Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Brigette McWilliams

Brigette McWilliams (born in Chicago, Illinois) is a female R&B singer from the '90s. Her mother is singer Paulette McWilliams, who fronted Chaka Khan's band, Rufus (before Chaka Khan joined).
In 1994, Brigette released her debut album, "Take Advantage of Me" which didn't chart at all on the Billboard 200 chart.
Her first appearance on the Billboard charts was with her first single "I Get the Job Done" which peaked at #96 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 3 weeks.

Despite her talent, critics accused Brigette of attempting to force a soul voice into an R&B format.

After releasing her debut album, she was asked to appear as part of Black Women United (which also included female R&B artists such as Mary J. Blige, En Vogue, Zhane, Me'shell Ndegéocello, and Salt-N-Pepa) on the song "Freedom" which was featured on the 1995 "Panther" movie soundtrack.
In 1997, Brigette released her sophomore album "Too Much Woman" which also didn't peak on the Billboard 200 chart.

She enlisted soul musicians such as Billy Preston, former Rufus guitarist Bobby Watson, percussionist Paulinho De Costa, and Earth, Wind, & Fire members Al McKay (guitarist) and Larry Dunn (keyboardist).
The lead single from the album "Fire" peaked at #66 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 10 weeks, becoming Brigette's highest chart appearance to date. After that, she was dropped from Virgin Records' roster.
In 2005, Brigette released her third album, "Starlite Lounge" on Expansion Records in the UK. These days, she is married to director Mark Romanek and since 2005, she is a designer of upscale bags & purses called B. Romanek.

To see the music video for "I Get the Job Done," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dDsgTrRods

To see a fan-made video for "Fire," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vum1g_FGBBU



[updated on 04\16\2016]

Suavé

Suavé (born Waymond Anderson on February 22, 1966 in Los Angeles, California) was a male R&B singer from the late 80's. He is the son of R&B singer, Waymond Anderson, who was in the group, GQ.

Suave grew up in South Los Angeles raised by his great-grandmother. He sang in a church choir, wrote songs and orchestrated R&B arrangements in the "new jack swing" style in his home studio.

He was discovered at a New Edition concert in California in the mid-80's when one of the members of the group invited him on stage to sing with them. At age 19, Suave was signed to Capitol Records.
In 1988, Suavé released his debut album, "I'm Your Playmate" which peaked at #101 on the Billboard 200 and #26 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.
His hit single, a cover version of the Temptations' classic hit, "My Girl" peaked at #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #3 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 15 weeks.
The follow-up single, "Shake Your Body" peaked at #22 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 12 weeks.
Three years later in 1991, Suavé released his sophomore album, "To the Maxx" which failed to chart at all on the Billboard 200 or R&B Albums chart.
Just like the album, the single "Rocked Your Boots" flopped on the charts, failing to appear on the Billboard charts at all.

In 1993, Suavé was sentenced to life in prison for arson in the fire of a Los Angeles drug house near the University of Southern California which killed a drug addict. He was convicted based on the shaky testimony of two witnesses. Suave admitted to selling & using drugs, carrying guns and cheating on his wife.

In 2007, new evidence shows that he was not involved in the murder and a hearing was ordered to appeal his case. Since then, Suave remains in prison, but he hopes that he will be found innocent of these false charges.

To see the music video for "My Girl," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s92DFGRNv0s

To see the music video for "Shake Your Body," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=payg9C3TUgA

To see the music video for "Rocked Your Boots," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfOhSyZWRIc


[updated on 04\16\2016]

Scarlett and Black

Scarlett and Black (whose real names were Robin Hild and Sue West) were a pop music duo from the U.K. that were former backup vocalists for London rock band, Doctor and the Medics.
In 1987, they released their self-titled debut album on Virgin Records which managed to peak at #107 on the Billboard 200 a year later.
The duo's only hit song to date, "You Don't Know" peaked at #20 on the Billboard Hot 100, #32 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart, #41 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart and #13 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart.
Scarlett and Black's follow-up single, "Let Yourself Go-Go" didn't reach the same success as their previous single. After that, the duo was unable to provide another follow-up hit and had seemingly faded into obscurity.

After that, Sue West went on to play with Los Angeles power pop music act, Sparkle Jet UK from the mid 90's to early 2000's & these days, Robin Hild works as a songwriter.

To see the music video for "You Don't Know," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6qPno9wOhw

To see the music video for "Let Yourself Go-Go," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N35pCRlmnTg


[Updated on 04\16\2016]

Kon Kan

Kon Kan is a synth-pop duo from Toronto that originally consisted of singer\keyboardist\guitarist Barry Harris and singer Kevin Wynne.

The duo got their name from the phrase "Can Con" which is short for Canadian Content which is the name of a rule that enforces Canadian radio stations to at least play 30% music from Canadian musicians.
In 1989, Kon Kan released their debut album, "Move to Move" on Atlantic Records. It's unknown how or if the album charted in Canada or the US.
Kon Kan's first single was "I Beg Your Pardon (I Never Promised You a Rose Garden)" which sampled Lynn Anderson's 1971 hit song, "(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden" along with Silver Connection's 1976 hit song, "Get Up and Boogie (That's Right)," and Spagna's 1987 hit song, "Call Me."

The song became a hit, peaking at #19 on the Canadian Singles Chart. In the US, the song was Kon Kan's biggest hit to date, peaking at #15 on the Billboard Hot 100, #3 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart and topped Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart. The song was also successful in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.
The second single from the album, "Harry Houdini" peaked at #39 on the Canadian Singles chart and #88 on the UK Singles chart. In the US, the song managed to peak at #33 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart.
Kon Kan's third single was "Puss n' Boots\These Boots (Are Made for Walking)" which sampled Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made for Walking" along with Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song." The song peaked at #61 on the Canadian Singles chart and in the US, the song peaked at #58 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #14 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart.
The last single, the title song managed to peak at #84 on the Canadian Singles chart, but not in the US or internationally. After their debut album, Kevin Wynne left Kon Kan, leaving only Barry Harris.
In 1990, Barry released Kon Kan's sophomore album, "Syntonic" under the band's name. It's unknown how or if the album ever charted.

The album wasn't as successful as Kon Kan's debut and only two singles, "Liberty" and "Could've Said I Told You So" failed to become successful on the charts.
By 1993, Kon Kan were no longer signed to the Atlantic Records label and Barry had ran out of ideas. During that same year, their last album, "Vida!" was released to minimal success.
The only song from the album that charted, "Sinful Wishes" only peaked at #75 on the Canadian Singles chart.

After that, Barry Harris went on to form the techno\house music project, Outta Control with Rachid Webbi and Kimberley Wetmore. They released a self-titled album in 1996 and scored four hit songs on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart from 1995 to 1998.

In 1997, Barry became one half of the music production duo Thunderpuss, collaborating with deejay, producer & remixer Chris Cox. They worked together, remixing dance hits for various artists. They disbanded in 2003. After that, he continued with his deejaying career.

After remixing a song for Chaka Khan, Barry took a four-year hiatus from the music business, but re-emerged in 2009 with the song "Drama Queen (Texting You)." In 2011, he formed a rock band called
Sick Seconds.

In June of 2013, Barry and Kevin Wynne reunited as Kon Kan and these days, they continue to be active in the music business.

To see Kon Kan's Facebook page, go to:
https://www.facebook.com/konkanofficial

To follow Kon Kan on Twitter,  go to:
https://twitter.com/konkanofficial

To see the music video for "I Beg Your Pardon (I Never Promised You a Rose Garden)," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se-QYEgAU8E

To see the music video for "Harry Houdini," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FUxFoPy4IQ

To see the music video for "Puss 'n Boots\These Boots Are Made for Walking," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMX-2kifhmg

To see the music video for "Liberty," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60bA3lzOQ6M

To see the music video for "Sinful Wishes," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5m61QJdTQs

To see a fan-made video for "Could Have Said I Told You So," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqSzB4g-t2A


[Updated on 04\16\2016]

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Calloway

After leaving Midnight Star, brothers Reggie (real name Reginald born on January 23, 1955) and Vincent (born on January 5, 1957) Calloway formed their own music duo. Their father played the trumpet, their uncle played keyboards, and their aunt was an opera singer. They formed bands and started writing songs.
In 1989, Calloway released their first single, "I Wanna Be Rich" which peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, #5 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, #21 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart, and #20 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart.
A year later in 1990, Calloway released their debut album, "All the Way" which peaked at #80 on the Billboard 200 and #42 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.

The second single from the album, "Sir Lancelot" peaked at #19 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart in July of 1990, staying on the chart for 13 weeks. The last single, the title song peaked at #63 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #39 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart in March of 1990, staying on the chart for 13 weeks.

Two years later in 1992, Calloway released their sophomore album, "Let's Get Smooth" which peaked at #89 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart. The album wasn't as successful as their debut and only the title song managed to peak at #33 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart.

After that, Reggie and Vincent Calloway focused on production work and continue to work in the music biz as record producers. Calloway's two albums are available on iTunes and Amazon.com.

To see the music video for "I Wanna Be Rich," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ztk9t_m1FpY

To see the music video for "Sir Lancelot," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vq2ad7omm2o

To see the music video for "Let's Get Smooth," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdOnjAO7SDw


[updated on 05\07\12]

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Midnight Star

Midnight Star is an R&B\funk group from Frankfort, Kentucky. They were formed in 1976 at Kentucky State University by trumpeter Reggie Calloway, singer Belinda Lipscomb, guitarist\singer Melvin Gentry, bassist Kenneth Gant, multi-instrumentalist Bo Watson, and guitarist\keyboardist Jeff Cooper.

They later added Reggie's younger brother, Vincent, who played the trombone. They were signed to MCA Records.
In 1980, Midnight Star released their debut album, "The Beginning" which didn't chart on the Billboard 200, but the single, "Make it Last" managed to peak at #85 on Billboard's Hot Soul Singles chart in April of 1980, staying on the chart for 4 weeks.
A year later in 1981, the group released their sophomore album, "Standing Together" on Solar Records which peaked at #54 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.

The first single from the album, "I've Been Watching You" peaked at #36 on Billboard's Hot Soul Singles chart in July of 1981, staying on the chart for 11 weeks. The follow-up single, "Tuff" peaked at #60 on Billboard's Hot Soul Singles chart in November of 1981, staying on the chart for 9 weeks.
In 1982, Midnight Star released their third album, "Victory" which peaked at #58 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.

The first single from the album, "Hot Spot" peaked at #35 on Billboard's Black Singles chart in July of 1982, staying on the chart for 12 weeks. The title song peaked at #83 on Billboard's Black Singles chart in November of 1982, staying on the chart for only 4 weeks.

In 1983, Midnight Star released their fourth album, "No Parking on the Dance Floor" which peaked at #27 on the Billboard 200 and #2 on the R&B albums chart for 10 weeks. The album was successful and even certified double-Platinum.
The first single, "Freak-a-Zoid" peaked at #66 on the Billboard Hot 100, #44 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart, and #2 on Billboard's Black Singles chart in June of 1983, staying on the chart for 20 weeks.
The second single, "Wet My Whistle" peaked at #61 on the Billboard Hot 100, #15 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart, and #8 on Billboard's Black Singles chart in November of 1983, staying on the chart for 18 weeks.

The last single, the title song peaked at #81 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #43 on Billboard's Black Singles chart in February of 1984, staying on the chart for 13 weeks.
In 1984, the group released their fifth album, "Planetary Invasion" which peaked at #32 on the Billboard 200 and #7 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.
Midnight Star's biggest hit to date, "Operator" peaked at #18 on the Billboard Hot 100, #15 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart, and topped the R&B charts in November of 1984, staying on the chart for 17 weeks.

The second single, "Scientific Love" peaked at #80 on the Billboard Hot 100, #19 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart, and #16 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart in February of 1985, staying on the chart for 12 weeks.

The third single, "Body Snatchers" peaked at #31 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart in June of 1985, staying on the chart for 10 weeks.


Another single, "Curious" was released and received moderate airplay, but it's unknown how or if the song ever charted.
In 1986, Midnight Star released their sixth album, "Headlines" which peaked at #58 on the Billboard 200 and #7 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart. It was their last album to be certified Gold.

The title song managed to peak at #11 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart, #34 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart, and #3 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart in May of 1986, staying on the chart for 18 weeks.


The second single, "Midas Touch" peaked at #7 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart in August of 1986, staying on the chart for 18 weeks. The song also fared well in the United Kingdom.


Also, the single, "Engine No 9" peaked at #11 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart in December of 1986, staying on the chart for 15 weeks. "Headlines" became the last album for the Calloway brothers.

Reggie left Midnight Star after irreconcilable differences with other members. Vincent left the group shortly after his brother left.
In 1988, Midnight Star released their seventh self-titled album which peaked at #96 on the Billboard 200 and #14 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart. It was their first album after the Calloway brothers left the group.
They managed to score a dance hit with the single, "Don't Rock the Boat" which topped Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart. The song also peaked at #3 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart in September of 1988, staying on the chart for 19 weeks.
The follow-up single, "Snake in the Grass" peaked at #50 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart and  #10 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart in December of 1988, staying on the chart for 14 weeks.

Meanwhile, the Calloway brothers formed the group, Calloway. They released their debut album in 1989, scoring a hit with their song, "I Wanna Be Rich." (There will be a blog entry on Calloway after this one).

The last single from the album, "Love Song" peaked at #55 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles in July of 1989, staying on the chart for only 8 weeks.
In 1990, Midnight Star released their eighth album, "Work It Out" which failed to chart at all on the Billboard album charts.

The first single from the album, "Do It (One More Time)" peaked at #12 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 14 weeks.

The last single released from the album, "Luv-U-Up" peaked at #58 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart in September of 1990, staying on the chart for 7 weeks.

After the flop of "Work It Out," Midnight Star went on a long hiatus, but they never broke up.
In 2000, Midnight Star reunited with many of the original members and in 2002, they released their latest album, "12th Avenue. "

Ever since, the group has been touring sporadically with a recent lineup consisting of Belinda Lipscomb, Kenneth Gant, Melvin Gentry, Bo Watson, Bobby Lovelace, and sometimes Bill Simmons. As for the Calloway brothers, they still continue to work in the music biz as music producers.

To see the music video for "Midas Touch," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hkp9f_CjEL4

To see the music video for "No Parking on the Dance Floor," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gomCkCbKHA4

To see the music video for "Freak-a-Zoid," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8OL7I3hpYA

To see the music video for "Operator," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lz7nSkFhBP0

To see a fan-made video for "Curious," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joX3E3m7XtI

To see the music video for "Rock the Boat," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJp-UOJOrpI


[updated on 05\07\12]

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Jane Child

Jane Child (born Jane Richman on February 15, 1967 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada) is a pop\dance singer, musician, and producer. She is the daughter of late Canadian violinist\conductor\composer\arranger, Ricky Hyslop.

Jane took violin lessons from her father and voice lessons from her mother. Jane was known for her fashion style that included spiked hair with long braids and a chain linking a nose ring to an earring.

As a child, Jane was a part of the Canadian Opera Company's children's chorus and she attended the Royal Conservatory of Music until she dropped out to join a rock band in Toronto. Jane was signed to Warner Music in 1988.
A year later in 1989, Jane released her self-titled debut album which peaked at #49 on the Billboard 200 and #40 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.

Jane wrote and arranged all the songs on the album. She also sang and played keyboards, synthesizers, synth & electric bass, drums, and percussion on the album too.
Jane's hit song, "Don't Wanna Fall in Love" peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, #5 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart, #11 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart, and #6 on Billboard's Hot R&B\Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. The song was also successful in the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden, and New Zealand.

The song was produced by Teddy Riley and written by Jane herself. The song peaked low in the UK because Jane refused to appear on "Top of the Pops" because she considered the program a "sellout."

In April of 1990, "Don't Wanna Fall in Love" was certified Gold by the RIAA. The song is known as Jane's only big hit, making her a "one-hit wonder" singer.
The follow-up single, "Welcome to the Real World" peaked at #49 on the Billboard Hot 100, unable to match the success of her hit song.
In 1993, Jane released her sophomore album, "Here Not There" which didn't chart at all on the Billboard 200 chart. The album consisted of hard rock music elements instead of the dance-pop music from her debut.
The album wasn't very successful and the only single to chart was, "All I Do" which managed to peak at #25 on Billboard's dance charts. Jane contributed the song, "Mona Lisa Smiles" to the 1992 movie, "Freejack" a year before the album's release.

After that, Jane had faded away from the music scene for several years, but she managed to keep herself busy by providing backing vocals and working on several projects.
In 1996, Jane started work on her third album, "Surge" which was finally released in 2001 on her website on her own record label.

During 2001, Jane re-recorded the song, "World Lullabye" (from her first album) and sold the song on her website. All proceeds were donated to the Twin Towers Fund.

Jane's fourth album has yet to be released, and today she's working & recording movie soundtracks. It's unknown when the release date for Jane's next album will be.

To see the music video for "Don't Wanna Fall in Love," go to:
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xcxgmh_jane-child-don-t-wanna-fall-in-love_music

To see the music video for "Here Not There," go to:
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xcx5s7_jane-child-here-not-there_music

To see the music video for "Do Whatcha Do," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1G829RrNLfs

To see the music video for "Welcome to the Real World" (thanks to Maxwell K for the link), go to:
http://www.spike.com/video/jane-child-welcome/2790688