Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Holiday Rap!

No, no, no... not a Christmas holiday...  I'm referring to "Holiday Rap", a 1986 song by the Dutch duo, M.C. Miker G & DJ Sven.  Although the song was a hit in Europe, I remember hearing it in the United States.  It has a very catchy riff that should be familiar, since it's set to the 1983 song "Holiday" by Madonna.  I think I somehow taped this song off the radio back in the day and the fact that I heard it more than once while living in the USA was just dumb luck.

Anyway, I was reminded of "Holiday Rap" yesterday, while watching a video about the show, To Catch a Predator, which was popular in the mid 00s.  Someone used a clip of "Holiday Rap" to introduce the video, and I was instantly transported to 1986.


I am shocked by how cheesy this is.  Were things really this cheesy in 1986?

Well, things were pretty cheesy in the 80s, but I still love the music.  It's a lot of fun to hear these old hits from back in the day, even if they make me feel older than hell.  I love how a lot of the music from those days has stood up to the test of time.  Madonna's song, "Holiday", is breezy and poppy, but it still has an infectious groove and you can dance to it.  

I'm not sure that M.C. Miker & DJ Sven have improved on Madonna's classic, but I always chuckle when I hear this rap... even when it's almost Christmas time, and this is about a summer holiday.  And based how cold it is outside today, I would welcome a summer holiday... especially if it means COVID is less of a problem.  Here's hoping.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Lipps Inc... who knew? And rest in peace, Ronnie Wilson, of The Gap Band...

 A couple of nights ago, while sitting in rented accommodation in Slovenia, I was messing around on YouTube and watching old clips of the old British kids' show that included the Pink Windmill Kids, with Rod Hull and Emu.  Toward the end of the show's run, it was starting to resemble an American show called Kids Incorporated.  But whoever was choosing the songs for the Pink Windmill Kids' show, must have loved disco and dance music, even in the 80s.

Having grown up during that time, I am well familiar with the big hit, "Funkytown".  I used to hear it all the time at the skating rink.  

This was a big hit...  Probably Lipps Inc.'s biggest...

So there I was, sitting there watching the Pink Windmill Kids doing covers of songs like "Funkytown", although I don't think they ever actually did "Funkytown".  And they did a song called "Power", which was originally a Lipps Inc. song.  But "Power" also rips off "Venus" by The Shocking Blue and Bananarama... and the horn section also sounds suspiciously similar to James Brown.  

Pretty impressive...

"Power" definitely sounds like a song by the people who brought us "Funkytown",  But what really struck me was the unusual chord harmonies on the chorus.  And what struck me even harder is how well these girls from The Pink Windmill Kids do it... especially given that it's a "deep cut".  

Impressive stuff.  But by the end of the 80s, the Pink Windmill Kids were definitely channeling Kids Incorporated.

I'm surprised none of these kids turned out to be famous.  Or, at least none that I know of today...

Moving on...

Yesterday, I learned that Ronnie Wilson, one of the founding members of The Gap Band, died at age 73.  May he rest in peace.  

This song never gets old... it always reminds me of my childhood.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

A priceless piece of history... Karen, Tina, Olivia, Peaches, and Toni singing an Eagles hit!

I watched Tina Turner's HBO documentary the other day.  Included within that program was a clip from the time period during which Tina Turner was recovering from her marriage to and divorce from Ike Turner.  Tina joined Olivia Newton-John on a TV special she did around 1980 or so.  It was quite the epic party, and also included Elton John, Andy Gibb, and it looks like Cliff Richard was also on hand.

Check out Toni Tennille, Tina, Olivia, Karen Carpenter, and Peaches from Peaches and Herb.  Crazily enough, as I played this, my husband thought Peaches was me.  

Dayum!  Lots of talent up there!

What do you know?  Someone uploaded the whole show!  Wonder if I want to watch it?

Now THIS is entertainment!  I think this aired in April 1980; so I would have been seven years old.

I actually kind of miss these sorts of shows.  They were fun to watch, and the people behind them were legitimately talented.  Yes, they were often corny, but they allowed us to escape life for awhile.  I was as child at the time these aired, though, which may be why I liked them so much.  There's no accounting for taste, especially when you're a little kid.

I think most of these folks had the odd TV special... well, the women did, anyway.  I know The Carpenters and the Captain and Tennille did them.  And poor Tina was once on The Brady Bunch Hour.  Now THAT is an embarrassing way to make money!  But at least they didn't make her wear a skin tight polyester jumpsuit.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Ya Mama!

I just have to share this hilarious song from 1982 that I discovered (or possibly rediscovered) today.  One of my husband's friends from high school shared this popular rap song that his former suitemates at Sam Houston State University in Texas used to play all the time.

This song is funny!

I was ten years old in 1982, but I swear I don't remember this song, which was a one hit wonder for Wuf Ticket, an American hip hop group that consisted of Mustafa Ahmed, James Mason, Earl McField and Karin Wolf.  Although this song was fairly successful and got to number 21 on Billboard's Black Singles chart, their follow up song, "The Key" didn't chart.  Looks like these folks are now relegated to musical obscurity... but I sure had a good laugh listening to them today.

My friend, Andrew, calls this a "diss track".  I guess it's because the song mostly consists of two guys cutting each other down.  But then, when it gets to "Ya Mama", they rein themselves in, because it's not cool to cut down someone's mama.

I should have posted about this on Mother's Day.  I'm glad to have found it today, when I needed a good laugh.  This definitely qualified as crap from the past that belongs in the Dungeon!

Monday, May 31, 2021

Rest in Peace, B.J. Thomas...

I heard a few months ago that B.J. (Billy Joe) Thomas had lung cancer.  I was sorry to hear it, since his music was a big part of my soundtrack growing up.  I remember hearing his hit song, "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head", a song he did with Burt Bacharach for the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, so many times when I was a young child in the 1970s.  I'm listening to it now, as I write this post, enjoying the retro sound, yet realizing that it still sounds excellent in 2021.  I also remember him for being very handsome.  He had mesmerizing blue eyes and thick, dark hair... He was lucky to have looks and talent going for him.

B.J. Thomas passed away on May 29, 2021.  He leaves behind his wife of 51 years, Gloria Thomas, and three daughters, Paige, Nora, and Erin.  Thomas overcame many struggles with drug and alcohol addiction, eventually becoming a Christian.  But he still sang his pop hits in his concerts, and memorably contributed his distinctive voice to the theme song for Growing Pains, a sitcom I used to watch a lot when I was growing up.  In fact, a couple of months ago, I watched the whole series and heard B.J. singing that iconic theme over and over again for each episode.

Here are a few videos by him...

Probably his best known hit...

Another well known song!  Much better than the "ooga shaka" follow up by the group, Blue Swede.

B.J. sang this as a solo and with Jennifer Warnes. He later did a version with Dusty Springfield, which became a hit on the radio.

B.J. Thomas had a beautiful voice... much like his contemporary, Ray Stevens, who was reportedly offered "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" before B.J. was.  I'm glad it was done the way it was... I can't imagine a better singer for that song.  

Thoughts and prayers go out to Gloria Thomas and her daughters as the mourn the passing of their legendary husband and father.  And on another note, I can't believe I never mentioned B.J. Thomas on this blog before.  He really was a wonderful singer, and he came of age at a time when talent really mattered.  I hope he is at peace now... and I know he is no longer in pain.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

The Fat Boys...

Picture it.  It's the late 1980s.  I'm at a horse show in Hampton, Virginia.  Someone is blaring Top 40 radio.  It's The Fat Boys and their updated version of "Wipeout", which featured The Beach Boys.


Hearing that song at that moment left an indelible imprint on my brain.  Now, whenever I hear The Fat Boys sing "Wipeout", I am reminded of my days as a competitive equestrienne.  Those days are long over, of course.  I haven't been riding in over twenty years.  I miss it.

The Fat Boys came back into my consciousness yesterday, when I heard that one of the founding members died at age 52.  Prince Markie Dee, otherwise known as Mark Anthony Morales, died on February 11, 2021, just eight days shy of his 53rd birthday.  His death came after the untimely death of one of his bandmates, Darren (the Human Beat Box) Robinson, who died in 1995 at age 28.  Robinson died while doing something he supposedly loved-- rapping.  He'd been sitting on chair, performing for friends, when he fell off the chair and hit his head.  He never regained consciousness.  The other bandmate was Damon Wimbley, otherwise known as Kool Rock Ski.

The only other song by The Fat Boys that I remember as a hit was a remake of "The Twist" by Chubby Checker.  It was kind of a fun song, although the 80s update doesn't really stand up to the original.

"Come on baby.  Let's do the Twist."

Morales went on to work with other artists, notably Mary J. Blige.  He's remembered as a great guy, very talented... and he died much too young at age 52.  I certainly wasn't a mega fan of The Fat Boys, but their music always reminds me of a special time in my life-- the high school years.  Seems crazy that they were that long ago.

May Morales rest in peace.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Run Joey Run, by David Geddes...

Over the past week, I've been watching the first season of Glee.  A few days ago, I happened to see the episode in which Rachel Berry (played by Lea Michele) sang a song with the late Mark Salling entitled "Run Joey Run".  That song was a hit for David Geddes in 1975.  Somehow, I never heard it when I was growing up.  It's pretty awful, although it was apparently popular at the time it came out.

Original version.

As performed by the Glee folks...

"Run Joey Run" was a cheesy story song about a girl, who sounds about twelve or thirteen", begging her dad not to kill her lover, Joey.  But the girl, name of Julie, is unsuccessful in convincing her dad not to get out his shot gun.  As Julie pleads with her dad not to shoot, he opens fire and kills his daughter.

That song seems horribly dated and unbelievable-- at least for its time-- and also doesn't age well, because so many people have died due to gun violence.  The 70s were kind of a magical time, though, weren't they?  We had some real gems of shitty songs that somehow became hits.  I miss those days for a lot of reasons.  I was a little kid in the 70s, so it wasn't such a bad time for me, personally.  The 80s and 90s were more traumatic for me, although those days were less traumatic for the world at large.

I'm not sure anyone will want to cover "Run Joey Run", even for a show like Glee.  Actually, I think Glee is a bit cursed, so I'd be surprised if anyone tries to revive that show.  Sad that they lost three cast members who played students...  even Mark Salling, who was busted for having child porn and was about to be sent to prison when he hanged himself.  I don't rejoice in his suicide, even as I don't condone his crimes.  Very few people are all good or all bad.  I think that's true for Salling, too.  

Anyway, hopefully no one will copycat "Run Joey Run", in any way.