[REMOVE ADS]




Results 1 to 25 of 25
  1. #1

    2 Guest Vocalists Are Singing First Lines Of Stevies YOU ARE THE SUNSHINE OF MY LIFE

    I know this is likely old news to the well-schooled & observant Motowners here, but I just recently took notice of the other-than-Stevie voices that begin singing the opening lines on this record. (!) And I am quite gobsmacked!
    In my defense, in 1973, when YOU ARE THE SUNSHINE OF MY LIFE came out and I was becoming familiar with it, I was listening to it mainly through my AM car radio. Those initial voices , I assumed were simply Stevie (in typical experimental Stevie fashion) applying some variable inflections with his voice. Sounded well-executed to me, worked fine. Nothing more to contemplate. Did others here make this same mistake??

    Likewise in my defense, WHO in the world lets others sing lead lines within a song credited as only them --- let alone the opening ones?? And then, to carry it further, uses two guest vocalists to do so? The possibility never crossed my mind.

    I finally caught on to it only recently. The first singer stands out now as less likely being Stevie. But the second singer, a female, still sounds to me like it could be Stevie singing in a higher register. Regardless of intent, a very clever intro Mr. Wonder! I wonder how it came about? Has there ever been an explanation?? A most unusual concept. Quite fun.

    I have also now learned who those two non-credited vocalists are, any of the knowledgeable here care to reveal their identities??

    Last edited by Boogiedown; 10-25-2018 at 04:59 AM.

  2. #2
    They are Jim Gilstrap (the first lines of the song) & Lani Groves (the following lines).

  3. #3
    If I'm not mistaken Lani recorded a duet album with Darlene Love and Jim sang the theme from "Good Times".
    Last edited by marybrewster; 10-25-2018 at 10:23 AM.

  4. #4
    The things we learn here. Amazing.

  5. #5
    I've always wondered who the artists were - great question!

  6. #6
    Not to sound like a jerk but the album lists who did the vocals so it shouldn’t be a surprise

  7. #7
    Never knew any of this!

  8. #8
    Jim Gilstrap is best known for this song here. A great memory from my high school days.....


  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Jim Gilstrap is best known for this song here. A great memory from my high school days.....

    I played that single til the grooves turned to dust!!lol!

    I especially liked the instrumental b-side. That song was written by Kenny Nolan , one of Disco Tex' Sex-o-Lettes!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by blackguy69 View Post
    Not to sound like a jerk but the album lists who did the vocals so it shouldn’t be a surprise
    Not being a jerk at all good info!....I didn't buy the LP .

    BTW does the LP specifically list Lani Groves soloing on this particular song? There seems to be some ideas on the internet that Stevie wrote this song about back up singer Gloria Barley (also singing on TALKING BOOK) a couple of years earlier during a time when he happened to be married to Syreeta , so at the time he buried it.
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 10-26-2018 at 02:50 PM.

  11. #11
    I can't quite remember what I thought of this when I first heard/listened to the song. Now I think about it, it does seem odd to have two other people singing the opening lines to your song. I do remember looking it up though; I just assumed Stevie let them sing the intro and thought it worked pretty well, so just left it.
    Last edited by TomatoTom123; 10-26-2018 at 08:50 PM.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    I played that single til the grooves turned to dust!!lol!

    I especially liked the instrumental b-side. That song was written by Kenny Nolan , one of Disco Tex' Sex-o-Lettes!
    Boogie LOL! I use to hear it all the time in the mornings getting ready for school on CKLW. Disco Tex & the Sex-o-Lettes had a big hit out around the same time as this one by Jim.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Boogie LOL! I use to hear it all the time in the mornings getting ready for school on CKLW. Disco Tex & the Sex-o-Lettes had a big hit out around the same time as this one by Jim.
    yes , both were on same label, Chelsea.

    here's the instrumental I dug feat. some nice sax:



    no wait , my copy was on Roxbury.

    Just realized SWING YOUR DADDY was arranged by Gene Page!
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 10-28-2018 at 12:15 AM.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    yes , both were on same label, Chelsea.

    here's the instrumental I dug feat. some nice sax:



    no wait , my copy was on Roxbury.

    Just realized SWING YOUR DADDY was arranged by Gene Page!

    Thank you Boogiedown! I have not heard Part II since back in the day.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Thank you Boogiedown! I have not heard Part II since back in the day.
    you're welcome Marv! same here !!!

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by TomatoTom123 View Post
    I can't quite remember what I thought of this when I first heard/listened to the song. Now I think about it, it does seem odd to have two other people singing the opening lines to your song. I do remember looking it up though; I just assumed Stevie let them sing the intro and thought it worked pretty well, so just left it.
    I hear ya Tom Tom . The "story" here as to how this came about probably isn't nearly as interesting as I'd like it to be.
    I think it does say something about the change of dynamics that happens in the studio when the artist is also the producer. I can't imagine an outside producer suggesting to Stevie , "Hey how about we let some unknown sing the opening lines of this single of yours ?"
    he'd likely answer , "the hell you say!!"
    But by dinkering around with his own material, Stevie was more able to toy with his options.
    By having total control, you stumble on stuff and you can say , "hey I like this!" and you have the power to follow through if you choose to.

  17. #17
    Here on "Ordinary Pain" from the "Songs in the Key of Life" album, Stevie just drops out and Shirley Brewer just takes over:


  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Here on "Ordinary Pain" from the "Songs in the Key of Life" album, Stevie just drops out and Shirley Brewer just takes over:

    Always liked that sassy part.
    But that's always been a strange one to me. Don't know why they're considered the same song??
    Maybe because Stevie isn't on it, they attached it to ORDINARY PAIN for legal/credits reasons??

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by TomatoTom123 View Post
    I can't quite remember what I thought of this when I first heard/listened to the song. Now I think about it, it does seem odd to have two other people singing the opening lines to your song. I do remember looking it up though; I just assumed Stevie let them sing the intro and thought it worked pretty well, so just left it.
    Or
    maybe we can make a story ( or two) out of this:

    From another thread:
    Quote Originally Posted by jsmith View Post

    . . . Jim Gilstrap has already confirmed that he quit Wonderlove on returning from the UK as Lani Groves (also a singer in the group) dumped him on their return to NY.
    So, now it turns out the two singers Stevie chose, Jim Gilstrap and Lani Groves, were an item!! Just a coincidence then that these two were used to solo on this intimate love song?? hmmm.

    Perhaps Stevie had already envisioned this song as a duet , and tried it out with these two.
    As a full song, perhaps the duet concept didn't seem to work as well, so Stevie scrapped it. But he liked the sincere interaction between the two enough to leave a brief exchange as an intro before he fully takes over. Maybe even as a nod to their relationship.

    There's one theory , ... made up entirely out of whole cloth!!! but there it is!
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 10-31-2018 at 02:23 AM.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    Not being a jerk at all good info!....I didn't buy the LP .

    BTW does the LP specifically list Lani Groves soloing on this particular song? There seems to be some ideas on the internet that Stevie wrote this song about back up singer Gloria Barley (also singing on TALKING BOOK) a couple of years earlier during a time when he happened to be married to Syreeta , so at the time he buried it.
    I can't help wondering then if the original plan was for Syreeta to sing the intro.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by 144man View Post
    I can't help wondering then if the original plan was for Syreeta to sing the intro.
    But wasn't it already salacious enough that now married Stevie was writing lyrics like this that were inspired by some back-up singer without then having his new bride sing them as if they were written with her in mind !!?
    I'll let you float that particular theory 144man!

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    But wasn't it already salacious enough that now married Stevie was writing lyrics like this that were inspired by some back-up singer without then having his new bride sing them as if they were written with her in mind !!?
    I'll let you float that particular theory 144man!
    I’d understood that the sunshine of Stevie’s life was Mother Earth...

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    But wasn't it already salacious enough that now married Stevie was writing lyrics like this that were inspired by some back-up singer without then having his new bride sing them as if they were written with her in mind !!?
    I'll let you float that particular theory 144man!
    The song was published in October 1972 giving a plausible time-frame for it to have indeed been inspired by Syreeta.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Sotosound View Post
    I’d understood that the sunshine of Stevie’s life was Mother Earth...
    no
    Mother Earth was his boogie on reggae woman

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by 144man View Post
    The song was published in October 1972 giving a plausible time-frame for it to have indeed been inspired by Syreeta.
    That would be the most desirable scenario and the most likely.

    BUT here and there on the internet there can be found a notion that Gloria Barley plays a hand. And according to the TALKING BOOK credits, for some reason she comes to the studio to perform on this song and this song only. (And btw, not Syreeta)
    For fans of plots involving collusion, maybe there's a bit of a twist to this at this point (to be continued as time permits):

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

[REMOVE ADS]

Ralph Terrana
MODERATOR

Welcome to Soulful Detroit! Kindly Consider Turning Off Your Ad BlockingX
Soulful Detroit is a free service that relies on revenue from ad display [regrettably] and donations. We notice that you are using an ad-blocking program that prevents us from earning revenue during your visit.
Ads are REMOVED for Members who donate to Soulful Detroit. [You must be logged in for ads to disappear]
DONATE HERE »
And have Ads removed.