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Sukiyaki (2000 Digital Remaster)
A Taste Of Honey · Twice As Sweet
101 Plays

A Taste Of Honey - Sukiyaki

Recorded in 1980 for A Taste of Honey’s album, Twice as Sweet, it became their biggest hit surpassing the success of their Grammy-winning disco anthem, “Boogie Oogie Oogie” three years prior. It’s actually a cover of a 1961 hit by Japanese pop crooner Kyu Sakamoto. Written by Rokusuke Ei and Hachidai Nakamura, the track’s original title was “Ue o Muite Aruko” and was based on the failure of the Japanese protest movement against U.S. military involvement in the country and feeling dejected. However due to the somewhat cheery nature of Sakamoto’s vocals, it was often interpreted as a song to conjure up happy thoughts even while feeling despair. Picked up by the BBC in 1962, it was later issued on American radio under the title “Sukiyaki” because American deejays had a hard time pronouncing its original title. “Sukiyaki” was picked by a BBC deejay because of his love for the Japanese dish. It soon became a U.S. hit reaching #1 in 1963, making Sakamoto the first (and so far only) Japanese artist to hit number-one on the Hot 100. Three years later, its first American cover, titled “My First Lonely Night”, was recorded by R&B singer Jewel Akens.

In 1980, Janice Marie Johnson, lead singer and bassist of A Taste of Honey chose this song to cover and was told the song could be interpreted three ways: the mindset of a man facing execution, someone being optimistic during life’s trials or the story of the end of a love affair. Johnson chose the latter interpretation. Though she wrote the new lyrics, she agreed to give up royalties to the song, allowing the original writers full credit. Upon its release as a single in 1981, it became a huge hit reaching #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the adult contemporary and R&B charts. This version has been covered by numerous artists including Selena and, most famously, by Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh on their classic hip-hop track, “La Di Da Di” (this version however features Rick singing it in the original song’s tempo).

Four years after this cover became a hit, the song’s original performer, Kyu Sakamoto, was one of the 505 passengers (one of 520 overall including the flight crew) who was tragically killed during a flight to Osaka, Japan after the passenger flight, Japan Airlines Flight 123 crashed into Osutaka Ridge, near Mount Osutaka in Ueno, Gunma Prefecture, Japan on August 12, 1985. He was 43 years old.

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Tell Me More and More and Then Some
Nina Simone · Pastel Blues
719 Plays

Nina Simone || Tell Me More and More and Then Some

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My Baby Just Cares for Me
Nina Simone
4319 Plays

theniftyfifties:

Nina Simone — My Baby Just Cares for Me - 1958.

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Are You Lonely
Labelle · Nightbirds
151 Plays

makinitfunky:

Labelle - Are You Lonely

(Happy 69th to Patricia “Patti LaBelle” Holte today)

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I've Got Elgin Watch Movements in My Hips/Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gave to Me
· Doctor Jazz - Broadway
109 Plays

theatreaficionado:

Doctor Jazz was met with antipathy when it opened on Broadway in 1975 after an extended 42 previews, and closed after only 5 performances.

The cast included Bobby Van, Lola Falana and Lillian Hayman in lead roles. Falana received some great notices in spite of the show’s abysmal reviews and received the Theatre World Award and a Tony nomination for Best Actress in a Musical.

Here’s Falana performing “I’ve Got Elgin Watch Movements in My Hips,” a brief musical number in the middle of the first act that stopped the show cold.

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Eleanor Rigby
Aretha Franklin · This Girl's In Love With You
299 Plays

arethalouisefranklin:

Aretha Franklin - Eleanor Rigby

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Blue Moon
Verve Jazz Masters · Billie Holiday: Jazz Master 12
11631 Plays

Billie Holiday — Blue Moon

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You Are Everything
Diana Ross & Marvin Gaye · Diana & Marvin
505 Plays

You Are Everything || Diana Ross & Marvin Gaye

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The Boss
Diana Ross · The Boss
2859 Plays

Diana Ross || The Boss

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Santa Baby
Eartha Kitt · Santa Baby (1953 Original Version) - Single
2445 Plays

Santa Baby | Eartha Kitt

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