NATALIE COLE - "INSEPARABLE" (1975)
Natalie Maria Cole was born in Los Angeles, California to pop/jazz singer Nat "King" Cole and Maria, a former vocalist for Duke Ellington in 1950, so it seems like she was destined for a career in music. At the age of six, Natalie sang on one of her father's Christmas albums and began performing by the age of eleven.
When Natalie decided to pursue music professionally during college, she wanted to distance herself from her father's musical legacy as much as possible. While performing pop and rock and roll songs at a nightclub, Natalie caught the attention of producers Chuck Jackson and Marvin Yancy and soon they began working on her first album, which would have a r&b sound.
"Inseparable" was released in 1975 which was lead off with the smash hit single, "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)" that went number one on the soul charts and number six on the pop. Natalie would be awarded the Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for the song as well as winning the award for Best New Artist that year.
She would continue with a long string of hit songs throughout the rest of 1970's but her career would be derailed by 1980 when she would enter rehab many times due to her addiction to heroin and cocaine. By 1985, she was back in health and resuming her place on the top of the music charts.
By 1991, Natalie was ready to perform her father's music. She released, "Unforgettable: With Love" which was a collection of twenty-two standards previously recorded by Nat "King" Cole. The highlight of the album was a duet with Natalie and her father, "Unforgettable" which was done using his original recording and blending the two together using digital technology. The album would go on to sell over seven million copies here and would win six Grammy Awards including Album of The Year.
She has recorded nineteen albums to date with her latest being an another album of standards released in 2008 entitled, "Still Unforgettable (Amazon Exclusive Bonus Track)" which includes another digital duet with her father.
Natalie has been married three times and has a son from her first marriage to Marvin Yancy, Robert, who is a musician and occasionally tours with his mother.
This is the song that started Ms Cole's career:
"This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)" - Natalie Cole
THE JETS - "THE JETS" (1985)
Although there are seventeen Wolfgramm children, eight of them, LeRoy, Eddie, Eugene, Haini, Rudy, Kathi, Muana, and Elizabeth began performing professionally as The Jets in 1985. They were raised in Minneapolis, MN and played all of their own instruments. The Jets were signed to MCA Records and later that year released their self-titled debut album," the Jets".
The first single, "Curiosity" made a dent on the r&b charts but their next, "Crush On You" hit it big at number three on the pop charts and number four on the r&b. They would go on to have a total of five top ten singles and be nominated for a Grammy Award.
By 1990, a few of the band members left the group but were replaced by their younger siblings. The family belongs to the Church of Latter Day Saints and the Jets soon moved to performing religious music which they continue to do to this day.
This is The Jets' first big song:
"Crush On You" - The Jets
This is the cute and wholesome music video for the song by the Wolfgramm kids:
THE PRETENDERS - "THE PRETENDERS" (1980)
Chrissie Hynde moved to London in 1973 from Akron, Ohio with dreams of becoming a rock star. She worked at the weekly music paper, NWE and performed with a variety of different bands including early versions of The Clash and The Damned.
She formed a band with James Honeyman-Scott on lead guitar, Pete Farndon on bass guitar and drummer Gerry Mcilduff with Chrissie as the lead vocalist and she played rhythm guitar. The band didn't have a name yet but they recorded a few tracks. Soon, Mcilduff was replaced with new drummer Martin Chambers and Chrissie came up with the name, "The Pretenders" after the Platters hit song, "The Great Pretender".
The Pretenders first single was a remake of The Kinks song, "Stop Your Sobbing", which was a modest hit in the UK as well as their second, "Kid" but their next song, "Brass In Pocket" was their breakthrough and it became a huge hit across the globe. The band released their debut album, "Pretenders" in 1980 and it was a commercial and critical success, selling over a million copies in the U. S. alone.
Shortly after the release of the second album, "Pretenders II", Chrissie fired Pete Farndon from the band in 1982 due to his increased drug use. Two days later, James Honeyman-Scott died of heart failure due to cocaine intolerance. Less than a year later, Farndon was dead due to drowning in a bathtub after passing out from shooting up heroin.
Chrissie and Martin Chambers kept the band together and had a variety of different guitar and bass players over the years while continuing to have many hit singles. The Pretenders have completed nine albums with their latest, "Break Up The Concrete" being released in 2008.
The band was inducted in to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Pretenders still continue to rock on tour.
Enjoy this band's classic tune:
"Brass In Pocket " - The Pretenders
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