That’s My Jam!

Gwin v.2-post of 1981
Me at that awkward age in 1981

This morning, while taking my daughter to school, I got shook!  I mean completely knocked the hell over!  I was utterly caught off-guard!  Do you want to know what did it?  A song!  Yes my loves, I was knocked off my ass by a song.

Here’s the interesting part, the song that initiated all of this madness was not well known by the masses.  However, it held special significance for me because I listened to it over and over during my pre-teen years. I guess I was pining away over a fictitious relationship that I ‘had’ with this dude down the street.  Anyway, when I heard the song today, I was immediately bum-rushed by every single image that I had ever seen or imagined from the year 1981.

Now that I have sufficiently tortured you with preliminaries, I guess I should name that tune!  Are you ready?  It was “Who’s Been Kissing You?” by: Hot Cuisine.  Yeah…you probably don’t know it right off hand.  However, you can go to You-tube and check it out, here’s the link.

Whoa! I think I hear the distant chattering of ‘old head’ music buffs questioning my song knowledge.  Well let me explain…

You see, I was lucky enough to have been born into a magical time and place.  In this place, there reigned a powerful Godfather, not the Italian mobster; I am talking about Soul Brother Number One! Anyway, our Godfather infused the city’s airwaves with esoteric knowledge on ‘the good foot’ and ‘the one.’

Here’s a quick primer: ‘The good foot’ refers to the dance and the ‘the one’ refers to the beat. Now, if you require more information on either of these concepts you might want to consult with world renowned Funk Bassist Bootsy Collins.

Anyhow, as a natural born student of soul music, I would spend any given day in 1981 taping songs.  You see, back in those days, we didn’t buy songs; we taped them as they were being played on the radio.  In order to do this, you had to place a cassette tape into a tape recorder, press play/record, and sit it right next to the radio.  Some might call that piracy; I choose to call it creativity.

At any rate, I would sit for hours waiting for the DJ to play my favorite songs so that I could include them on my tape.  Most times this strategy worked pretty well.  Then other times, not so much!  I remember getting pissed when the DJ played my jam just as I was going to the bathroom or just as I was coming back from making a peanut butter sandwich.  In cases like these, I either stopped in my tracks in order to try to record as much of the song as I could or I had to wait until the joker played it again.  Damn!  Kids today don’t know anything about that!

Now on days when I was particularly bored or had a bunch of cassettes, I would simply record everything that the DJ played-at least until I ran out of tapes.

Suffice it to say, I had collected a massive hodge-podge of songs from 1981 (and years prior).  Some songs were popular and some were not.  But once I had captured them onto my cassettes I learned them all!  Hence, the reason that I know songs like “Gigolette” by Ozone-featuring Teena Marie or the song that tipped me over this morning!  I hope you’re smiling!

What’s the point of all of this?  Hell I don’t know!  Just kidding! No, here’s the point, I have decided to post some of my favorite songs from the past along with a little commentary every Thursday.  I would love to hear your feedback on my selections as well as your suggestions of other songs from that week’s time period. Just so you know, you can shoot me an e-mail at msfleurs87@gmail.com to discuss!

In the meantime, if you think you know a little sumthin’ about old school soul, funk and R&B GET AT ME!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25 thoughts on “That’s My Jam!

  1. My bad, I haven’t been here before. I can totally relate to your taping. That’s how it started out for me. Then of course I would re-wind umpteen times to catch the lyrics. I even kept a scrapbook for the lyrics and my favourite artists.Every week, one of our local newspapers would print the lyrics to a song. Back in the day, I used to sing so I needed those lyrics. But I grew up on pop music. Fortunately, I had a younger brother who helped make a tom boy out of me so I got his friends to record songs for me from real albums. As you say, I was listening to some songs out of sync with the year they were released.Here’s a little taste of my early jams based on where I started and started graduating to.
    From a pop perspective, this was one of my jams – no idea why I liked it but I entered a talent contest with this song:

    Then, I used to always be asked to sing a song in my grade and I remember doing a duet with a boy who sang as false as they come – this was the song:

    Then of course as the boys started getting my attention I started listening more closely to:

    Then is one of the songs that stands out for me once the boys started making tapes for me :

    Then I fell in love with Luther’s early releases and became a life long fan of his. Friday nights, I was listening out for my favorite Luther songs taken from his first Luther Album and his days as lead singer of Change. I have unbelievable nostalgia for these songs.Among of them are:



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    1. Oh my Lord! My baby love….I forgot that you said you used to sing! Can you still sing? I guess that’s a stupid question because once a singer, always a singer…right?
      Pop music really was in heavy rotation in my neck of the woods too so I do understand. But Queen Diva Lady Eva (Mama) kept it very soul and R&B around the house. We had all the latest R&B jams and we always listened to the soul stations. But I’m glad that I learned to appreciate all genres.

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      1. Sadly, I lost that voice. In fact I lost my voice completely when I had my first child so I’d sound just as false as the boy I was talking about.
        Funny thing is, I was just listening the other day,to an interview with one our DJs who’s been in the business for over 30 years and I think given our history, we faced lots of sanctions including international music and Black radio stations. As a teenager, I loved listening to a radio station which broadcasted out of a neigbouring country and crackled on the airwaves. As I was saying to T.Wayne – I remember listening to Luther from his self- named album “Luther” The Quiet Storm type of music stations opened in 1986. But by then I guess more music had become available to us.
        But I did enjoy a lot of the pop I listened to.

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  2. Pingback: Happy Anniversary My Jams! – seekthebestblog

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    1. What’s up cous? How are you guys doing ? It’s so good to hear from you! Rasema was a little girl last time I saw her. Feel free to post a link to her blog. I’d love to check her out. Love y’all and I hope you come back by 🙂

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    1. Oh hell yeah! That was the joint! I think that Leon Sylvers was the producer on that one. Somebody can correct me if I am wrong but he used to do all of SOLAR records stuff! He was the big brother in The Sylvers family and the leader of the group. I tell you what…I am all about SOLAR! All hail to Jet! You are bringing it today baby! Yasss!

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  4. Jet

    You’re ” A Bad Mama Jama” Carl Carlton-1981!
    Every moment of your life has a soundtrack, so you never know when some song is going to jump you by surprise and bring the memory alive. – Rob Sheffield.

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  5. I missed that one! 1981, I was 2 years into my hitch with the Air Force! San Antonio Radio stations played very little R&B, unless it was “top 40” stuff! But you perfectly describe how music (songs) can take us back to specific times and events. My entire life is filed with memories that owe their continuing existence to having some congruity to certain songs.

    Thanks for this wonderful post. Very uplifting!

    O yeah, I did the “taping from the radio” thing too, in the 70’s. I was a DJ called (by me only), “The Quiet Storm”, I hated the radio DJs that talked a lot..messed up my tape!

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  6. Unknown

    A trip down memory lane! I was smiling the whole time. I have to say I had forgotten about having to wait until the Dj played the song before recording on my cassette.
    Enjoy reading and reflecting down memory lane via your blog

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