In 1984 Michael Jackson’s big sister launched her solo career. No, not LaToya. His other older sister – Rebbie Jackson! Ever heard of her? Despite a trio of solid pop albums and the support of her famous siblings, iconisim seemed to pass Rebbie behind. A look at the life and music of the forgotten Jackson sister, and how she chose love and family over the madness of showbusiness.
Journey back to 1989 when an international dance craze was started via French-Brazillian band Kaoma’s hit “Lambada” and the shocking crime which ended lead singer Loalwa Braz’s life. Extra: Just who wrote “Lambada” anyway, and how Kaoma’s success spawned Roberta and Chico – the 1980’s most uncomfortable kid’s act.
In 1970 director Russ Meyer introduced a new rock band, The Carrie Nations, to audiences in his film epic “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.” With music written by Stu Phillips, and featuring the talents of Lynn Carey, The Strawberry Alarmclock, and The Sandpipers, the film contained some of the freshest and most dynamic rock music ever written for a film, reflecting the sounds and attitude of Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip culture. But the music would be ignored by the Billboard charts and barely found an audience while one of the key players was mysteriously missing from the soundtrack album. An introduction to the world of “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls” and the music of The Carrie Nations.
This week we said goodbye to The Sugar Man. In 2012 Detroit based singer/songwriter Sixto Rodriguez inspired struggling musicians and music fans world wide via the Oscar winning documentary “Searching for Sugar Man.” The lessons I learnt from Rodriguez, how his story changed the way I thought and wrote about music, and a loving tribute to his songs and legacy.
A forgotten soundtrack to an obscure French exploitation film, Jean-Pierre Mirouze’s exciting and exotic soundtrack to “Le Mariage Collectif” went ignored and undistributed when test printings were made in 1971. Nearly lost forever it wasn’t until a discarded acetate containing the music was pulled out of a Parisian garbage dump in 2010 that the world finally had the chance to hear the best film score you’ve never heard before, which gained a cult following amongst audiophiles and music hipsters.
After getting thrown out of a Hollywood restaurant in 1965, a fed up Sono Bono wrote an emotional manifesto titled “Laugh at Me,” which became his only hit record, A look at “Laugh at Me,” Sonny’s fight for respect, and why he allowed the laughter to continue through the 1970’s and beyond. Extra: The lasting legacy of Sonny and Cher, and Chaz Bono’s attempt to reinvent “Laugh at Me” as a transgender anthem.
Remember Sahjid Khan? When India spiritualisim became cool in the 1960’s, teen magazine maven Gloria Stavers jumped on board with her own teen star from the middle east,, keeping him in the hearts of girls all over America. A look at Sajid Khan’s short but groovy career, and the last ditch effort to keep him relevant by cutting a forgotten pop album.
If Jethro Tull and The Doors had a love child, it’d be Mashmakhan. Montreal based prog-rockers Mashmakhan had a massive hit in Canada and Japan with “As Years Go By” but the less commerical psychadelic infused tracks that made up the remainder of their 1970 debut album confused radio programmers and record buyers, making them a “one hit wonder.” An appreciation of one of the best underappreciated Canadian albums ever recorded.
His first solo album in years, David Bowie’s 1993 album “Black Tie/White Noise” got little attention upon it’s original release, but has reemerged as one of Bowie’s most powerful statements about racial conflict and American hate. How the LA riots juxtopossed with his mariage to Iman inspired Bowie to write an overlooked masterpiece which deservesd rediscovering.