Yesterday’s Morning Groove made mention of the R&B group the Rude Boys, who were mentored by Gerald Levert, who also sang with them on their biggest hit, “Written All Over Your Face.” Today, I’m featuring Gerald Levert in a duet with his father, Eddie Levert with “Baby Hold On To Me” for the Morning Groove.
Gerald Levert passed away in November of 2006, almost ten years ago. I can’t believe it’s already been that long since he left the earthly plane. He is really missed. Even though he sounded a lot like his father, Gerald was his own man musically. He stood out from the time he first came out in the group Levert with his brother Sean (also deceased) and cousin Marc Gordon, to his solo career.
I don’t look at the likes of Trey Songz or Chris Brown as worthy successors. They do what they do, but they can’t touch what Gerald did. R. Kelly is a talented singer, but his material veers wildly from release to release, sometimes even with a single album, and there’s the whole “personal issues” that some people will never forgive him for. Luke James has the talent, but will he ever get to the level Gerald reached? John Legend, Will Downing, Gregory Porter, Anthony Hamilton and Kem, they are the class of the genre right now, and in their own styles, stand out. There are many others that I’ve left out, but I’m not going to name every male soloist in R&B.
Incidentally, Eddie Levert has new music out now. The long-time lead vocalist of the O’Jays is still making music, almost fifty(!) years after he started. His new song is “Say It Ain’t So,” and while he doesn’t quite have the fire he did in his prime, there are flashes of it here and there. I don’t know if he will have a big hit with it, but it’s nice to see him still out here going strong after all he has been through.
One more from Gerald. Another of my favorites of his:
Still missed. That’s Gerald Levert. This doesn’t really qualify as a tribute, just a small remembrance of one of the great male R&B vocalists of my generation.
That’s the Morning Groove for today. Please enjoy, and thanks for reading and listening.