Saturday, August 30, 2008

Message from the Music Know-It-All

I just wanted to let you know that I will be taking a little hiatus from the blog to focus on other work and do some more music research for the blog. But, don't worry, I'm not giving up on my blog. I will try to come up with some new entries soon.

I will let you know when I will update the blog again. Until then, please enjoy the rest of the previous blog entries and feel free to comment on them if you please.

Yours Truly,
The Music Know-It-All

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Boys

The Boys are an all-male R&B group consisting of the Abdulsamad brothers from Carson, California. The brothers are: Khiry (born on November 8, 1973), Hakeem (born on March 26, 1975), Tajh (born on December 10, 1976) and Bilal (born on April 17, 1979).

Along with their music career, some of the brothers have acting experience as well, appearing in various television shows & movies.

Khiry and Hakeem first began singing when they were 9 and 5 years old respectively. Their younger brothers would later join them when they first began entertaining in public for tips. They first began singing in public when they were unable to afford a Father's Day gift for their father, Jabari. Their mother, Angela suggested that they sing at the beach in Venice, California which turned out to be a good idea as they earned more than $50 in just a few hours.

During the summer of 1984, Jabari took his sons to Venice Beach every weekend where they earned $12,000 which helped pay for their school clothes & books. The Boys were only allowed to perform in public during their summer break.

Their parents' goal was to shape their sons into productive adults. Even though Jabari majored in early childhood education in college, he worked as an ironworker and ran a carpet cleaning business for extra income.

In the summer of 1986, the brothers decided that they didn't want to perform at the beach anymore and wanted to make records. Angela and Jabari attended a four-week course at the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College called "Entertainment Management" which taught them the ropes of the entertainment industry.

The Boys later performed at local talent shows and private parties. One day at a talent show they were performing at, the announcer asked Angela the group's name. At first, she responded with "my boys," but later changed her answer to "the Boys" and the name stuck.

Jabari delivered a self-produced demo to MCA, Motown and Solar Records. All three companies wanted them, but in the end, they chose to sign with MCA. After Berry Gordy retired from Motown Records, the brothers were moved to the label and Jheryl Busby became in charge.

Not only could the Boys sing, they wrote & produced their own songs, making them Motown Records' youngest producers.

While working on their debut album, the Boys befriended Babyface & L.A. Reid (who worked on the songs "Lucky Charm," "A Little Romance" and "Dial My Heart").

At first, they didn't like the songs, but changed their minds after Babyface performed them live at their house.
In 1988, the Boys released their debut album, "Messages From The Boys" which peaked at #33 on the Billboard 200 and #3 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.  
The first single from the album "Dial My Heart" which peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 (becoming their highest chart appearance on the Hot 100 to date) and topped Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart for a week in December of 1988.

The song also peaked at  #18 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart, #2 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart and #61 on the U.K. Singles chart.
The second single from the album, "Lucky Charm" became another hit for The Boys, topping Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart for a week in April of 1989, but missed the Billboard Hot 100. It also managed to peak at #14 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart & #94 on the U.K. Singles chart.
The third single from the album "A Little Romance" peaked at #29 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 10 weeks.
The last single released from the album, "Happy" peaked at #57 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for only 8 weeks.
In 1990, The Boys released their self-titled sophomore album which peaked at #108 on the Billboard 200 and #24 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.
The first single from the album "Crazy" became the group's third (and last to date) number-one R&B hit, topping Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart for a week in September of 1990. The song also peaked at #29 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #57 on the U.K. Singles chart. The song was even featured in a commercial for Pepsi soda. 

Jabari established a 900 number that for $2.50 a minute, you could chat with the Boys in supposedly "real time" and became successful. He was able to do this without interference or compensation to Motown Records because he kept all of the group's ancillary rights.

Motown wanted to get the Boys a manager due to their parents' inexperience in managing, but Jabari & Angela refused to do so and continued to manage their sons' career.
The follow-up single from the album, "Thing Called Love" peaked at #14 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 17 weeks.
The last single from the album, "Thanx 4 The Funk" peaked at #26 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart and #8 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 16 weeks.
In 1992, the Boys released their last studio album, "The Saga Continues...." peaked at #191 on the Billboard 200 and #45 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.
The only single from the album to chart was the title song which peaked at #15 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 14 weeks.

After the group's record contract with Motown expired in 1993, they were offered a six-year deal which they accepted at first, but then decided that they didn't want to record music for the label anymore. The label even offered them their own label deal, but they passed on the two music acts they produced for.

After leaving Motown, the Boys stepped out of the spotlight in favor of pursuing a journey of self discovery. During that time, they moved to West Africa, focusing on studying and traveling along with developing their music production skills.

In 1998, the Abdulsamad brothers began releasing new music independently under the name "Suns of Light." Since then, they have released various indie solo projects and producing music.

These days, Hakim and Bilal reside in Gambia where they operate two recording studios. Khiry works in film & video production in Los Angeles, California. Tahj works in merchandising in Atlanta, Georgia.

To see the Boys' website, go to:
https://www.theboysallaccess.com/

To see the Boys' Facebook page "The Boys All Access," go to:
https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTheBoys

To see the music video for "Dial My Heart," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBPpa8RROIo

To see the music video for "Lucky Charm," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7Tq0-LZ9Es

To see the music video for "A Little Romance," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dl07EUPZiY

To see the music video for "Happy," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TFwKwtI8MQ

To see the music video for "Crazy," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TzePE4ufMI

To see the music video for "Thing Called Love," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8t_O0EdTctQ

To see the music video for "Thanx 4 The Funk," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwXnCagZzaI

To see the music video for "The Saga Continues," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zi-r-RTHQaQ

[updated on September 22, 2017]

Important Message from the Music Know-It All

Because of some problems with my computer, it will be awhile until I can put more blog entries up. I will write some blog entries, but I will be unable to put up the video links and pictures on until further notice.

Until then, please enjoy the rest of my previous blog entries and keep the positive comments coming.

Yours Truly,
The Music Know-It-All
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
UPDATE: 08\20\08
My computer situation has been resolved and I will try to update the blog as much as I can.
Yours Truly,
The Music Know-It-All

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Surface

Surface was an R&B group from the 80s and early 90s that consisted of singer/bassist Bernard Jackson (born on July 11, 1959 in Stamford, Connecticut), David Townsend (born on May 17, 1955 in Inglewood, California), and David Conley (born on December 27, 1953 in Newark, New Jersey).

David Townsend was the son of late singer/songwriter, Ed Townsend. He was also a member of the band, Port Authority in the 70s along with David Conley, who was the bassist of funk band, Mandrill from 1978 to 1981. Bernard moved from Stamford to New York to pursue a music career.

While he was in New York, his godfather said that he should contact his nephew, David Townsend, who played guitar with the Isley Brothers, who produced their band, Sunrize with David, drummer/writer, Everett Collins, and long-time friend & bassist, Tony Herbert from David's high school in Englewood. Townsend and Conley met when he was in a 70s band in Los Angeles.

Conley, Townsend, and Everett Collins started writing back in New Jersey and began performing under the name "Surface" featuring lead singer Karen Copeland.

After a brief break from recording, Townsend and Conley met Bernard and reformed Surface in 1983 with Bernard as the frontman/bass guitarist. Then, they became songwriters for EMI, writing songs for New Edition, Gwen Guthrie, and Sister Sledge.
In 1983, Surface released their debut single, "Falling in Love" which peaked at #84 on Billboard's Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 4 weeks. In the U.K., the song peaked at #67 on the U.K. Singles chart.
A year later, they released their second single, "When Your Ex Wants You Back" which peaked at #52 on the U.K. Singles chart, but didn't make the charts in the United States. Surface later moved to Los Angeles to search for more mainstream success.
In 1986, Surface's song, "Let's Try Again" caught the attention of Larkin Arnold of Columbia Records, who signed the band to the label and released the song as a single.

The song first peaked at #80 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 5 weeks, but a year later, the song charted at #22 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 12 weeks.

During that same year, Bernard met a friend, Brian Simpson and recorded a demo tape of a song he had written called "The First Time." He believed it to be a hit and hired a recording studio to get the best professional conditions for the track.
During that same year, Surface released their debut album, which peaked at #55 on the Billboard 200 and #11 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.
The follow-up single from the album, "Happy" became a hit, peaking at #20 on the Billboard Hot 100, #16 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart, #24 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart, and #2 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 22 weeks. In the U.K., the song peaked at #56 on the U.K. Singles chart.
The last single from the album, "Lately" peaked at #8 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 14 weeks. "The First Time" did not appear on Surface's debut album and remained unreleased.
In 1989, Surface released their sophomore album, "2nd Wave" which peaked at #56 on the Billboard 200 and #5 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart. The album was certified Platinum by the RIAA.
The first single, "I Missed" peaked at #3 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 17 weeks.
The second single from the album, "Closer Than Friends" peaked at #57 on the Billboard Hot 100, #39 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart, and topped Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart for 2 weeks in March of 1989, staying on the chart for 23 weeks.
The third single, "Shower Me With Your Love" peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100, #3 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart, and became Surface's second #1 R&B hit, topping Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart for a week in July of 1989, staying on the chart for 20 weeks.
The fourth single from the album, "You Are My Everything" peaked at #84 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became Surface's third #1 R&B hit, topping Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart for 2 weeks in November of 1989, staying on the chart for 16 weeks.
The last single from the album, "Can We Spend Some Time" peaked at #5 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 17 weeks.
In 1991, Surface released their third album, "3 Deep" which peaked at #65 on the Billboard 200 and #19 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart. The album was certified Gold by the RIAA.
The first single, "The First Time" (which was originally recorded in 1986) became Surface's biggest hit to date, topping the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks, topped Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart, and topped Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart for a week in January of 1991, staying on the chart for 22 weeks.
The second single from the album, "All I Want Is You" peaked at #8 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 15 weeks.
The third single, "Never Gonna Let You Down" peaked at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100, #17 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart, and #24 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 13 weeks.
The last single from the album, "You're the One" peaked at #35 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 11 weeks.
In 1991, Surface released their compliation album, "The Best Of Surface...A Nice Time 4 Lovin'." It's unknown how or if the album made the charts.

The only single to chart was "....A Nice Time For Lovin'" which peaked at #52 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 7 weeks. In 1994, Bernard and Townsend left Surface and they later broke up.
In 1998, Surface reformed and released their last studio album to date, "Love Zone" which didn't appear to make the charts at all.

A few years later, Surface announced a return to live appearances, but they were cancelled when David Townsend was found deceased in his home from unknown causes on October 26, 2005 at the age of 50, two years after the death of his father.

In 2000, Bernard released his self-titled solo album. He appears to still be active in the music business, dabbling in reggae music.

David Conley also continues to be active in the music business, working with artists such as Blackstreet, the Spice Girls, Victoria Beckham, Isaac Hayes, Olivia, George Benson, R. Kelly, and many more. He continues to compose, produce and market many of his own projects.

To see a fan-made video for "Falling in Love," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b91YqHJfqUA

To see a fan-made video for "When Your Ex Wants You Back," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lq2nAB7KCKE

To see a fan-made video for "Let's Try Again," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-OJWw6brkg

To see the music video for "Happy," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7_dAYT4TgA

To see the music video for "Lately," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tnTDr7QlSA

To see a fan-made video for "I Missed," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7jhbXNk_yY

To see a fan-made video for "Closer Than Friends," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cXNKxb6aco

To see the music video for "Shower Me With Your Love," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5Ua835sudU

To see the music video for "You Are My Everything," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WemYkwGjik

To see the music video for "Can We Spend Some Time," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKtH__iVQkM

To see the music video for "The First Time," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Sz2HOAb54w

To see the music video for "All I Want is You," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-X7-7yJNS4M

To see a fan-made video for "Never Gonna Let You Down," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTL4hibNrcU

To see a fan-made video for "You're the One," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KvWz7y-_kw


[updated on 02/28/13]

Corina

Corina (born Corina Katt Ayala in Manhattan, New York) is a former freestyle\dance singer from the 90's.

As a young girl, she would listen to her mother's old records and perform in front of the mirror. After noticing her daughter's talent, Corina's mother signed her up for singing & dance classes along with entering her in various talent shows.

Even though Corina began working in the recording studio when she was only a preteen, it wasn't until 1987 that she met her manager, Pepper Negron, who introduced her to music producer, Carlos Berrios.
During that same year, she released her first single, "Out of Control" on Cutting Records, which didn't appear to make the Billboard charts at all.
Corina's second single, "Give Me Back My Heart" which peaked at #26 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart in March of 1989 and #25 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart.
In 1990, she released her third single, "Loving You Like Crazy" which peaked at #31 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart.
In 1991, Corina released her self-titled debut album which didn't appear to make the Billboard 200 chart.
The first single from the album, "Temptation" became Corina's biggest hit song to date, peaking at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August of 1991, #22 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart in July of 1991, and topped Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart.
The follow-up single from the album, "Whispers" peaked at #51 on the Billboard Hot 100 in November of 1991 and #17 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart.
The last single from the album, "Now That You're Gone" peaked at #28 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart in May of 1992.
When freestyle music began to go out of style, Corina had seemed to fade into obscurity until 1997 when she released a cover of fellow freestyle musician, Nocera's song, "Summertime, Summertime" on So So Def Records.

The song peaked at #88 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July of 1997, #24 on Billboard's Rhythmic Top 40 chart, and #64 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 9 weeks.

In 1999, Corina turned to acting under the name "Corina Katt" and starred in the movie, "Cradle Will Rock" along with a few independent films.

She has also worked in theater in New York. Today, Corina now works as an actress, writer, and director. She also continues to sing as well.

To see Corina's official website, go to:
http://corinakattayala.com/

To see the music video for "Temptation," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8jRfWiLHGY

To see the music video for "Summertime, Summertime," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90F4BMRUauQ

To see the music video for "Whispers," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YivHtu0B64

To see a fan-made video for "Now That You're Gone," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9ZQRFcyWEY

To see the music video for "Out of Control," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVzVGLiay1o

To see a fan-made video for "Give Me Back My Heart," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pStR183rzYA


[updated on 09\09\12]

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Timex Social Club


Timex Social Club is an R&B/new jack swing music group from Berkeley, California that was produced, pressed, marketed and promoted by producer/artist, Jay King.

They were first known as the Timex Crew and consisted of members Marcus Thompson, Gregory "Greg B" Thomas, Michael Marshall, Kevin Moore, Craig Samuel, Darrien Cleage, and Alex Hill. By 1986, Craig, Darrien, and Gregory left the group. Alex Hill & Kevin Moore were later added and the name "Timex Social Club" was adopted.
In 1986, the group released their debut album, "Vicious Rumors" which peaked at #29 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.
The first single, "Rumors" became a hit, peaking at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100, topped Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart for 3 weeks, topped Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart, and topped Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart for 2 weeks in July of 1986, staying on the chart for 24 weeks. In the U.K., the song peaked at #13 on the U.K. Singles chart.

The success of "Rumors" led Russell Simmons to hire them as the opening act for 38 dates on Run DMC's "Raising Hell" tour. They also opened up for New Edition, Midnight Star, the S.O.S. Band, Jermaine Jackson, and Kool & the Gang.
The follow-up single, "Thinkin' About Ya" peaked at #15 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 18 weeks.
The last single from the album, "Mixed Up World" peaked at #15 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 15 weeks. In the U.K., the song peaked at #81 on the U.K. Singles chart.

After that, it seemed as if the Timex Social Club had faded into obscurity and Jay King went on to have success with Club Nouveau.

These days, Marcus Thompson and Club Nouveau member, Samuelle Prater continue to perform as the current lineup for Timex Social Club and continues to tour.

Marcus has worked & written songs for artists such as Ebony Lover & DJ Crazy Jaye, B-Boy K and Test of Time (in which he founded and was a member), 2 Bigg MC and MTume.

He formed his own record label, Rumorecords and in 1987, he released the single, "Frat Dance." Along with performing as Timex Social Club, he is also a DJ who spins old school music at events, clubs & private parties.

Marcus works and resides in Northern California. In 2011, he released the book, "How Do Rumors Get Started: The True Story of Timex Social Club."

Michael Marshall also resides in Northern California and is the only active member of the group still recording. He has worked with music group, The Mo 'Fessionals and appaered on Luniz's hit song, "I Got 5 On It."

Alex Hill is retired from the music business and works & resides in Northern California. These days, he's a proud father. He has worked with & written songs for artists such as Ebony Lover & DJ Crazy Jaye, La Rue (in which he was a member), Club Nouveau, and Marcus Thompson's group, Test of Time.

Fred Busby performed with the group in the summer of 1986 on the 2nd half of Run DMC's "Raising Hell" tour.

He replaced Michael Marshall to help Timex Social Club complete the duration of the 1986 tour. Fred also worked with Test of Time and was the lead singer on the single, "People Change" in 1987, which was co-produced by James Mtume.

Sadly on August 4, 1992, Kevin Moore was fatally shot and is survived by his wife & three daughters. He worked with and wrote songs for Digital Underground and Test of Time.

To see the music video for "Rumors," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVtcp8XHhOo

To see the music video for "Mixed Up World," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5RKzhY-ufU

To see a fan-made video for "Thinkin' About Ya," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoJqCjoI5n0

[updated on 02/28/13]