Two for Tuesday: Al Jarreau (Yacht Rock)

In his career, Al Jarreau was popular with pop, R&B, jazz, and Latin audiences, and he was a natural fit with the soft rock artists that are generally seen as “yacht rock” favorites. His biggest hits were in the appropriate time period (the late ’70’s and early ’80’s) and he won six Grammy awards and was nominated for a dozen more.

Al’s first big hit was “We’re In This Love Together,” which came out in 1981 and rose to #15 on the Hot 100 and #6 on both the R&B and Adult Contemporary charts in the US and #1 on the Canadian Adult Contemporary chart.

His next big hit, 1983’s “Mornin’,” only reached #21 on the Hot 100, but reached #6 on the R&B chart and #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart in the US and #3 on the Canadian Adult Contemporary chart. In 2006, his remake of the song wih George Benson on guitar reached #1 on the Jazz chart in the US.

Al Jarreau died of respiratory failure in Las Angeles in 2017, two days after announcing his retirement and one month before his 77th birthday. He left behind a legacy of great music, and is still popular on Adult Contemporary and Smooth Jazz Stations.

Next week, Top Ten Tuesday moves into this slot, while Two for Tuesday moves to Friday and becomes Five For Friday. Hope you’ll join us then!

Two For Tuesday: Player (Yacht Rock)

Player got their start in Los Angeles in the mid-’70’s and recorded four albums between 1977 and 1981. The original quartet had Peter Beckett (a British transplant) on guitar and vocals, J. C. Crowley on keyboards and vocals, Ronn Moss on bass and vocals, and John Friesen on drums. The band released eight singles, three of which made the Top 40, two in the Top 10.

“Baby Come Back” was from their 1977 eponymous debut album. It reached #1 in the US and Canada. Later that year, they released “This Time I’m In It For Love”, also from the debut album, which reached #10 in the US and #12 in Canada.

“Prisoner of Your Love” was from their second album, 1978’s Danger Zone. It only reached #27 in the US and #32 in Canada.

Player, your Two for Tuesday, June 23, 2020.

Two For Tuesday: Ambrosia (Yacht Rock)

Ambrosia got their start in 1970 as a quartet: David Pack (guitar and vocals), Joe Puerta (bass and vocals), Christopher North (keyboards) and Burleigh Drummond (drums). They were influenced by The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and King Crimson. Their eponymous first album was released in 1975 and included the song “Holdin’ On To Yesterday,” which reached #17 on the Hot 100.

Their first Top 10 hit, “How Much I Feel,” came from their third album, 1978’s Life Beyond LA. It reached #3 on the Hot 100 and #11 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

Their fourth album, 1980’s One Eighty, produced two of the biggest hits of that year, “Biggest Part Of Me” (#3 Hot 100, #3 Adult Contemporary) and “You’re The Only Woman (You & I)” (#13 Hot 100, #5 Adult Contemporary).

After their fifth album, 1982’s Road Island, the group disbanded, with Pack becoming a solo artist and Puerta becoming a founding member of Bruce Hornsby & The Range (Hornsby played with Ambrosia in 1982). They reunited in 1989 and have been touring since.

Ambrosia, your Two for Tuesday, June 16, 2020.

Two For Tuesday: Gino Vannelli (Yacht Rock)

Gino Vannelli is from Montreal and originally wanted to be a drummer. He studied music theory at McGill University and signed a contract with RCA Records under the name Van Elli. He and his brother Joe moved to Los Angeles in 1972 and was signed by A&M Records after chasing down Herb Alpert with a demo tape. His d├ębut album, Crazy Life, came out in 1973.

His third album, 1978’s Brother to Brother, produced his first hit, “I Just Wanna Stop,” which reached #4 in the US and #1 in Canada and earned him a Grammy nomination.

His next album, 1981’s Nightwalker, produced his second hit, “Living Inside Myself,” reached #6 in the US and #13 in Canada, while peaking at #5 and #2 on the US and Canadian Adult Contemporary charts, respectively.

Currently, Gino lives in Troutdale, Oregon, where he teaches music, and continues to perform. His website indicates that he’ll be in The Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden in late October and early November. And of course he has a Facebook page, where he recently announced the death of his mother due to Covid-19. We extend our sympathies.

Gino Vannelli, your Two for Tuesday, June 9, 2020.

Two For Tuesday: Pablo Cruise (Yacht Rock)

Pablo Cruise hails from San Francisco. Its original members were David Jenkins on guitar and vocals, Cory Lerios on keyboards and vocals, Bruce Cockrell on bass and vocals, and Steve Price on drums and percussion. They started in 1973 and recorded eight albums between 1973 and 1983, but didn’t reach the Top 10 until 1977, when “Whatcha Gonna Do?” reached #6 in the US and #1 in Canada. It’s from their third album, 1977’s A Place In The Sun.

In 1978, they released Worlds Away and its lead single, “Love Will Find A Way.” That song also reached #6 on the Hot 100 but only climbed to #5 in Canada.

Cockrell left the band in 1977 and was replaced by Bruce Day, and Price left in 1981 to be replaced by David Perper. In 1985, the four original members attempted to reunite, hoping they might get a record deal, but when none was offered, they split in 1986. Jenkins and Cockrell successfully relaunched the band in 1996, and in 2004, with the four original members reuniting for Steve Price’s wedding, they reformed permanently minus Cockrell, who was replaced by George Gabriel. They’re still touring, mostly in California. Their website indicates that they’ll be playing in Niagara Falls, NY on July 10, Covid-19 permitting.

Pablo Cruise, your Two for Tuesday, June 2, 2020.