Welcome again to another Sunday Slow Jams post. This post was inspired by the unseasonably warm weather those of us on Maryland’s Eastern Shore experienced today. Other than the cursed pollen, it was a beautiful, but warm 84 degrees today. That’s good for late May or mid-June, but definitely not what you’re expecting on an Easter Sunday in mid-April. Of course, I guess it’s better than April showers, so we’ll take it; though I suspect the area farmers would have preferred some rain.
“Warm Weather” was one of my favorite songs by the group Pieces Of A Dream. Formed back in 1976 when members Cedric Napoleon, Curtis Harmon and James Lloyd were just teenagers, they received an endorsement by none other than R&B/fusion saxophone great Grover Washington, Jr. that sent them on their way. By 1980, they were recording their self-titled debut album, which is where this gem of a song can be found. For years, I never knew who the lead vocalist was; I know now that it is Barbara Walker. Thank you guys and Ms. Walker for this classic song.
Featured prominently this week are 70s soul group The Stylistics; who were among the many practitioners of smooth Philadelphia soul in those days. Their debut album is generally considered a classic of the style, and contained five top ten R&B hits; almost unheard of back in 1971-1972. I’ve included two as part of a Stylistics Triple Play: “You Are Everything” and “People Make The World Go Round.” The third song in that trio is “You Make Me Feel Brand New.” Amazingly, for all the classics the group had, none of them reached #1 on the R&B listings; their “Betcha By Golly, Wow” got as high as #2 for three weeks.
As always, I’ve listed the songs in the playlist below for reference, just in case you can’t hear one.
This week’s Sunday Slow Jams playlist:
- “Seduction” by Boney James
- “If You’d Only Believe” by The Jacksons
- “Warm Weather” by Pieces Of A Dream
- “In My Life” by Randy Crawford
- “You’re My Music” by Brian Culbertson featuring Noel Gourdin
- “You Are Everything” by The Stylistics
- “People Make The World Go Round” by The Stylistics
- “You Make Me Feel Brand New” by The Stylistics
- “Inside My Love” by Minnie Riperton
- “Love Take Me” by Rick Braun featuring Lindsey Webster
- “A Warm Summer Night” by Chic
- “Forever My Lady” by Jodeci
- “Slow Jam” by Midnight Star
Some notes on a few of the other tracks: the Jacksons song is sung by Jermaine, with Tito, Jackie and Randy filling out the group. That’s right: no Michael, and no Marlon either. I chose the Randy Crawford song because I like it, and I think she sounds a bit like Ms. Walker on the Pieces Of A Dream song. The Rick Braun song is from his new album, Around The Horn, and features up and comer Lindsey Webster. For fans of 90s R&B, I chose Jodeci’s hit “Forever My Lady,” which is still getting airplay on Quiet Storm and slow jam shows to this day. Closing out the set is Midnight Star’s “Slow Jam,” which functioned as a theme song for several Quiet Storm shows.
If you want to listen on Spotify, just head over there and look for me (under my name Tracy Smith) and you can play the songs there (with the exception of Midnight Star’s “Slow Jam” which isn’t on the service.
Hope you enjoy today’s Slow Jams, and thanks for listening and reading.