Flashback Friday: Tell Me Something Good

And now, for the second half of the Chaka Khan/Rufus two-fer that I’ve cued up for today, you just knew it had to be “Tell Me Something Good.”

Stevie Wonder was apparently so hot, so gifted, and brimming with so much confidence, that he gave this song away to Rufus. He had been an admirer of the band, and of Khan, after hearing them perform his song “Maybe Your Baby.” So confident was Stevie that the song was right for them, he reportedly taught Khan how to sing the song in the key he had written it in. So gifted was Chaka, she nailed her vocal in one take.

The song is also notable as one of the earliest recordings to use the guitar talk box, which you can hear in response to the lines in the second verse.

The song has become something of a pop and R&B standard. It has been covered dozens of times, has shown up in television shows, and has even been used as an audition song for reality television singing competitions. But no version has ever been as good as the original. And it all happened because Stevie Wonder just happened to be around when Rufus was working on their second album and had a song to give away; one that he might have had a hit with himself, so popular he was at that time.

Enjoy this Flashback Friday, and have a great weekend!

9 Replies to “Flashback Friday: Tell Me Something Good”

  1. Yessir!! That was another jam! This is another one of those songs that everybody in the house will start to sing : “Tell me sumthin’ good…Yeah!!”

    Very interesting fact that you gave about the talk boxed used in this song. My mother used to hate that thing. She got downright indignant with Roger Troutman (RIP) when he used a talk box on his rendition of “Grapevine.”

    One day I’ll tell you the whole funny story about that. Let’s just say that she actually met him in passing…and the story goes on from there πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL, I LOVED it too! But mama was old school so she simply could not tolerate the voice distortion that goes along with the talk box. You might say that she was a purist in that respect πŸ™‚ It was Marvin or nothing on Grapevine.

        Heck, she didn’t even really care for the original Gladys Knight and the Pips version.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow, she was a purist! Not even Gladys and the Pips could sway her on Grapevine! LOL I like them all, of course. Marvin’s might be the best of them all, but the others have their charms.
        Roger’s would get votes from me, because I remembered it in high school. So much fun!

        Liked by 1 person

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