With the recent loss of Chuck Brown, Godfather of GoGo, and Donna Summer, Queen of Disco, it seems we’re losing a music Icon every time you turn around.  Robin Gibb of the BeeGees, Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston, Don Cornelius, Dick Clark and on and on.  It’s no real consolation prize but at least we have these wonderful artists’ musical contributions on wax and video.  It’s cliché but they will always be with us thanks to the recording mediums that captured their artistry.  With the loss of so many great entertainers, that makes this article all the more needed to be able to visit our music heroes every now and then and reminisce about the genius they shared with us that created a warm spot in the center of our hearts.  Some of the artists in this article are no longer with us but we’re gonna dwell on how good they made us feel when they were.  Please take the time to enjoy this month’s submission of CLASSIC TV PERFORMANCES.  It’ll make you feel good all over… I promise!

What can you say about Kool & The Gang?  They became known as the ultimate party band thanks to hits like “Celebrate” and “Jungle Boogie.”  When lead vocalist James Taylor joined the Gang, it gave them a different flavor than they had before but they never lost their ability to lay down the boogie.  Here’s a CLASSIC TV PERFORMANCE from Kool & The Gang… this is, “Get Down On It.”


I saw the Commodores live at Detroit’s Olympia Stadium on Grand River when they released their first Motown album and were the opening act for the Jackson 5.  My ears are still ringing from all the screaming the little girls did over Michael and ‘nem.  But these little known dudes from Tuskeegee, Alabama hit the stage and proceeded to turn it O-U-T, out!  Lionel Richie played the saxophone a lot back then and while he did sing some lead, Walter Orange led a lotta songs from behind the drums.  They also played instrumentals like “Machine Gun” from their first album.  Well, over time Lionel Richie became the clear lead vocalist and principle songwriter as they cranked out hit after hit.  They were the bomb in live performances and we’re gonna share one such CLASSIC TV PERFORMANCE with you.  These are the Commodores performing, “Easy.”

posted by metalboombox

There was a period in the 60’s when there were plenty really good female Soul singersBettye Swann, Loleta Holloway, Barbara Mason, Tammi Terrell, Fontella Bass, Bettye Lavette, Maxine Brown, Baby Washington and the great Barbara Lewis, to name a few.  The typically simplistic lyrics of the 60’s required a strong singer and proficient interpreter to get the mood and storyline of a song across to the public in 2 to 2.5 minutes.  Barbara Lewis accomplished this in the CLASSIC TV PERFOPRMANCE of her hit song, “Baby I’m Yours.”

posted by nyrainbow5

Lou Rawls started out as a Gospel (Spirituals it used to be called) singer, then a Jazz singer and then he hooked up with the Philly International sound of Gamble & Huff.  Wow!  Lou Rawls cranking out hit Soul records with that deep, velvety smooth voice… what was there to not like.  One of my favorites of all my favorites (is this still English I’m speaking?) was this song, “Lady Love.”  Get down with yo’ bad self, Lou Rawls!

posted by CACHEMEpal

Everybody had their favorite Temptation to admire or want to emulate.  As far as singing like them was concerned, Eddie Kendricks was my favorite until my voice cracked at age 13, then David Ruffin became my boy.  But regardless of who was anybody’s favorite, somehow Paul Williams was, by many, the most appreciated.  Paul’s Baritone voice would have fit perfectly on the Broadway Musical stage; he could handle the most complicated and emotion-filled songs.  Paul was the master of the choreography in the group and, while he didn’t lead often enough, always wowed you when he did lead a song.  He would basically go solo on songs like, “For Once In My Life.”  I really, truly miss all the Temps who have passed on but I’ve been missing Paul for the longest since he was the first of them to leave us.  I ran into Paul on LaSalle Blvd., just walking home, shortly before his death.  I lived around the corner in the regular houses as opposed to the mansions of LaSalle Blvd.  That was my first… and last time seeing Paul in the neighborhood.  It was one of the thrills of my young Temptation-Wannabe life.  This is Paul Williams at the forefront of the Temptations, the world’s greatest singing group, singing “Don’t Look Back.”

posted by Wakatjo

 Barry White!  I mean, this dude was so gifted and utterly unique I’m almost at a loss for words.  Okay, I said, “almost.”  He definitely deserves the “genius” title.  His complete knowledge of music inside and out is to be admired.  He sang like a Baritone wonder, he played keys with the best of them, he wrote, arranged and produced his music… what more can a performer do?  His big orchestral arrangements made his branded sound stand out in a time when there were so many greats in his field; what a time it was for Music Lovers!  All this and more is why he was affectionately called “The Maestro.”  I’m gonna leave you with Barry White in a CLASSIC TV PERFORMANCE of, “Never, Never Gonna Give You Up.”  Peace!

posted by chearzate