My Jams ’83

Cheerleading shot of Gwin

 

Hey, it’s good to see you!  Boy have I got a lot to catch you up on!  I’m so sorry that I haven’t been keeping you posted on all the things that’s been going on.  Can you believe that we’re almost at the end of 1983 and I haven’t really told you anything new?

Well, I guess I better do like Lewis Carroll said, “Start at the beginning, keep going and when you come to the end, stop.”

So let’s start at the beginning.

Do you remember my Uncle Willie? You know the one who lives in Chicago?  Well he died back in March.  Nobody saw it coming because he was kinda young.  They say he was sick with pneumonia, then he just had a heart attack–out of nowhere– and died.

We didn’t see him much but I do remember the time me and my cousins were jumping on the bed at my grandma’s house and he told us to stop or he would whip us.  To be honest, we didn’t think that he could do that.   So one of us (it could have been me) mumbled, “If you do, I’ll tell my mama.”  Well, little did we know, he overheard that.  Before you know it, he said, “I’ll whip you and call your mama and tell her I whipped you, now go sit yo’ little asses down somewhere!”

After he said that, we went somewhere and sat down.

Anyway, Uncle Willie was the first dead person I ever saw.  He didn’t look the same as he used to; he was still handsome though.  But you know what? I wasn’t scared, he just looked like he was asleep.

By the way, Uncle Willie was mama’s youngest brother so she took it real hard.

Anyway, so right after Uncle Willie died, it was April I think, me and my friend Sandra decided to try-out for the junior varsity cheerleading squad at the high school.  We did this after we heard an announcement at our middle school that called for 8th graders to come to cheerleading clinic/try-outs.  We were kinda lucky because one of our older family friends, Carol, told us all about the kinds of jumps that we would have to know how to do.  She warned us that in high school they don’t cheer like we did when we were doing cheers in elementary.  She told us that we had to be stiff as a board.  No shaking and jiggling; just straight up stiff.

Well every day, after school, Sandra and I walked up to the high school for the clinic.  The first day that we got there, the varsity cheerleaders were already calling the coach to look at my toe touch.  Believe it or not, I could jump as high as the best jumper.  Sandra was a great jumper too.  Both of us knew the coach was watching really hard.  After that, I figured we were gonna make the squad and we did.

Once we started going to high school, we learned that being a JV cheerleader had good sides and bad sides.  The good side is that everybody at the school recognizes you, the bad side is, they don’t really care.  At pep rallies, we had to cheer from the sidelines while the varsity cheerleaders danced and chanted the fight song in a moving circle.  On the second verse of the song, each cheerleader had to run in front of the stands where their class was sitting.  Because we were freshmen we had to run to the freshmen side.  The sad part about that is the freshmen side was large but they didn’t never clap; not even when we did chants that call for each class to respond back to us.  Honestly, I felt real stupid out there!  Oh yeah, and don’t even talk about the football games.  Nobody comes to JV games.

Man, I can’t wait to be a varsity cheerleader!

Ok, so I think I got you all caught up!

Anyway, tonight I went to my first hop at the school gym.  What do you mean you don’t know what a hop is? Well, where I’m from, a hop is another word for a dance.  Somebody told me that the name ‘hop’ probably comes from the 1950’s when they used to call a dance a ‘sock hop.’ I guess they took their shoes off and hopped around in their socks.

By the way, if you ever watch American Bandstand then you know the theme song says ‘We’re going hopping.’  Well, anyway, it’s the same thing.

Back to what I was talking about before I got off-track.

Oh yeah!  Now, to tell you the truth, tonight, I was nervous because I had never danced with a boy before.  When we first got there, I just sat in the stands drinking a coke.  Everybody else was dancing while I watched.

Finally, a boy that I never seen before, asked me to dance with him. I think he went to Glenn Hills.  Anyway, we danced to “Sticky Situation” by Tyrone Brunson.  It was fun because everybody was doing the smurf at the same time.  Then, all of a sudden, the DJ pulled a fast one on me.  He changed songs right in the middle of us dancing.  Next thing you know, he was playing “Lady in my life.”

I was like, “Holy Crud!”  You know I LOVE that song but I freaked out because this boy put his arms around my waist and pulled me waaay too close to him. I started to tell him to step off but I was too scared.

🙂 🙂 🙂

Uh oh!  Lil Lady G, you in a pickle now!  Hell, that boy had to be 16 or 17 years old!  He wanted to slow dance and he wanted to do it real close.  Where is Mr. Carribeanish when you need him? Chile everybody at the hop was damn near grinding and dry humping and you know what I’m talking about!

Well, our dear Lady G was not about that life!  Not yet anyway.

Memory fades as to how your girl got out of that sticky wicket!  I just know that I did—somehow.

Well, well, well! Welcome to 1983!  Yaaasss!

This.  This year here.  This year right here. Baby, with very few exceptions, this is the year when the R&B musicians and instruments exited- stage left.  Chile anybody with a synthesizer could make a record back then; and trust me, they did.

By now rap music was in full swing.

For better or for worse, we were getting used to a new normal. Music was crossing genres left and right!

Anyway, what were you doing in 1983?  Don’t hold back none!  Give me all the goods down in the comment section.

And so…

Shall we proceed?  Yes, indeed!

My Jams ‘83

Let’s dance by David Bowie

“Put on your red shoes and dance the blues…”  Was it just me or did he sound like Dracula?

YAAASSSSS!  I love me some David Bowie!  Dude had his own style and I ate it up!

Not only did I love his voice and his style but I love and respect the fact that Bowie was one of the first big name acts to call MTV out for not playing black musicians!  Baby, he got all up in the interviewers grill.  By the time that thang was over the VeeJay (New term with the advent of videos) was sweating bullets!

Needless to say, ya girl broke down in the middle of the Publix frozen section when I found out he died earlier this year.

Chile, we had no idea, at the time, that 2016 would claim so many great entertainers before the first half of the year was even over.

China Girl by David Bowie

“Oh Oh Oh Oh Little China Girl!”

No way I’m leaving 1983 without adding my Bowie favorite!

 PYT by Michael Jackson

Lady G is a PYT!

For newcomers, PYT stands for Pretty Young Thing.

Who the hell am I fooling?  I ain’t seen young in 30 years.

I can dream though.

Time will reveal by DeBarge

Oh honey, Bobby Debarge’s little brothers and sister blew onto the scene-do you hear me?

Trust and believe that they were not messing around.

This one right here was the joint!

El Debarge’s voice is like silk baby!

Stay with me tonight by Jeffrey Osborne

“Baby stay with me tonight”

I most certainly will baby!  You ain’t gotta ask me twice.

Try again by Champagne

“Maybe we can try again…try, try”

I just love the way they sang that part!

Some people tried again and some people opted NOT to.

Hell Will Downing, in his cover of Angela Bofill’s masterpiece, would later say, “I tried and I tried and I tried and I tried!

You can consider that one a bonus ‘cause I don’t know if we’ll make it that far into the future!

Don’t you get so mad by Jeffrey Osborne

“Do you have to get so mad?”

Hell yeah and you know good and damn well why I’m mad.  Don’t try to play me Jeffrey!

 Juicy fruit by Mtume

“I’ll be your lollipop, you can like me everywhere!”

Holy shit!  Did she just say that? LICK ME EVERYWHERE?

I ain’t mad at her!  That’s how I like to get down but it was pushing the hell out of the envelope back then.

Oh but Marvin Sease would later say something that pushed the envelope off the damn desk. But since that song falls into the blues genre it is out of my wheelhouse.

 All night long by the Mary Jane girls

“Come on up boy don’t be late, what I got for you won’t wait….All night long!”

Shiiitttt!

“Climb up on the ladder honey, what I got is better than money…All night long!”

I didn’t know what the hell they were talking about back then but damn if I didn’t learn later!

“You got me shook up, shook down, shook out on your loving…and boy there is just no way I’ll ever get over you….All night long, I waited for you, to show you my love and on this rooftop I’ll be waiting for your love anticipating, hurry up and come ‘cause I can’t wait to get it on”

Y’all better stop me! I could pull lyrics from this song all night long!

 Outstanding by The Gap Band

Yaaasss!  Uncle Charlie been kicking it for years!

I loved this one because it brought us a little bit of brass action and you know how much I love me some brass!

 Tell me if you still care by SOS band

When you get ready to shut the shit down….put this jam on!

Folks will start running and hollering!  Mayhem!  Sheer Mayhem!

That damn drum pattern?  Whaaaat?  I just can’t!  I CANNOT!

“Do you feel the same way too?”

“Listen to my heartbeat…for you baby…oooh!”

Asystole! (google it!)

Mind up tonight by Melba Moore

Thank you Lordt, thou hast given us thine bass!  And it was good!

“Am I number one or number two?  Am I your woman?”

“Gotta make your mind up tonight…”

YAAASSSS!

 Wet my whistle by Midnight Star

Brother said he had to wet his whistle when he kissed her lips!

Now which whistle is that? Hell, which lips?

“Just a little bit, just a little bit, a little bit baby!”

Girl watch him or you might be at the clinic tomorrow suffering from infant or infection—at this time in your life neither of these is a good thing!

Every girl wants my guy by Aretha Franklin

Aretha girl I understand that feeling.  Lady G ain’t never kicked it with a dude that some heffa didn’t want.  Hell, she might have even had him but I can guarantee you that Lady G remains all up in his dome—at all times!  Baby, he won’t leave until I let him go.

I’m just kidding, but not really 😉

 Crazy by the Manhattans

Don’t call it a comeback!

Ok, I won’t.

But the fact remains that we ain’t heard from these jokers in years!

No matter, this was a good jam.  Gerald Alston will ALWAYS bring it; trust and believe that!

 Atomic dog by George Clinton

YAAAAAASSSS!

This one was that fire in 1983!

Chile y’all know Omega Psi Phi decided to cop it right!?

But I ain’t mad at the Ques for stepping and shooting funk to this jam!

(TOTO 24, Kamala, 6, PSI Chapter –Spring ’91) 

Now if curiosity gets the better of you, I can give you a translation for all of that, just holler at me in comments!  But for now, here’s a hint, Kamala would go on to bless me with a beautiful baby boy.

‘Nuff said!

 Lucky Star by Madonna

“You may be my lucky star but I’m the luckiest by far!”

YAAASSSS!  Ms. Madonna crossed her ass right on over to the R&B charts with this jam!

You better recognize!  Black folks love them some Madonna!

 Say it isn’t so by Hall and Oates

Speaking of love, black people definitely had mad love for these two dudes!  It ain’t no way I am leaving 1983 without talking about this jam!

Over and over by Shalamar

So I had a new crush in 1983.  He was a handsome dude who drove his brother’s tricked out Toyota Celica GT! Do you remember those?  If you don’t, google it ‘cause they don’t make ‘em no more.  Anyway, I used to sit and look out the window and watch him drive by.  This song was usually playing in the background.  This one and Shalamar’s other jams “Right here” and “Dead giveaway.”

 Owner of a lonely heart by Yes

AW SHIIIITTT Did you hear that guitar at the beginning?  YAAASSSS!

Hot!  Hot!  Hot!

This jam is soooooo NOT R&B but black people loved the hell out of it!  Let’s face it, when a jam is as nasty as this is, it cannot be contained in one genre!

“Owner of a lonely heart, Owner of a lonely heart, much better than the owner of a broken heart…”

I rocks this jam right now-TODAY!

I’ll Tumble for ya by Culture Club

I am adding this one for kicks! I loved the hell out of this jam.

Don’t worry; I can’t even list all of my Culture Club favorites!  No room for all that!

But all I gotta say is “Time won’t give me time and time makes lovers feel like they got something real but you and me we know we got nothing but time and time won’t give me time…”

I lived for Boy George!

Believe it or not, Mama liked him too; she just didn’t know what to make of him though.

 Choosey lover by The Isley brothers

Ok, let’s get back to some stone cold straight up R&B

“Choosey lover, girl I’m so proud of ya, I’m so glad you chose me, and I’ll make you so happy…”

I SIMPLY CANNOT!

Ron’nem wasn’t even playing.  Ernie!  Whaaat?????  I soooo needed to hear some real instruments! Chris and Marvin ain’t playing either.

Candy man by the MaryJane girls

YAAASSSS!  The Mary Jane Girls!  Remember, they brought us “All Night Long!”

I always thought of these sisters as Rick James’ answer to Prince’s Vanity 6.

Let’s just say that the Mary Jane girls sat Vanity 6 and  Apollonia 6 or whoever’s asses right on DOWN!

 Is this the end by New Edition

Chile look a’here!  We got us a little play-pretend Jackson 5!

Ralph could hold a tune but he wasn’t no Mike!

No matter, them boys won my heart!

 Ms. Got the Body by ConFunkShun

Oh baby, unlike Cameo, Michael’nem were not yet ready to throw their instruments away!

Do I sound miffed?

Anyway, ConFunkShun blew that brass right on into the ‘80’s!  YAAASSSS!

“Ms.Got the Body…like sweet cold wine, that girl is so fine!”

 Jealous Girl by New Edition

I cried my ass off to this jam!  Still don’t know why.  I didn’t have no man so I didn’t have nothing to be jealous about.

No matter, this little ditty tended to elicit hysterics from all the teenage girls!

 The Haunted House of Rock by Whodini

Nope, it surely is not R&B; in fact, it’s a rap recording but it was a novelty song

so I loved it.

In fact, it still plays well at any Halloween party!

 

Now let’s see what Eva and Tack were listening to

Party time by Kurtis Blow

Holiday by Madonna

Let you down by Maze

Starting something by Michael Jackson

Little red corvette by Prince

One on one by Hall and Oates

Candy girl by New Edition

Ain’t Nobody Chaka Khan

Last night a DJ saved my life by Indeep

I like it by DeBarge

Get it right by Aretha Franklin

Stop doggin me around by Klique—Mama liked this better than Jackie Wilson’s original, now that’s saying something!

Between the sheets by the Isley brothers

You are in my system by The System

Taxi by J Blackfoot

Keep on loving me by The Whispers

Baby I’m hooked by ConFunkShun

You said enough by Central Line

Style by Cameo

Jam on it by Newcleus

Beat it by Michael Jackson

Fall in love with me by EWF

Save the overtime by Gladys Knight and the Pips

Trouble in paradise by Al Jarreau

Got to be there by Chaka Khan

Slow jam by Midnight Star

Hand dance by The Reddings

Do you like it by Slave

Strut my Thang by Ozone

Ladies choice by Stone City Band

Weak at the knees by Steve Arrington

Help yourself by Kashif

Real love by Lakeside

How come you don’t call me anymore by Stephanie Mills

My first love Rene and Angela

Betcha she don’t love you by Evelyn Champagne King

Call blooded by Rick James

Beat it by Michael Jackson

Curses! The clock is striking 12:00!  I love you 1983 but I gotta be out!

Share your memories of 1983 in comments!  I’m waiting for you!