WHERE ARE THOSE SANGIN’ BROTHAS FROM THE 90’s

Glenn Jones achieved most of his success as a recording artist in the 80’s, I know, but I could not leave this super-talented brotha’ off this list.  Besides, the song we are featuring by Glenn was his last Top Ten hit and it was released in 1992; so it officially fits our selected decade.  Glenn Jones, songwriter, guitarist and vocalist, got noticed when he sang lead vocals for Norman Connors’ 1980 release, “Melancholy Fire.”  I loved the song at the time even though I had no idea who Glenn Jones was back then.  What he’s best known for and one of his biggest hits (#3 R&B), “Show Me,” was released in ’84 and by ’85 Glenn was on the road performing along with Jennifer Holliday in the stageplay, “Sing, Mahalia, Sing.”  I saw the musical play at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit and thought he sang incredibly… in fact, I thought he sounded just like Donny Hathaway in his roles, which was fine by me.  I remember hearing him say in an interview back in the day that he made a mistake by accepting that play.  He felt in retrospect, he was on the road in someone’s play while he should have been in concert reaping the benefits of having a hit record on the charts.  According to a 2012 podcast interview with DJ Soulswede, Glenn Jones is alive, well and still performing.  He had started his own label, GMG Records, performed for the U.S. Troops with a tour in Iraq and Kuwait and recently worked on a Gospel project with John P. KeeGlenn has always been a rock solid lyricist and one of the best R&B vocalists of all time.  Well, his #1 R&B Hit from ’92 is my all-time favorite Glenn Jones song; check out, “Here I Go Again.”

posted by William Reed

R&B Singing Group, SOLO, was thrust into the spotlight with the help of Minnesota Marvels, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, presenting them with the 1995 #7 R&B Hit, “Heaven.”  These Cats could really sing.  They were said to be discovered by Jam & Lewis after they heard them singing on the streets of New York.  After membership comings and goings over the years, according to WIKIPEDIA, a reincarnated SOLO is recording again.  Original members Darnell Chavis and Robert Anderson, along with Daniele Stokes are resurfacing as a Trio.  Original member Eunique Mack is in pursuit of a (pardon the pun) Solo career.  I haven’t heard this JAM in a minute… enjoy, SOLO singing, “Heaven.”

posted by renren009

Although he only released 2 albums in ’89 and ’92, this dude here is the sho’nuff truth when it comes to musicianshipChuckii Booker had a #1 R&B Hit with each of those albums; “Turned Away,” in ’89 and “Games,” in ’92.  I’m guessing, the only reason he stopped recording is he just didn’t have the time for such frivolity.  That’s just my completely un-educated guess but my point is… HomeBoy has been quite the success story behind the scenes in the music biz.  Here’s a list of some of the acts he has served as Keyboardist and Music Director of their concerts:  Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Keyshia Cole, Tevin Campbell, Faith Evans, TLC, New Edition and Brownstone.  He often performs as the opening act for some of the shows he Music Directs.  He has been Record Producer for the likes of Barry White, Janet Jackson, Vanessa Williams, Lionel Richie, Bette Midler, En Vogue, Troop, Diana Ross, Lalah Hathaway, Angela Winbush, Kool & The Gang and CommissionedChuckii Booker stopped recording as an Act but never stopped working.  He’s a great success story, I’m happy to report.  Let’s dig up on his 1992 #1 Hit that was the sampled track that helped make Mark Morrison’s “Return Of The Mack” successful; this is, “Games.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPp3ZRj3L5Y

posted by djblacjams

posted by asmithsacto

Troop was a Singing Group made up of Steve Russell, Allen McNeil, John Herreld, Rodney Benford and Reggie Warren out of Pasadena, California.  They made a really big splash with 4 #1 Hit songs and 7 Top Ten Hits from ’88 to ’92.  Remember “Spread My Wings” (1990), the Jackson 5 re-make, “All I Do Is Think Of You” (1990), “I’m Not Soupped” (1989) and the Deele re-make, “Sweet November” (1992).  They were on a serious roll when… what else… record company troubles ensued… Steve Russell describes it as their maturing knowledge of the music business giving them the audacity to ask their record label about their finances… that ended that marriage in paradise.  Record companies are forever content as long as the artists are naïve enough to allow themselves to be ripped off for millions and millions.  As soon as they wise up and rise up to want an equitable deal… the artists get dropped like hot potatoes or sued by the labels for even more of their own money.  Rough business!  None the less, at least Lead Singer Steve Russell has gone on to have a successful career as part of the song-writing/producing team of Underdog Entertainment with Harvey Mason, Jr. (Harvey, Sr. is a great Jazz drummer) and Damon Thomas.  Their list of credits include working on songs like, “No Air” by Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown, songs for Ruben Studdard, Charlie Wilson, Tyrese, Marques Houston, B2K, Katharine McPhee, all 62 songs on the Dreamgirls soundtrack, songs on Kung Fu Panda soundtrack, Barbershop soundtrack, Shark Tale soundtrack and more.  Another happy ending for at least one member of the group, Troop.  Here’s my favorite Troop song, their 1990 release, “Spread My Wing.”

posted by UrbanzTeamz

Hi-Five’s success was short-lived.  This Waco, Texas five-man standup group hit it big with, “I Like The Way (The Kissing Game).”  Believe it or not, their brief stint in the sun garnered 6 Top Ten hits between 1990 and ’93.  They abruptly disbanded in ’94 and the Hits stopped comingTony Thompson was the Lead Singer and most identifiable member of the group.  He released a solo album in ’95 and made a tiny bit of noise but no comparison to his “Kissing Game” success.  Even though there is still a resurrected Hi-Five made of new and former members on the books, without Tony Thompson, who would even know they were Hi-FiveTony was attempting to put another Hi-Five group together when he died mysteriously in 2007.  His death has been called a drug overdose and other stories have him dying from an overdose of Freon inhalation from an air conditioning unit.  I don’t know what the true cause of his passing was but I do know that without Tony Thompson, the face and voice of 90’s Hi-Five, the other members will have a long way to go to attain that kind of success again.  Nothing’s impossible and I actually hope they achieve their attempts to rise again.  God bless y’all, Hi-Five; you still have those hits in your belt… make it happen.  Here’s their #1 Hit from 1990 which was co-written and co-produced by Teddy Riley of Guy, “I Like The Way (Kissing Game).”

posted by Cee Jay

1995 brought forth Soul4Real and “Candy Rain” from Heavy D.  15 year old Jason Dalrimple and his three older brothers, Brian, Andre and Christopher were signed to a record deal on Uptown/MCA Records by the Heavy One and they struck lightning twice with the #1 R&B Hit, “Candy Rain” and #11 Hit, “Every Little Thing I Do.”  They released three albums in ’95, ’96 and ’99 with the first release going platinum.  Their demise was the classic reason for fading from eyesight, poor record sales after their initial gigantic splash.  Soul4Real formed their own record label in 2007 and quietly released the song, “One Man” featuring Jadakiss in ’08.  I found a short version of the song on YOUTUBE… it’s not bad.  So they still seem to be in pursuit of that elusive and fleeting animal, FAME.  All the best, Soul4Real.  Check out the song whose music track is made up of Samples from Minnie Riperton’s “Baby This Love I Have,” Grover Washington’s “Mr. Magic” and “Check The Rime” by A Tribe Called Quest ( which was sampling Minnie Riperton, too); this is, “Candy Rain.”

posted by Soul4RealVEVO

Remember that JAM by a group with that unusual name, SHAI?  The song was, “If I Ever Fall In Love” from 1992 and the album with the same title went triple platinum and the single reached #1 on the R&B charts.  Well, SHAI’s story is very similar to that of Soul4Real.  That Sophomore Jinx is a bear.  Most have no idea how hard it is to top a Smash hit first album.  For all those who succeed, the record store dollar bins are full of albums and CD’s of those who don’t.  So SHAI had 3 Top Ten Hits off their debut release and never got there again.  These four friends from Howard University in D.C. hit a Home Run out the gate but sluggish record sales their next 6 releases shut the gate behind them.  Even though the ’95 song, “Come With Me” charted to #15 and the album, Blackface went platinum in record sales, SHAI never got back to the mountaintop.  They continue as a group with two of the original four still forging ahead.  Here’s the big one from SHAI, “If I Ever Fall In Love.”

posted by ShaiVEVO

Even though Tony Terry had 4 Top Ten chart toppers, I can only remember one, “With You.”  Trust me, I listened to each one of the other 3 hit records but… nothing.  I know there are those who had his album and would recall the album cuts that I never heard.  But, “With You,” that I always erroneously thought was titled, “When I’m With You,” is still being sung at somebody’s wedding still.  For a decade or so, I’m sure that was the #1 wedding song for Black Folk.  But Tony Terry took a career turn into acting and performing in Musical Plays some time back.  He’s appeared in big plays like, “Mama I Want To Sing,” “Sisterella,” “His Woman His Wife,” “Tall Dark and Handsome,” “Cheezecake Boyz and the Diva” and “Love Unbreakable.” He continues to appear in stageplays and he also continues to record.  I hope I brought you up to date on just a sprinkling of THOSE SANGIN’ BROTHAS OF THE 90’s.  I’m gonna leave you with Tony Terry’s classic Bomb Diggity JAM whose Music Video was produced by Anita Baker and directed by Blair Underwood, enjoy, “With You.”  Peace!

posted by TonyTerryVEVO