Written by K. Gamble and L. Huff, ‘You’re The Reason Why‘ is a great Philly ballad that was first released as a single hit in 1971 and was then included in ‘The Ebonys‘ album, which was released in 1973 by Philadelphia International Records.
Formed in Camden, New Jersey, USA, and comprising Jenny Holmes, David Beasley, James Tuten and Clarence Vaughan, the Ebonys had a Dells-styled approach of baritone lead with answering falsetto second lead. The group was discovered by Gamble and Huff and recorded consistently for Philadelphia International Records label in the early 70s, but achieved only two sizeable hits on the R&B charts, including ‘You’re The Reason Why’, which reached number 10 on 1971 R&B Charts.
Taken from the album ‘It’s Good To Be Alive‘, ‘Say You Love Me’ is a tender ballad, sung, written, produced and arranged by the talented D.J. Rogers (DeWayne Julius Rogers), an American (born in Los Angeles, CA) singer, songwriter and producer.
‘It’s Good To Be Alive‘ was released in 1975. Produced and written by D.J. Rogers, this would be his second studio album and his debut album on RCA record label. Here’s the album cover…
Written by Tom Eyen (lyrics) and Henry Krieger (music) and performed by Jennifer Holliday, ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’ is a torch song from the 1981 Broadway musical ‘Dreamgirls‘, a show loosely based on the history of the ‘Supremes’. In the context of the musical, ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’ is sung by the character Effie White, a singer with the girl group ’The Dreams’, to her manager, Curtis Taylor Jr., whose romantic and professional relationship with Effie is quickly ending.
In 1982, after becoming the signature song of the show, ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’ was released as a single, topping R&B charts for 4 consecutive weeks), while, in 1983, Jeniffer Holliday won a Grammy for ‘Best Female R&B Vocal Performance’.
‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’ was also recorded, in 2006, by Jennifer Hudson, who portrayed Effie White in the DreamWorks/Paramount motion picture adaptation of ‘Dreamgirls‘. Her recording of the song, the Dreamgirls film soundtrack’s second single, peaked at number 60 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, and number 14 on the R&B chart. The song can, also, be heard on her debut album Jennifer Hudson (2008). According to Jennifer Hudson, she discovered the song when Will Smith lip-synched to Jennifer Holiday’s version in a 1995 episode of the sitcom ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air‘.
Here’s an amazing live performance of the song by Jennifer Holliday for an Arista Special event which took place at Radio City Music Hall.
Frankie Smith’s ‘Double Dutch Bus’ was on top of US R&B charts on August 8, 1981 for a 4th consecutive week. Produced by Frankie Smith himself and co-written with Bill Bloom, the song was one of the top funk hits of the year.
As stated in Wikipedia, “the song title represents a combination of two institutions in Smith’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania neighborhood: the double Dutch jump rope game played by neighborhood kids; and the SEPTA bus system that was a backbone of the local transportation network (and for which Smith had unsuccessfully applied for a bus driving position; the Transpass referred to in the song is an actual SEPTA pass)“.
It is also worth-mentioning that ‘Double Dutch Bass’ made famous for its extensive use of the ”izz” infix form of slang, which was based on a style of cant (esoteric slang) used by African American pimps and jive hustlers of the 1970s and which was recently re-popularized by Snoop Dogg.
Written by M. Sutton and B. Sutton, ‘Shake It Up Tonight’ was an early 80s dance single hit for Cheryl Lynn, appearing on ‘In The Night’ album, which was produced by Ray Parker Jr. and released in 1981.
Here’s the 12″ version of the song:
And here’s the album’s cover:
PS: Someone please explain how this great up tempo hit failed to make the UK charts!
Written and co-produced by Bobby DeBarge, ‘There’ll Never Be’ was included in the group’s selftitled debut album, released in 1978. ‘There’ll Never Be’ was their first song to reach the Top10 R&B Charts.
Switch was a soul and funk sextet formed in Mansfield, Ohio in 1974. Featuring brothers Bobby and Tommy DeBarge and Greg Williams, all of whom hailed from Grand Rapids, Michigan along with Akron, Ohio natives Phillip Ingram (brother of James Ingram), Eddie Fluellen and Jody Sims, they initially called themselves ‘First Class’.
After the guises of ‘White Heat’ and ‘Hot-Ice’, they eventually change their name to Switch due to their ability to ‘switch’ to different instruments during a song. The group got the attention of Jermaine Jackson who heard the group’s demo tape and within days the group was promply signed to the Motown Records subsidiary label, Gordy, where they recorded 5 of their total 6 albums (the last one was recorded at Total Experience Records).
Composed by Josephine Armstead and Nickolas Ashford, ‘Silly, Wasn’t I’ was a soul hit included in Valerie Simpson’s (the female half of soul duo Ashford and Simpson) second personal album, ‘Valerie Simpson’, which was released in 1972.
It is worthmentioning that in 1972, ‘Silly, Wasn’t I’ reached no24 on R&B Charts, while in 2005 it was sampled on 50 Cent’s ‘Best Friend’ single, which was part of the soundtrack of the film ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin’.
Composed by Van McCoy, ‘To Each His Own’ is an uplifting 70s song, one of the first to be introduced into the disco era. The song was included in the ‘Faith, Hope & Charity’ album, which was released in 1975. Van McCoy also recorded ‘To Each his Own’ for his ‘The Real McCoy’ album, which featured ‘Faith, Hope & Charity’ members Brenda Hillard, Albert Bailey, Diane Destry on background vocals.
The group originated in Tampa, Florida, and they were active from 1970 to 1979. Originally named ‘The Lovelles’ (with Zulema Cusseaux, Brenda Hilliard and Al Bailey as the founding members), they changed their name and signed their 1st contract to Maxwell Records after meeting Van McCoy.