sOMKEY rOBINSON

Hi Readers,

Summer has finally arrived.

And with the summer season comes the explosion of fantastic music concerts.

Lest we forget, June is Black music month.

Because I live in Chicago where warm weather is greatly anticipated and revered, I enjoy long leisurely walks during the summer months.

I depend on great music to accompany me.

In particular, old school R&B.

The range of artists I enjoy and their unique styles are too numerous for me to recount.

Though there are some styles and techniques that I really love.

I especially adore the many falsettos in classic Black music.

In this post, I want to pay homage to some of the greatest falsettos in classic R&B.

One dynamic falsetto singer that comes to mind is Eddie Holman.

You know readers-from the 70’s smash hit Hey There Lonely Girl.

Wow!!!!

What a sweet and tender ballet.

Eddie’s perfect high falsetto is in keeping with the tone of the song in which a sensitive brother implores a lady with a freshly broken heart that he will help her heal.

Deep…..

Every time I hear this song, it only sounds better!!!!

Maybe our contemporary crooners with a penchant for sensitivity should take a chapter from Eddie’s playbook.

And speaking of style, how can we ever forget the fabulous Stylistics?

For those not in the know, they are the masters of classics-You are Everything, I’m Stone in Love With You, You Make Me Feel Brand New, Betcha By Golly Wow, People Make the World Go Round!!!!

I remember Marvin and Diana covering You Are Everything as a duo.

I loved the remix-with Diana’s smooth vocals next to Marvin’s gruff rendition-you can feel the sex appeal seeping into your pores.

As much as I love Marvin and Diana’s version, I prefer the Stylistics cover because it harkens back to an era when real men had no qualms about expressing their most tender and deepest feelings.

Speaking of expressing feelings, do you remember the group Switch?

For those of you who are scratching your heads, I hope you can remember 70’s classics such as I Call your Name and There Will Never Be.

Owwwww….

Credit can be given to Bobby DeBarge-older sibling of the famous DeBarge family.

I think the first time I ever heard Switch it was the song, I call Your Name.

I remember the opening lines…

“I use to think about immature things like do you want me, do you love me….”

I imagined an adolescent.

Bobby was anything but an adolescent!!!!

Handsome in that 70’s style with curly locks, cafe au lait skin- this song was the perfect match to Bobby’s impressive falsetto.

What a lethal combination.

I sang this song often as a pre-teen.

My favorite line…”Oh when I’m lonely when I’m discouraged I call your name. There is no substitute for you.”

Man these lyrics take me back. Even now, I can feel the powerful impact of this song; of a young man missing a woman near and dear to his heart.

And speaking of Cafe au lait 70’s falsetto singers, Smokey Robinson is hands downs-without a doubt the greatest of them all!!!!

Marvin Gaye once proclaimed Smokey the world’s greatest poet.

Where to start…

There is one poignant song that I especially adore-More Love.

According to Smokey, he composed this song after he and his first wife, former band mate Claudette Robinson suffered a heart breaking miscarriage.

It starts off….

“Let it be soon don’t hesitate, make it now don’t wait. Open your heart , and let my love come in. I want the moment to start when I can fill your heart with more love…My love will be so sound it will take a hundred lifetimes to tear it down.”

If Smokey would have never composed or sang another note, the lyrics he wrote and the endearing way he sang them in tender love to his wife, would have solidified his career for me.

And speaking of Smokey Robinson’s compositions and singing, if I had a favorite I guess it would be Ooh Baby Baby.

Remember?

“I did you wrong my heart went out to play I’m only human but what a price to pay.”

What’s better than a silky smooth crooner pouring out his words of love for you?

One who is begging for forgiveness!!!!

Readers those are songs that still sustain me in a contemporary climate in which male singers vilify women instead of respecting and loving them.

Well that is all for now.

Join me next time when I take a look back at the greatest bass singers in R&B.

Until next time…..

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