Thought we’d do something different today. My friends at ARSA suggested a survey from KGFJ in Los Angeles, California, which played R&B from the late 1950’s until about 1997. Wikipedia tells us that they went on the air in 1923 and was one of the first stations to adopt a 24-hour format. They are now KYPA, a Korean-language station. Here’s their Top 10 from this date in 1980. All factoids are from Wikipedia.
- Stephanie Mills, “Sweet Sensation” Stephanie was the original Dorothy in The Wiz on Broadway, and for many years the song “Home” from that show was her signature tune. In the ’80’s she had a string of hits on the R&B chart. This was the title track from her 1980 album and reached #3 on the national R&B chart.
- Jermaine Jackson, “Let’s Get Serious” Jermaine was the second lead singer and bass player for The Jackson Five and had a solo career around the same time his brother Michael did. This song reached #1 on the R&B chart and went to #9 on the Hot 100.
- Brass Construction, “Get Up To Get Down” Brass Construction was a band out of Brooklyn that had a string of hits from the late ’60’s to 1985. It was from their 1980 album Brass Construction 5, but I couldn’t find any information on national chart performance.
- Cameo, “Shake Your Pants” Originally known as The New York City Players, they changed their name to Cameo to avoid being confused with The Ohio Players. From their 1980 album Cameosis (which reached #1 on the R&B albums chart), this song reached #8 on the R&B chart and #57 on the Dance chart.
- Gladys Knight & The Pips, “Landlord” Gladys and the Pips take it downtempo with this, from their 1980 album About Love. It reached #3 on the R&B chart nationwide.
- Teena Marie, “Behind The Groove” A protegee of Rick James and dubbed “The Ivory Queen of Soul,” this is the lead track from her 1980 album Lady T. It only reached #21 on the R&B chart nationally, but #3 on the Dance chart.
- S. O. S. Band, “Take Your Time (Do It Right)” The SOS Band (SOS stands for “Sounds of Success”) is from Atlanta and were originally named Santa Monica. This was their first single, and arguably most popular, reaching #1 on the R&B and Dance charts and #3 on the Hot 100 and was certified Platinum.
- Stacy Lattisaw, “Dynamite!” 13-year-old Stacy recorded her first album, Young And In Love, in 1979. Her original producer was Van McCoy (“The Hustle”), but she found the most success with Narada Michael Walden. This is from her second album, 1980’s Let Me Be Your Angel, and reached #1 on the Disco chart and #8 on the R&B chart.
- Gene Chandler, “Rainbow ’80” The Duke of Earl himself, Gene is a member of the Grammy Hall of Fame and R&B Hall of Fame and is noted for having hits in doo-wop, R&B, soul and disco, charting on either the Pop or R&B charts some 40 times between 1961 and 1987. Chicago, his hometown, renamed 59th Street between Racine and May for him in 2016. No information on the chart performance of this nationwide.
- Larry Graham, “One In A Million You” Larry is the former bass player for Sly & The Family Stone and founder of Graham Central Station, and is credited with developing the slap-bass style (“thumpin’ and pluckin'”). He had a huge hit with this downtempo song, the title track from his 1980 album, reaching #1 on the R&B chart and #8 on the Hot 100 that year.
And there’s your Friday 5×2 for July 6, 2018.