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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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist (2-24-21)

Celebrating the February 24 birthdays of N.E.R.D.‘s Chad Hugo, Manfred Mann’s Paul Jones, Earl Sweatshirt, M People’s Mike Pickering, Rupert Holmes, Plastic Bertrand, George Thorogood, Barry Bostwick, Joanie Sommers, and 16 Horsepower’s David Eugene Edwards; the February 23 birthdays of Josh Gad, Japan’s David Sylvian, and Aziz Ansari; and the February 22 birthdays of Marni Nixon, Sublime’s Brad Nowell, Ernie K-Doe, Bobby Hendricks, Oliver and Guy Mitchell.

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It’s Cher’s Birthday And I Need To Dance!

In the early 1990s a demo of a song written by four men circulated through Warner Bros. Records. Though people at the label appreciated the song’s chorus, nobody wanted to record it.

Thinking that with some work the song may be good for Cher, whose last top ten pop hit was 1989’s “Just Like Jesse James,” Warner sent the demo to London’s Metro Studio, where two additional songwriters took a stab at improving the composition. Producers Mark Taylor and Brian Rawling created a dance track for the revised song, which they presented to Cher. She liked it.

She recorded the song. She and her producers played with a new technology called Auto-Tune, which added a robotic sound effect to her voice. When Warner heard that, they asked that it be removed, but Cher was adamant it stay.

In October of 1998, more than a half-decade after the composition’s original incarnation, Warner released Cher’s recording of “Believe.” On March 13, 1999, the song, the first pop tune to feature Auto-Tune, became Cher’s fifth #1 single in the United States, making her, then age 52, the oldest woman to top the US charts. It was her first #1 single since “Dark Lady” in 1974, the longest span ever between #1 records. It was the biggest-selling single stateside of 1999.

The record hit #1 in the UK, where it became the best-selling single of all-time by a female artist. It also topped the charts in Germany, Canada, The Netherlands, Australia, France, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, New Zealand and Ireland.

Today the woman born Cherilyn Sarkisian turns 70 years old. Our weekly dance party kicks off with “Believe.” Have a superb weekend!


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It’s Jesus’ Birthday And I Need To Dance!

Actually, today is not Jesus’ birthday. At least not Jesus Christ’s birthday. Maybe Jesus de la Guarda of East L.A. was born on this date in 1983 (happy birthday, Jesus!), but Jesus Christ was not.

Most likely, Jesus (Christ, not de la Guarda) was born in autumn, perhaps on November 18. Not only is December 25 not His birthday, but 0 was not His birth year, according to some scholars. The assumed year of His birth is 6 to 4 B.C. That means Christ was born six to four years before Christ! He was truly ahead of his time! Ba-dum-bump.

Regardless of when His actual birth date was, folks in many parts of the world celebrate it today, because nothing is open anyway so why not?

As for me, I need to dance! The Tunes du Jour weekly dance party kicks off with Snap!’s “Mary Had a Little Boy.” Happy birthday, Jesus de la Guarda!


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It’s Friday And I Need To Dance!

“You’re gettin’ busy like a bee and that’s the troof
I got a feeling there’s a fire on the roof.”

– “Wiggle It” by 2 in a Room

The phrase “busy like a bee,” or at least a variation thereof, dates back to the 14th century, when Geoffrey Chaucer used it in his The Canterbury Tales:
Ey! Goddes mercy!” sayd our Hoste tho,
Now such a wyf I pray God keep me fro.
Lo, suche sleightes and subtilitees
In wommen be; for ay as busy as bees
Be thay us seely men for to desceyve,
And from a soth ever a lie thay weyve.
And by this Marchaundes tale it proveth wel.

What on earth is he banging on about? Next time, Chaucer, use Spellcheck.

Per Wiktionary, the phrase “busy as a bee” means very active, working constantly.

The phrase is a bit of a misnomer, though. Not all bees work constantly. Take the drone. Unlike other bees, the drone does not collect nectar or pollen. The drone does not participate in the construction of the hive. Drones don’t have stingers so they are unable to cause pain to the frightened blogger who runs shrieking at the site of a bee. Per Slate.com, drones “don’t leave the hive until early afternoon, at which time they carouse around in packs, and when they get home just a few hours later, they rely on the worker bees to feed them.” Drones are assholes.

The drone exists to fertilize a queen bee. The mating takes place while the bees are in flight. Literally, they give a flying fuck. From penetration to ejaculation takes about two seconds, which to me is forty seconds shorter than sex should last. The drone dies soon after, as his penis and other much-loved body parts are ripped off during sexual intercourse. Any drones reading this, take it from me – no woman is worth that aggravation, and that’s the troof.

Friday is dance day at Tunes du Jour. This week’s party kicks off with 2 in a Room’s “Wiggle It.”


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It’s Paula Abdul’s Birthday And I Need To Dance!

I was in my convertible car with my then-friend Victor, sitting in traffic on La Cienega Boulevard just below Sunset. It was late afternoon or evening a few months after I moved to Los Angeles. A convertible containing two young ladies pulled out of a parking garage onto La Cienega. They stopped next to us. One of the women excitedly told us “The lakers won!”

Victor and I looked at the lass and then each other. Neither of us knew to what she was referring. What is a laker? Someone who works on a lake, obviously, but what do they do on/to the lake? Was there an ongoing lake workers’ strike that finally ended when their greedy overlords caved in to their demands? Did the lake workers pool their money to buy Powerball tickets and succeed in matching each number? Who are these lakers, what did they win, and how does this benefit Victor and me?

That we didn’t respond quickly and with equal enthusiasm upset the woman who shared with us this news. “I was going to tell you guys you’re cute, but I changed my mind.” Oh, darn. The traffic moved and off we went. I made a left on Sunset; the woman went right.

Victor and I went for chocolate malts at Mel’s Drive-In, where we learned that the Lakers are a local basketball team. Oh, those Lakers! I heard of them. They gave us Paula Abdul. She was an LA Lakers cheerleader before she became a well-known choreographer/”singer”/reality show judge. If only those ladies said to Victor and me “The basketball team for which Paula Abdul was a cheerleader in the early eighties won a game today,” they may have gotten lucky with two cute guys.

Today Paula Abdul turns 53 years old. We kick off our weekly dance party with “Straight Up.”


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