Shalamar started life as a “manufactured” group. Dick Griffey was the talent co-ordinator for Soul Train when he decided to set up his own record label – SOLAR. SOLAR is an acronym for Sounds Of Los Angeles records. Dick took session musicians and created a hit record – called Uptown Festival - which was credited to a faceless artist “Shalamar” in 1977. When the record became a hit he realised that there was a demand for an actual group so he set about creating one with soul train dancers Jeffrey Daniel and Jody Watley together with singer Gary Mumford, the latter of whom quickly left the group to pursue other interests.
Jeffrey Daniel had met Howard Hewett at the LA nightclub “Maverick Flat” a few years earlier and had already asked him to take up lead vocals after Mumford’s departure. At that time, Hewett was committed to another contract to tour Europe with a covers band. When Brown left, Daniel asked Hewett to come on board again and this time he agreed. The rest is history.
Hewett’s first record The Second Time Around was a million seller. As well as being number one on the US R&B chart it went on to reach number eight in the main Billboard pop chart indicating Shalamar’s intention to cross over with an edgy sound incorporating funk, disco, R&B and pop.
The trio consisting of Howard Hewett as lead vocalist together with Jeffrey Daniel and Jody Watley became known as the “classic” line up of the group. From late 1979 to mid 1983 they racked up more than a dozen hits all over the world including North America, Europe, Africa and Japan. In the UK, Shalamar are also remembered for Jeffrey Daniel’s famous appearances on Top of the Pops where he introduced body popping and moonwalking to UK audiences.
Daniel is also an award-winning choreographer well known for teaching the moonwalk to Michael Jackson as well as co-choreographing some of Michael's videos and for being his dance mentor.
At the height of their fame in 1983, Jody Watley and Daniel left Shalamar leaving Hewett to continue the group with new members and further hits resulting in a personal grammy for Hewett.
In 1999, Howard Hewett and Jeffrey Daniel reformed the group and began touring again. For a number of years they left the third slot empty as they continued to invite Jody Watley back into the group. When they were happy that they had tried their best to encourage Watley to re-join, they felt that they should look for another female vocalist.
The natural choice of replacement was Carolyn Griffey, daughter of founder Dick Griffey. She grew up a pre-teenager spending much time in the offices and studios of Solar Records in the presence of the original Shalamar and their label bandmates including The Whispers, Midnight Star and her mother Carrie Lucas, herself an accomplished R&B artist. At the age of 18 Carolyn had a record deal with another group Absolute who had two songs featured on the soundtrack of the film Lambada.
So for all intents and purposes we focus here on the years 82 and pre and no later than 89. The sweet spot for Shalamar is noted here in the early to mid 80's.
Their first hit was "Uptown Festival" (1977), released on Soul Train Records. Which was an interpolation of the songs in a disco mix all one song. Combined. Some of the first mixes.. this would be a singer of a mix tape in modern times ("Going to a Go-Go" / "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)" / "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" / "Stop! In the Name of Love" / "It's the Same Old Song" / "The Tears of a Clown" / "Love Is Like an Itching in My Heart" / "This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)" / "Baby Love" / "He Was Really Saying Somethin'")
(Out of uptown festival) Take it to the bank intro Theirs a great set of session players and singers. Almost like the Stars on Series of the time they had done for Elvis and the Beatles they were like these disco medleys.. Maybe these are running in tandem together. But that song there was a disco masterminded by dick Griffey...
In time... we are up to the Disco Gardens release from Shalamar which is the second album by Shalamar, released in 1978 on the SOLAR label.
It features the line-up of Gerald Brown, Jeffrey Daniels and Jody Watley, and was the only Shalamar album on which Gerald Brown appeared.
Disco Gardens was less successful than Shalamar's debut Uptown Festival, peaking at #52 on the R&B chart and #171 on the Billboard chart. It contains early indications of what was to become the distinctive "SOLAR sound", most notably on the single release "Take That to the Bank" which was a UK Top 20 hit in early 1979. Here it is now on the Old School rewind podcast
(Second time around)
This is Shalamar on the Old School rewind, we're up to Big Fun, the third album from the group Shalamar, Big Fun released in 79 on SOLAR , it was produced by Leon Sylvers III and is the first album to feature what is considered the 'classic' Shalamar line-up (Jeffrey Daniels, Howard Hewett and Jody Watley), with Hewett having replaced Gerald Brown. Big Fun has been certified Gold in the United States for sales of over 500,000. It peaked at #4 on the R&B chart and #23 on the Billboard chart (Shalamar's highest-placing album on this chart). In the UK it reached #45 The biggest hit as of now and from BIG FUN is "The Second Time Around". "The Second Time Around" was a monster and even the focus of a radio station promotion In 1980, the band made a promotion of "The Second Time Around" for the radio station KJR in Seattle, called "The Sonics Came to Play," dedicated to the Seattle SuperSonics who had won the NBA Championship the previous year. (Clip?)
Play song Second time around
(Out of second time around)
Here's maybe my favorite from Shalamar on this weeks podcast title make that move...
Play make that move
Out of make that move Thank you for listening sharing subscribing to the old school rewind I am Aaron from the 35 acres and a microphone podcast farm. We've got the bright light from Shalamars music shining upon us... up next on my podcast that tributes old school dance music and hip hop its relation to rhythm radio and more.. is "This Is for the Lover in You" this is a song written by Howard Hewett,from shalamar, and songwriter Dana Meyers. The track was originally recorded by Shalamar and appeared on their 1980 Platinum album, Three for Love. The song was the third single released it peaked at No. 17 on the U.S. R&B chart in 1981.
This is for the lover in you was later remade by Babyface from the album The Day featuring LL Cool J and the former members of Shalamar: Howard Hewett, Jody Watley, and Jeffrey Daniel. The Babyface version was a successful hit, reaching #6 on the U.S. Hot 100 chart, #2 on the U.S. R&B chart, and #12 on the UK Singles Chart. The song was considered to be atypical for Babyface when it was released.
(Play for the lover in you)
(Out of lover in you,)
"I Can Make You Feel Good" is a 1982 song by American R&B group Shalamar from their Platinum album Friends. It reached No. 7 in the UK making it their first top ten hit,
Play I can make you feel good
Out of I can make you feel good
The westside connickyy nection to the shalamar band and the entire artist roster form Dick Griffeys label solar like midnight star and more... was the sound. Dick had the ear. Howard hewett is an incredible voice and. The vibe of the track is in the proverbial pocket her on night to remember from the old school rewind..
Play a night to remember
Out of night to remember Into dead giveaway
The Look is the seventh album by American R&B group Shalamar, released in 1983 on the SOLAR label. It is the last Shalamar album to feature the line-up of Jeffrey Daniels, Howard Hewett and Jody Watley, as both Daniels and Watley would leave the group shortly before its release
The Look peaked at No. 13 on the R&B chart and No. 79 on the Billboard pop chart. Like Shalamar's previous album, Friends, it was more successful in the United Kingdom, where it reached No. 7. The Look was certified Gold in the UK. The Time guitarist Jesse Johnson plays rhythm guitar on "Dead Giveaway", uncredited. It brought us the song dead giveaway from shalamar on the old school rewind
Out of dead giveaway
That's dead giveaway as we focus on the true school old school of dance and hip hop. Playing tribute to Shalamar and the genius of Dick Griffey and his manufactured group. Howard really delivers on the single "Dancing in the Sheets" a song written by Bill Wolfer and Dean Pitchford featured on the chart-topping soundtrack album of the 1984 motion picture Footloose and was also the first single from their album Heartbreak, featuring the new line-up of Howard Hewett, Delisa Davis and Micki Free. The synth melody on the song is similar in structure to Prince's "1999". A music video was made featuring the new line-up and did not feature any footage from the film. "Dancing in the Sheets" was a top 20 hit on the Billboard charts, peaking at No. 17 on the Hot 100 and reaching No. 18 on the Hot Black singles chart. On the UK Singles Chart, the song climbed to No. 41.
That'll do it for this weeks old school rewind podcast. Thanks from the 35 acres and a microphone podcast farm.. Next week the whispers as we pay tribute to the best area of music ever.. Old School .