Well, here we are. It’s Friday. I’ve picked a song that has a special meaning to me, from one of the best R&B female singers of the late 70s-early to mid 80s.
Cheryl Lynn was discovered from an appearance on the late 70s game show The Gong Show. She was the winner on the episode where she sang, and that turned into a recording contract with Columbia Records. Her first album was released just a year later in 1978 and contained the big hit and disco classic “Got To Be Real.” Once disco died down, she continued to have R&B hits, produced by Ray Parker, Jr. (“Shake It Up Tonight”) and Luther Vandross (a cover of the Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell song “If This World Were Mine,” sung with Vandross). By 1984, she had switched producers to Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who gave her today’s Flashback Friday song that she took all the way to the top of the R&B charts.
The song holds a place near and dear to my heart because of something that happened during my senior year of high school. Throughout much of my high school years, I was a homebody nerd who never went out to parties, and never hung out with classmates. I basically learned how to entertain myself, learning about music, teaching myself dances to different songs, and doing lots of reading. During high school, I was tapped to join the National Honor Society, and in our senior year we sponsored a school dance that we called a “backwards prom.” Basically, we did everything in opposite to a prom: no theme, dressed down, a DJ instead of a band, no decorations, etc. It was basically a regular school dance, just with a different name attached.
So, at some point during the dance, the DJ played “Encore.” I decided that this was it; the song just wouldn’t let me keep still. No one in school had ever seen me dance in public before. For once, I wasn’t nervous or worried—I went for it. The reaction was a surprise to me—I didn’t know how anyone would react, but it turned out to be very positive; so much so, I was egged to get up on the auditorium stage and dance solo. From there, it was no looking back. I had no nerves about dancing in public after that day. By the time of the real prom, I even had a passable moonwalk!
I can’t really say if the “Tracy two-step” was born that day, but I can say that my fear of dancing in public disappeared. Once it was learned that I could dance, it seemed that anyone who signed my yearbook and had seen me in action couldn’t help but mention how well I danced.
Enjoy today’s Flashback Friday song, and have a great weekend! As always, thanks for reading and listening.