised record finding service now seems operational (good timing?) – send your wants list (up to 50), mentioning any bids you’re prepared to pay for hotly sought items, with remittance of £6.50 for a full year’s search to Worldwide Records, PO Box 90, Luton, Beds LU1 3UJ . . . Andy Greg (Gregory), souling Laughton’s Tempo Rico wine bar, has a 7in of Peter Brown’s 1979 ‘Love In Our Hearts’ for Adrian Allen should he want it, and wonders whether Carl Anderson is the same guy that played Judas in ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’? . . . ‘Hill Street Blues’ is bustin’ out all over now, and in the words of the immortal Michael Conrad, LET’S BE EXTRA CAREFUL OUT THERE!


JIMMIE GRAY: ‘The Kool People’ (JKO 12 JKO 107, via 01-354 0841)
American singer/keyboardist Jimmie returned home to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to remix and speed up this now 115½bpm simple languidly pushing swayer with Tubbs on bass and chix cooing through his own cool vocal, which originally surfaced here in November 1982. Now as then the 117bpm instrumental ‘Keepin’ Kool’ flipside version is possibly even more useful although with the guitar mixed down and everything smoothed off both have become more similar – and equally hypnotic.

YVONNE GAGE: ‘Doin’ It In A Haunted House’ (US Chycago International Music 4Z9 05006)
Stand by for the next Michael Jackson-related smash! Not an answer record as such, this soulfully wailed high “spirited” solidly socking 120-119bpm smacker cleverly appropriates and adapts so many bits from the backing track of ‘Thriller’ that it must be considered as a companion piece (the instrumental flip should be really useful mixed with MJ). Vampiric though this may seem, it’s done with such zest it has to be a hit.

L.J. REYNOLDS: ‘Don’t Let Nobody Hold You Down’ (LP ‘Lovin’ Man’ US Mercury 818 479-1 M-1)
The Chocolate Syrup soulster’s great huskily wailing 104bpm rolling and jittering jogger (with Jones Girls support) has already been tipped as possibly – now almost certainly – the next “Dennis Edwards”, but unlike Dennis’s set Larry’s is full of other floor favourites, big up North being the Philly-meets-Brass Construction 118bpm ‘Weigh All The Facts’, romping 127bpm ‘Don’t Worry’, buoyantly skipping 116½bpm title track, the chunkily jolting 111bpm ‘Touch Down’ being his current US single while on three smoochers the man is marvellous as well. Real soul sets rarely come as consistently good. Continue reading “May 12, 1984: Jimmie Gray, Yvonne Gage, L.J. Reynolds, Cherrelle, Jermaine Jackson”

May 5, 1984: Edwin Starr, Bobby Womack, Jermaine Jackson, Exquisite Taste, Divine Sounds


Last Thursday’s soul awards would have looked busier back at Xenon rather than the Lyceum, where the hired muscle weren’t exactly bright and many of the guests reckoned it was a Chris Hill & Tony Blackburn benefit night – still, it was good to see all the faces, and especially veteran soul prophet/DH Lawrence-lookalike David Godin, who now runs Sheffield’s National Film Theatre . . . Greg Wilson may have given up jocking but his hairstyle seems to be carrying on in the North-West under the name of Chaz! . . . ‘Streetsounds 9’ is completed by George Howard ‘Steppin’ Out’, Ingram ‘Night Stalkers’, Gap Band ‘Someday’ joining Stanley Clarke/Howard Hewett, Funk Deluxe, Jones Girls, Real to Reel, AB’s, Carl Anderson – hot enough? . . . Jonathan King’s excellent Wednesday BBC2 ‘Entertainment USA’ is back, the first two having just included an interview with Lionel Richie, plus the Jacksons’ hair raising Pepsi commercial! . . . Capital Radio producer Mike Childs reports US cable music channel MTV is now showing almost more commercials than videos . . . New York’s urban radio stations WRKS (KISS-fm), WKTU and WBLS – in that order – have taken the black sound back to number one in the city’s ratings, over more popular contemporary top 40 . . . Thompson Twins ‘Hold Me Now’ topped US Dance/Disco last week, overtaken now by Talk Talk ‘It’s My Life’ – Billboard’s DJ sample seems very rock-orientated these days – while in the black charts Cameo have top LP plus two Jackson 5 greatest hits sets, one a picture disc and the other on cassette with an MJ die-cut “stand-up” . . . Jermaine reckons the Jacksons’ world tour should be here by Christmas! . . . Eddy Murphy’s new “straight” vocal is due, produced by Rick James, while no less than Bruce Springsteen’s imminent ‘Dancing In The Dark’ has been mixed for clubs by Arthur Baker . . . Manu Dibango has been recording with Afrika Bambaataa & Nairobi for MCA, evidently marathon electro hot tempo with jazzy sax . . . Arrow plays Harrow (Leisure Centre, that is) in June – hot hot hot! . . . Peabo Bryson is now on Elektra (as is Teddy Pendergrass), and Fatback (who play London’s Venue June 13) are on Cotillion – Womack & Womack do the Dominion June 10/11, incidentally . . . Tony Prince’s ever-expanding Disco-Mix Club has now combined with the ubiquitous Theo Loyla’s mailing service to form a new marketing company renamed The Superjocks Hot Squad, including twelve area controllers to oversee local promotion (club/media/retail) and arrange DMC membership for bona fide DJs, who now need to be proposed and seconded by current subscribers to the monthly promos/megamixes cassettes and magazine (details on 06286-67276) . . . Theo Loyla has been servicing jocks (to no great effect) with selected CBS product like Shalamar and Peter Brown, which may explain his attitude to my comments about CBS’s records still selling whether DJs got them for free or not: however, it’s noticeable that nothing new other than ‘PYT’ has hit our charts since the company’s mailing list ended, The SOS Band only just making it now this week on re-release (I’ve yet to “black” anything although I’m still not getting any review copies to tell our 16,000 DJ readers about) . . . Nightclub chart contributors seem much more influenced by their most recent Island mailouts in particular, with emphasis on recent, as many “hits” are so short-lived one wonders why they charted them in the first place? . . . Island’s slipmats, Nike hooded training jackets and now (for the select few) canvas record carrying cases will soon be followed by day-glo sweatshirts for promotional wear – what’s next, Jocelyn Brown leather wallets containing real money (please!)? . . . Steve Ogley now has a matching pair (of Malcolm X slipmats, that is!) – he funks Thur/Fri/Sat at Lowestoft’s refurbished Ziggie’s (ex-Snaps), where Paul Lincoln (0502-86679) is desperate for promo VHS videos which would get large screen showings in two rooms seven nights a week . . . Paul Earnshaw is hoping to promote groups from the North of England via video and wants to hear from VJs at 78 Fern Street, Colne, Lancs . . . Lyndon T is updating the soul/funk/electro/Hi-NRG mailing lists at Polo Records, 351 Edgware Road, London W2 . . . Gary Crowley’s Magic Box has moved back to 4-6pm on Saturdays on Capital so as not to clash with his dimpled self on TV’s ‘Ear Say’, which now gives Greg Edwards three hours again 6-9pm (and he’s even doing a Best Disco again at the Lyceum this Friday!) . . . Phil Allen, as hinted, left Capital’s Saturday night-time soul show for the daily dawn shift, John Sachs currently caretaking until hopefully Peter Young can keep us informed with the Fusion Top 40 . . . Tony Monson celebrated his 40th birthday last Friday stranded on the air at Horizon for six hours as the other jocks didn’t show up! . . . London’s airwaves now include an Asian pirate – what with Greek, reggae, soul etc, this really is community local radio . . . Change ‘Change Of Heart’ is too hot to hold – mixed in logical sequence Y&P/SOS Band/Change it’s the one that causes a commotion on the floor, so can we have a 12in NOW, please? . . . Evan Rogers of course is like Michael Wycoff ‘Tell Me Love’, which Jan Allen (Eastbourne Shimmers) finds a useful hot tempo . . . Ian Levine, most upset, insists the dodgy level drop towards the end of side two of his flawlessly mixed ‘StreetSounds Hi-Energy 2’ wasn’t his doing, and answers comments from Paul Major (Hinckley Bubbles) and others about Evelyn Thomas copying the ‘Relax’ riff with “’Snot, it’s more like ‘In The Navy’”! . . . Jo Jolly’s 100MPH Disco at Brighton Poynings Devils Dyke Hotel mixes Roni Griffith ‘The Best Part Of Breakin’ Up’ with ‘High Energy’ . . . Evelyn Thomas herself kicks off a tour at Sheffield Chequers Fri (4), London Bang Mon (7), Harringey Bolts Thur (10) . . . Hazell Dean does Bournemouth Boscombe The Academy Fri (4), Mimi hits Harringey Bolts Sat (5), Eartha Kitt Sun (6) . . . Phil England does Eastbourne King’s Country Club Thur (3), Dorchester Buzz Inn Sat (5) . . . Radio London’s Tony Blackburn and JFM’s Graham Gold soul West Norwood Norwood Suite’s G. Bee’s Nite Spot Friday (4), when Invicta’s Mastermind Roadshow cut up Peckham Kisses (where resident jock Gordon Mac forgot to turn the tape over during their Easter “four deck mix” – thanx!), Radio Kent’s Dave Brown & Ian Reading funk Southend Zero 6, and Chris Kaye again funks Southborough Royal Victoria Hall . . . Saturday (5) Gary Oldis sez “name that toon for cash” at sunny Scarborough’s packed Victoria’s (however he’s after Southern residencies on 0325-84619), Froggy funks Leysdown Stage 3, Peterborough Fletton Fleet Sleckers’ 1am (Sunday) allniter stars Jonathon, Steve Allen etc . . . Chris Hill & Jeff Young in a confusion over the date can’t make Sunday (6) at Glasgow Panama Jack’s alldayer – they thought it was Monday! . . . Horizon’s Gilles Peterson is taking over from Paul Murphy playing jazz/latin/samba/salsa/bebop for the twinkling feet every Friday in Camden Electric Ballroom’s jazz room . . . Kev Hill shouts from Whispers that while indeed straight jazz ain’t so hot in Harlow his recent Caister Reunion night attracted lots of soul weekenders, many club regulars included as his solid soul/funk Saturdays attract crowds from London/Southend/etc, who come from the music rather than to drink and start a tuck! . . . miaou miaou . . . hey, forget about “fresh”, let’s look at that FLESH!

Tripping the light fantastic, T.C. Curtis has somewhat belatedly unleashed a remix of his ‘Dance To The Beat’ (Hot Melt 12-TC 002, via IDS) now in the form of a 3-track 12in with a basic 119bpm A-side Remix or even brighter but shorter 118½bpm Club Remix as well as the original First Mix on the flip. A simple funk groove not unlike KC in chant structure, it’s moronic enough fun to deserve wider attention from pop jocks now the summer’s come.


EDWIN STARR: ‘Marvin’ (Streetwave MKHAN 12)
Borrowing its plopping backing twiddle from ‘I Can’t Stand The Rain’, this sincere heartfelt tribute “from a friend, to a friend” is a gently drifting 84/42-0bpm smoocher that’s usefully the same BPM as ‘Let’s Get It On’ (Kevin Keys ‘Distant Lover’ follows nicely). The lyrics especially will strike a responsive chord – except the opening evocative “it was a Sunday morning about 1am” is unfortunately a day out . . . the news broke here at 1am on Monday morning, and it was Sunday evening in the States. Other tributes are coming, though this’ll be a hard act to follow.

BOBBY WOMACK: ‘Tell Me Why’ (LP ‘The Poet II’ Motown ZL 72205)
Co-produced by Andrew Loog Oldham of early Stones fame (they covered the Womack brothers-comprised Valentinos’ ‘It’s All Over Now’ exactly 20 years ago), the gospel-drenched soul star’s hottest dancer is this superb jiggly 111bpm swaying backbeat snapper, great out of ‘Automatic’, while other slower snoggers are the Patti LaBelle duetted 35-71½bpm ‘Through The Eyes Of A Child’, and solo “shoo be doo wah” started old fashioned gently plopping 91-94bpm ‘Surprise Surprise’. The whole set is essential.

JERMAINE JACKSON: ‘Come To Me (One Way Or Another)’ (Arista JJK121)
Infinitely preferable to the derivative 136bpm rock-disco ‘Sweetest Sweetest’ A-side, this exotically frisky 115bpm rhythm kicker with a Latin lilt is a tuneful delight and locks onto Kenny G should the starkly skittering beats frighten you at first. An extremely classy return to ‘Rio’, not to be missed . . . and surely worth making plug-side? Continue reading “May 5, 1984: Edwin Starr, Bobby Womack, Jermaine Jackson, Exquisite Taste, Divine Sounds”