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Issue 1084

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Back In The Day - DECEMBER 1980: ISSUE 319

Back In The Day with Sharon Davis
Back In The Day with Sharon Davis

It had to be a Christmas edition didnât it! And with (the late) Melvin Franklin from The Temptations gracing the magazineâs front cover, how could I resist. Heâs dressed as Father Christmas (of course) and methinks the pose is taken from a Temptationsâ album cover. Melvin was just the most charming of men, and I was extremely fortunate to be able to interview him several times over the years. Grab my hand and letâs go â¦.

News items included... Sylvester and the Two Tons Oâ Fun officially parting company. Martha and Izora were already on a US tour with their own band that included two male support vocalists. Despite rumours of internal acrimony between the two acts, a US spokesperson for Fantasy claimed the split was amicable and that the parting was as a result of the record success attained by the Tons with their current album. Meanwhile, Sylvester hired two new background singers Jeanne Tracey and Debbie Lawsonâ¦â¦.. It was some five years since Jackie Wilson had collapsed on stage at New Jerseyâs Latin Casino, since when the singer had stayed in a comatose stateâ¦â¦..Kenny Gamble, co-founder of the Philadelphia International Record label, was to be awarded the annual Humanitarian Award on behalf of the AMC Cancer Research Centre. He would be the first black recipient of the awardâ¦â¦â¦..

The Delfonics â super soul group of yesteryear â had regrouped and were looking for a new recording contract â¦â¦ Marvin Gaye, who had been living here for five months, had completed re-recording the ill-fated âLove Man. The new album, entitled âIn Our Lifetimeâ was scheduled for release in Januaryâ¦â¦.Barry White sued the US Federal Government for $375,680 in taxes he paid between 1972-75 which he claimed the Feds werenât entitled to. US observers stated that although there was little chance of White getting any compensation, it was, nonetheless, a very spirited thing to do!.......Handshake Records announced the signing of Johnny Bristol where his first single was âLove No Longer Has A Hold On Meââ¦â¦..

Top British Soul Single was Stephanie Millsâ âI Never Knew Love Like This Beforeâ, followed by Kool & the Gangâs âCelebrationâ and Young & Coâs âI Like (What Youâre Doing To Me)ââ¦..I penned the Hall Of Fame featuring The Temptations which could explain why Mr Franklin was on the cover. (Doh!) â¦..(Blues & Soul had teamed up with The Royalty Club, Southgate, to present super Friday night gigs â they were fabulous nights too) In the full page advertisement , it was announced that Jermaine Jackson would be the special guest on 12 December, and that following loads of hints, it did happen â Marvin Gaye performed, signed autographs and presented a gold disc to B&S reader Michael Sole, the previous week. B&S editor Bob Killbourn was pictured with Marvinâ¦â¦â¦ Grover Washington Jnrâs âWinelightâ was the top British Soul album. Stevie Wonderâs âHotter Than Julyâ was second, Wilton Felderâs âInherit The Windâ, thirdâ¦..

John Abbeyâs interview with The Blackbyrds covered the centre pages. They were promoting their new album âBetter Daysâ released by Fantasy Records â¦â¦..The Backstage Bitch column â which delighted in printing risqué news items and no, despite what most people believed at the time, it wasnât me! - ran the heading âB&Sâs answer to Esther Rantzen extends her talons and infiltrates the club sceneââ¦â¦Pete Tong met up with fellow public school funksters, Level 42, to chew the fat about this and that and trace their beginnings in the British funk movementâ¦..

As the Christmas Season was pending, the magazine carried loads of advertisements for the club scene, like â âItâs Christmas Crackers at 203 Wardour Street, with George Power, Steve Walsh, Tony Hodges, Chris White and Andy Hunterââ¦.Light Of The World and Shakatak were due to perform at the Triad Lesire Centre, Bishops Stortford, Hertsâ¦..Pete Tong (him again) was advertising his Monday Nights at The Hilltop, on the A20 West Kingsdown, Kent. On 15 December it was âOur First Ladies Night â Lady Members Admitted Free!ââ¦.Eamon Evans was hosting Christmas Eve fun at The Spring Tavern, Wrotham, Kent, while at Cassinelliâs in Standish, John Grant, Colin Curtis, Harry and Billy (I kid you not!) were in charge of the funâ¦.And finally, in a full-page advertisement for the Goldmine, DJ Chris Hill was laying on top of his lady, Carol, who, if I remember correctly, was the backstage bitch. â¦â¦.

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