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  1. #1

    Short lived club divas!

    I am totally amazed at the number of hits on youtube that people like Joyce Sims, Jenny Burton, and Rochelle Fleming and others are getting. Evidently these queens of the club are not forgotten and they have a core audience. Heck I saw a clip on youtube of Samantha Fox touring with Debbie Gibson and Gibson has tons of hits. Here is a clip of Joyce Sims singing one of my favorite songs Come into My Life. Who are some of your favorite club divas who didnt last long but had good songs. Please dont mention Madonna I mean people who had 3 or 4 hits or less.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cowp0eP8VOo

  2. #2
    Hey Stephanie,

    This is a good thread. Many of these club divas had hits that seemed to have been HUGE in New York because they got a lot of airplay, but many of the divas got royally jerked around by small time label owners and promoters and they just seemed to disappear. I've been able to catch up to a few to interview for A Touch of Classic Soul, but most of them have vanished.

    Here's my short list of 15 just off the top of my head. I'm confining it to the early-to-mid-1980s.

    Sharon Brown ("I Specialize in Love") - active on FB
    Jeanette "Lady" Day ("Come and Let Me Love You") - heard that she passed around the time of the release of the song.
    Slyvia Striplin' ("Give Me Your Love") - whereabouts unknown
    Chemise ("She Can't Love You") - whereabouts unknown
    Tracey Webber ("Sureshot") - was killed around the time the song was released.
    Fonda Rae ("Over Like a Fat Rat," "Touch Me, All Night Long") - still around
    Taana Gardner ("Work That Body," "Heartbeat") - still around. I think she's on FB
    Alicia Myers - ("I Wanna Thank You") - performing in NY next weekend
    Janice McClain ("Smack Dab in the Middle") - active on FB
    Dhar Braxton ("Jump Back") - whereabouts unknown
    Jocelyn Brown - performs primarily in Europe
    Martha Wash - performs regularly
    Barbara Roy from Ecstasy, Passion & Pain ("Gotta See You Tonight") - active on FB and should be performing in NY fairly soon
    Pennye Ford ("Dangerous," "Change Your Wicked Ways") performs with Bernadette Cooper's Klymaxx; active on FB
    Vickie Love and Nuance - ("Love Ride," "Take a Chance") - Vickie's on FB
    Carrie Lucas - ("Dance With You," "Career Girl") - on FB and performed at least once this year.


    I'm sure Juice or Kev-Lo will chime in here with more.

    Peace,
    Marc Taylor
    Last edited by mellow_q; 10-29-2011 at 08:45 PM.

  3. #3
    Stephanie,

    This can be a tough thread simply because many of my favorite songs were made by ladies whom only had a few releases, while others are a part of the House Music era.

    Marc,

    For as many years as I've tried to get info about Jeanette "Lady" Day, that's the first time that I've heard that. As I'm sure that given the popularity of Come Let Me Love You (at least in N.Y.C.), she'd have resurfaced by now, so I can definitely believe that.

    I also remember that I was DJing at the rink the night that it was announced that Tracey had been killed. Actually, she recorded the song 6 months before being killed in Ma 1981. There's been much said about the circumstances behind her death. Some years back I was in a store talking about music & one of the guys was an older gentlemen who is the father of a young lady whom enjoyed a couple of hits in the late 80s/early 90s,who claimed to have been there that night & he told me his version, which is somewhat different than the few which have been previously stated. Either way, its a tragedy & a promising life was snuffed out needlessly. I've heard that she once sang with Betty Davis, but was never able to confirm it.

    For years, there was not so much as a picture circulating about her. But thanks to the internet, there is a sorority whom honored Tracy & for the first time, those of us who missed the 1982 article about her in the N.Y. post, we finally able to place a face to the voice. Here's the youtube link:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0X6Vl...feature=relmfu

  4. #4
    Gloria Gaynor is approaching 2,000,000 hits on youtube for I will survive! She is hugely popular abroad. Not that she ahs been short lived. Alycia Bridges is still around as well.

  5. #5
    Juice,
    I can't confirm the Jeanette "Lady" Day story. Howie Vines is the source of that info, but even he wasn't positive. She co-wrote "Come and Let Me Love You" and the song is registered at BMI. BMI is good at putting you in touch with their writers. They won't give out addresses, but will at least forward mail for you. I checked with them re Jeanette and was told something along the lines of "she is not active" or "we don't have a current address for her."
    Last edited by mellow_q; 10-29-2011 at 11:21 PM.

  6. #6
    I would have to say that Sharon Redd was my favorite club artist ever. From 1980 to 1983, Sharon made some of the hottest club jams ever, especially that 1st LP. Can You Handle It, You Got My Love are 2 songs which never fail to bring back some great memories of spinning them at The Rollerdome. But Sharon also could handle a ballad & You Stayed On My Mind was another song that I loved. Ironically, it was a ballad, Does Your Mama Know About Me, which was recorded with Formerly Of The Harlettes that is my favorite performance by her. I loved that song from the 1st time that I heard it back in 1978 & with a due respect to all, I consider hers to be the definitive version of that song.

    Sharon was the sister of Pennye Ford & I once did a rather lengthy overview of her career on my old website, some information which later appeared in another article about her on another site. In which case, I'm flattered.

    I have to include Carol Williams here, not for her 1970s Disco cuts, but for her 1980s cuts You've Reached The Bottom Line & Can't Get Away. I've read that she was a member of a group named Komiko, which made another favorite of mine, Feel Alright.

    For 1 LP, I have to mention Donna McGhee, if only for her glorious It Ain't No Big Thing. That was one sweet song & Love Bug & her original version of Make It Last Forever (not the Keith Sweat version, but the one which was covered by Inner Life) is wonderful, as well.

    A few others that I have to qualify would be Meli'sa Morgan purely on the strength of Keep In Touch (Body To Body) while she was with The Shades Of Love, and Raw Silk for Do It To The Music, who was fronted by actress Valerie Pettiford, which you can see here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezw2b0uuz_o

    And an honorable mention must go to Vicky D for This Beat Is Mine & Shawn Christopher for one of my favorite House Cuts, Don't Lose The Magic (Hitman's 12'). Unfortunately,only the 12" is posted on youtube...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tQ8pemdDDw

    Marc & I ran into Joyce Sims a few years ago at a Disco Ball & she sounded good. I've run into Rochelle over the last 2 years & Rochelle is still active & doing her thing. She last appeared in Coney Island at the Cyclones field. As for Alicia Myers, she's my girl & one hell of a sweetheart & I'm glad to see that they're bringing her to our area more often. I believe that she'd be able to get more that a few gigs if she lived in our area, as I Want To Thank You & others have remained very popular here.

  7. #7
    Marc,

    Indeed, there was a different spin put on it by this gentleman & I was quite surprised when he told me who he was & why he stated what he stated. I would've never guessed that his daughter was who she was. But he started running down where she lived, what she had been doing & when I checked it out, the brother had all of the details about who he said his daughter was down pat.

    Now this isn't a brother whom you would've thought would've known about this music,much less these artists. He doesn't fit the age demographic, nor the lifestyle & he didn't appear to be a follower of club/R&B music at all. So when he stated who his daughter was & stated a name which wasn't a household name, someone who definitely wasn't in the public consciousness &told me with complete clarity what had gone down & placing himself squarely in that picture, the man had nothing to gain by saying any of that & absolutely no reason to lie to me about it.

    I realize that some things that go down can be hard to take & that truth can often be stranger than fiction,so out of respect for those who are left behind, I would never repeat a word that he said on a public forum because doing so wouldn't change a thing, nor would it bring her back. People are comfortable with things as they are & I believe that they should be able to hold onto the good memories that they have. I haven't the right to take that away from them & it's best to let the young lady rest in peace.

  8. #8
    Hi this is Kev-Lo

    Whatever happened to Suzy Q- Get On Up And Doing It Again. Was a huge 1981 Club Classic.
    Also Gale Addams and Mikki who made the classic Iching For Love.

  9. #9
    KevLo

    There's a debate about Suzy-Q & suggestion that she didn't actually sing the vocals on that song. I'm not sure if that's true, but that's what's been going around of late.

    Mikki was Mikki Farrow & there was a discussion about her passing here back in 2002:

    http://soulfuldetroit.com/archives/6...tml?1026046752

  10. #10
    Hi this is Kev-Lo

    Yeah I heard that about Suzy Q as well, I'm sorry to hear about Mikki. I used to love that song Iching For Love. Do you know how she passed

  11. #11
    Good point, Juice. Just to be safe, I've deleted the bottom portion of my last post.

  12. #12
    Oh no Marc,

    You didn't have to delete anything because you wrote nothing wrong. I just put that in as a disclaimer because you know how it goes & I know that this has happened to you as well. Sometimes when you have different information than what's been accepted as fact, invariably someone will come along & ask for specifics. I only wrote that in order to prevent such an occurrence.

    There was absolutely nothing wrong with what you wrote because I know that you of all people know of what I speak. But thanks for looking out.

  13. #13
    KevLo,

    Bobby Eli whom brought the original info to the forum stated that she died while awaiting a liver transplant.

    Ironically, though she had been around for quite awhile, I never heard of her until Itching For Love came out. That was a very popular song at my rink back in 1982 & Look Before You leap got some spins as well.

    At the time, I had no idea that she was from Detroit & had been married to Mike Terry, nor did I know of her work with Jerry Butler's workshop in the 70s. She seemed to disappear after Love Emergency/Dance Lover & I had no idea that had married Billy Butler.

    Here's a link which has more info about her & her career:
    http://www.discogs.com/artist/Mikki

  14. #14
    KevLo

    I too have wondered what's become of Gayle Adams as well. But I've been as lucky finding out info about her as I've been her producers. Which is to say no luck at all.

  15. #15
    I must add that Your Love Is A Lifesaver was my favorite, followed by Stretchin Out, Plain Out Of Luck & You Don't Owe Me Nothin'.

    You Don't Owe Me Nothin' was a bit of a sleeper & while much more laid-back than her more popular songs, there was something about the arrangement & music that appealed to me back then.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
    I am totally amazed at the number of hits on youtube that people like Joyce Sims, Jenny Burton, and Rochelle Fleming and others are getting. Evidently these queens of the club are not forgotten and they have a core audience. Heck I saw a clip on youtube of Samantha Fox touring with Debbie Gibson and Gibson has tons of hits. Here is a clip of Joyce Sims singing one of my favorite songs Come into My Life. Who are some of your favorite club divas who didnt last long but had good songs. Please dont mention Madonna I mean people who had 3 or 4 hits or less.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cowp0eP8VOo
    Oh man, Joyce Sims was my girl! Lots of memories there. You couldn't go out anywhere in Philly back in the 80's and not hear Joyce Sims on the radio and then in clubs once you go there. "My All and All", "Come Into My Life" and another one that escapes me at this moment, but her voice conjures up a nice slice of time in my life.

  17. #17
    Ok, how about Tasha Thomas with "Shoot Me (With Your Love) 1978:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JK83Vwc7SLc

    A visually unlikely candidate but she sure was gettin' it, Karen Young with "Hot Shot" 1978:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0bPyCR9Kwc

    and of course perennial favorite, Cheryl Lynn and "Shake It Up Tonight" 1981:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TETzn...eature=related

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by mellow_q View Post
    Hey Stephanie,

    This is a good thread. Many of these club divas had hits that seemed to have been HUGE in New York because they got a lot of airplay, but many of the divas got royally jerked around by small time label owners and promoters and they just seemed to disappear. I've been able to catch up to a few to interview for A Touch of Classic Soul, but most of them have vanished.

    Here's my short list of 15 just off the top of my head. I'm confining it to the early-to-mid-1980s.

    Sharon Brown ("I Specialize in Love") - active on FB
    Jeanette "Lady" Day ("Come and Let Me Love You") - heard that she passed around the time of the release of the song.
    Slyvia Striplin' ("Give Me Your Love") - whereabouts unknown
    Chemise ("She Can't Love You") - whereabouts unknown
    Tracey Webber ("Sureshot") - was killed around the time the song was released.
    Fonda Rae ("Over Like a Fat Rat," "Touch Me, All Night Long") - still around
    Taana Gardner ("Work That Body," "Heartbeat") - still around. I think she's on FB
    Alicia Myers - ("I Wanna Thank You") - performing in NY next weekend
    Janice McClain ("Smack Dab in the Middle") - active on FB
    Dhar Braxton ("Jump Back") - whereabouts unknown
    Jocelyn Brown - performs primarily in Europe
    Martha Wash - performs regularly
    Barbara Roy from Ecstasy, Passion & Pain ("Gotta See You Tonight") - active on FB and should be performing in NY fairly soon
    Pennye Ford ("Dangerous," "Change Your Wicked Ways") performs with Bernadette Cooper's Klymaxx; active on FB
    Vickie Love and Nuance - ("Love Ride," "Take a Chance") - Vickie's on FB
    Carrie Lucas - ("Dance With You," "Career Girl") - on FB and performed at least once this year.


    I'm sure Juice or Kev-Lo will chime in here with more.

    Peace,
    Marc Taylor
    That is good list Marc. I saw Taania Gardner at a small club over in Queens a few years ago. She was very pregnant but still did a good job. Of the ladies I listed in my first posting here, both Tasha Thomas and Karen Young have passed.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by juicefree20 View Post
    Stephanie,

    This can be a tough thread simply because many of my favorite songs were made by ladies whom only had a few releases, while others are a part of the House Music era.

    Marc,

    For as many years as I've tried to get info about Jeanette "Lady" Day, that's the first time that I've heard that. As I'm sure that given the popularity of Come Let Me Love You (at least in N.Y.C.), she'd have resurfaced by now, so I can definitely believe that.

    I also remember that I was DJing at the rink the night that it was announced that Tracey had been killed. Actually, she recorded the song 6 months before being killed in Ma 1981. There's been much said about the circumstances behind her death. Some years back I was in a store talking about music & one of the guys was an older gentlemen who is the father of a young lady whom enjoyed a couple of hits in the late 80s/early 90s,who claimed to have been there that night & he told me his version, which is somewhat different than the few which have been previously stated. Either way, its a tragedy & a promising life was snuffed out needlessly. I've heard that she once sang with Betty Davis, but was never able to confirm it.

    For years, there was not so much as a picture circulating about her. But thanks to the internet, there is a sorority whom honored Tracy & for the first time, those of us who missed the 1982 article about her in the N.Y. post, we finally able to place a face to the voice. Here's the youtube link:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0X6Vl...feature=relmfu
    Juice, if you don't mind me asking, how did Tracey die?

  20. #20
    I am not sure if we can classify Cherrelle as a "Club Diva" (but that is where I first met her, at a club off of 8 Mile Rd. in Detroit in the 80's) Here she is with "I Didn't Mean to Turn You On" from 1984:


  21. #21
    Marv,

    Unfortunately, she was murdered in Harlem 6 months before her song began receiving airplay. If you check the video that I posted, somewhere close to the beginning of their tribute to her, they've included a news clip which appeared in the N.Y. Post from Jan. 9th, 1982, which discussed some of the circumstances surrounding the song & her death, but very, very briefly.

    Though my information appears to be completely & totally reliable, as the person who told me was also caught up in the situation, as I wasn't personally there, I'll consider that information to be totally second-hand & not discuss that version of things. The story which appears in the paper is the official story & it would be disrespectful for me to post anything other than what her loved ones have accepted to be factual.

    It's not always what is known that matters, but rather what can be proven & I guess that these 31 years after the fact, nothing will bring her back. May she rest in peace.
    Last edited by juicefree20; 10-30-2011 at 03:27 AM.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by juicefree20 View Post
    Marv,

    Unfortunately, she was murdered in Harlem 6 months before her song began receiving airplay. If you check the video that I posted, somewhere close to the beginning of their tribute to her, they've included a news clip which appeared in the N.Y. Post from Jan. 9th, 1982, which discussed some of the circumstances surrounding the song & her death, but very, very briefly.

    Though my information appears to be completely & totally reliable, as the person who told me was also caught up in the situation, as I wasn't personally there, I'll consider that information to be totally second-hand & not discuss that version of things. The story which appears in the paper is the official story & it would be disrespectful for me to post anything other than what her loved ones have accepted to be factual.

    It's not always what is known that matters, but rather what can be proven & I guess that these 31 years after the fact, nothing will bring her back. May she rest in peace.

    Thank you for your response Juice. I was living out West during that time and hardly if any of the news such as this ever made it out there for some reason. Hard to believe it's been 31 years already. Yes may she rest in peace. Can you clear your mailbox out for me?

  23. #23
    Some great selections in this thread .. here are three favourites of mine that I can't see mentioned yet ..

    VENUS DODSON - "Night Rider" .. from 1979 ..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVkmwKbojnw

    MAHOGANY - "Ride On The Rhythm" .. from 1982

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVkmwKbojnw

    ELEANOR MILLS - "Looking For Mr Right" .. from 1987

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JmEntMx17o

    Roger

  24. #24
    This is an interesting thread...
    Though I never was crazy about most club music there were some exceptions that even us funkaholics could sink our
    teeth into like Lisa Lisa (though I admit she was more than short lived) and before her, Shannon, who really got to
    me on an almost physical level with her sound...

    Lisa:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5m8lj5DCtI


    Shannon
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-0sUuGufmw

  25. #25
    Here is one of my favorites Sharon Brown
    I Specialize In Love

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6JAehiN2Y8

  26. #26
    I have seen two clips of Doctors Orders star Carol Douglass. One on PBS and the other at some show in Vegas 2009 and she sounded great. She sounds good here but as a FAN I hate when I see people having to do gigs like this but I guess that is what is called professionalism. I never will forget when I saw Mary Wilson in the 80s and she was singing for 50 people and she put on the show the same as she had done if there were 5000 there and a lot of them were punk rockers but they got into her I was amazed. When she Did How Lucky Can you Get they clapped and I was shocked because I didnt think that they would get into her style they must have loved Motown. Mary Wells had punk rockers coming to her clubs as well. One thing about that type of group they were so misunderstood they will listen to different genres. Well her is Ms Douglass at a gig that is not worthy of her but Im sure she got paid.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyudD...eature=related

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
    I have seen two clips of Doctors Orders star Carol Douglass. One on PBS and the other at some show in Vegas 2009 and she sounded great. She sounds good here but as a FAN I hate when I see people having to do gigs like this but I guess that is what is called professionalism. I never will forget when I saw Mary Wilson in the 80s and she was singing for 50 people and she put on the show the same as she had done if there were 5000 there and a lot of them were punk rockers but they got into her I was amazed. When she Did How Lucky Can you Get they clapped and I was shocked because I didnt think that they would get into her style they must have loved Motown. Mary Wells had punk rockers coming to her clubs as well. One thing about that type of group they were so misunderstood they will listen to different genres. Well her is Ms Douglass at a gig that is not worthy of her but Im sure she got paid.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyudD...eature=related
    Stephanie I am remember watching one of those entertainment magazine type shows and Carol Douglas was the subject of a segment. They showed her singing at a private party in this tiny Manhattan apt. She was the hired entertainment. It was a bit unbelievable.

  28. #28
    Off the top of my head -
    Show Me Love - Robin S
    Janice McLain (a great friend of mine) - Smack Dab in the Middle
    Gonna Catch You - Lonnie Gordon

  29. #29
    Joyce Sims - Lifetime Love was another song that I liked, but All N All sure was in heavy rotation in Philly during that time.

  30. #30
    Carol Jiani - Hit 'N Run Lover
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carol_Jiani

    France Joli - Come To me/Heart to Break The Heart/Gonna Get Over You/Don't Stop dancing
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/France_Joli

    Gewm McCrae - Keep The Fires Burning/Rockin Chair/Funky Sensation/All This Love That I'm Giving
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gwen_McCrae

    Sybil - Don't Make Me Over/Walk On By
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sybil_(singer)

    Michele - Magic Love (Pseudonym of vocalist Chantal Curtis a.k.a. Chantal Sitruk who hailed from Tunisia, and is best known for the disco song "Get Another Love"

    Gayle Adams - Your Love Is A Lifesaver/Love Fever/Stretch'In Out
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gayle_Adams

    Suzi Lane - Harmony" / "Ooh, La La
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzi_Lane

    Shawn Christopher - Another Sleepless Night/Don't Lose the Magic
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shawn_Christopher

    Alisha - Body Talk
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alisha_(singer)

    Regina - Baby Love
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regina_Richards

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