Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 1-31-24

The first artist fan club I ever joined was that of KC and the Sunshine Band. I received a membership card and a Christmas card from the band when that holiday I don’t celebrate came around. I don’t think there was more to it. I joined Olivia Newton-John’s fan club a year or two later, and received a membership card and a folio filled with photos of Livvy pressed on cardboard of various sizes. Years later I joined the R.E.M. and Pearl Jam fan clubs, which came with 45 rpm records and stickers and a calendar and a VHS tape and some other fun stuff. 

Are any of y’alls in an artist’s fan club? Is it worth the price of entry? 

KC was born Harry Wayne Casey on this date in 1951. A handful of his group’s songs are included on today’s playlist. Also included is his first number one single – as a songwriter with fellow Sunshine Band member Rick Finch on George McCrae’s “Rock Your Baby.”

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 11-19-23

Inspired by an unhoused woman who would sing gospel songs in front of a Washington, DC hotel, the familiar refrain of “la da dee la da da” in Crystal Waters’ “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)” was meant as a temporary placeholder until the real lyrics were written. Here’s to writers block!                                                                                                                                                                           Crystal Waters was born on this date in 1961. A couple of her tracks are included on today’s playlist.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 11-18-23

In early 1980 newspaper The Village Voice published the results of its poll of 155 music critics. Voted the best album of 1979 was Graham Parker & The Rumour’s Squeezing Out Sparks. The rest of the top ten was:

Neil Young – Rust Never Sleeps

The Clash – The Clash

Talking Heads – Fear of Music

Elvis Costello – Armed Forces

Van Morrison – Into the Music

The B-52s – The B-52s

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – Damn the Torpedoes

Pere Ubu – Dub Housing

Donna Summer – Bad Girls                                                                                                                                                                  Graham Parker was born on this date in 1950. A handful of his songs are included on today’s playlist.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 10-31-23

“Good times / These are the good times”

Yeah. We’re doomed.

Chic’s Bernard Edwards, who gave us one of the most recognizable basslines in all of rock and roll in “Good Times,” was born on Hallowe’en in 1952. He passed away from pneumonia in 1996. A buncha Chic tunes are on today’s playlist.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 8-27-23

The Captain & Tennille’s “Love Will Keep Us Together” was a huge hit in 1975, but not everyone agreed with its message. Ian Curtis, the leader of Joy Division and a newlywed in 1975, was one of them. His composition “Love Will Tear Us Apart” could be seen as a response to the cheerful song, expressing his disillusionment with love and life. He took his own life in 1980, a month before his song was released as a single, on its way to becoming a classic.

Daryl Dragon, better known as The Captain, a nickname given to him by The Beach Boys’ Mike Love, was born on this date in 1942. A few of his duo’s hits are included on today’s playlist.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 7-15-23

Norma Jean Wright, who sang lead vocals on Chic’s first smash single “Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah),” was born on this date in 1956 in Ripley, Tennessee, which is not far from the town of Nutbush, from where Tina Turner hails. Wright’s dad attended the same church as Tina. Besides her work with Chic, most notably on the aforementioned single and its follow-up, “Everybody Dance,” Wright has released solo records and sang backup on albums by Aretha Franklin, Madonna, Luther Vandross (who sings backup on “Dance, Dance, Dance”) and Sister Sledge.

Tunes du Jour celebrates the birthday of Norma Jean Wright with a playlist that includes her two biggest hits with Chic.

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