Jody Watley Receives A Notification From The Camden Music Walk Of Fame

A special thank to Lee Bennett of the Camden Music Walk Of Fame for notifying me that my former group Shalamar would be amongst the 2023 honorees with a Stone unveiling on the new Camden Music Walk Of Fame in North London on September 9, 2023. Congratulations to Shalamar. Other honorees include The Kinks, UB40, The Sugarhill Gang, Seal, Eddy Grant, Janice Joplin and more. Prior inductees include David Bowie, The Who, Soul II Soul and Amy Winehouse.

Though I left Shalamar 40 years ago in July of 1983, Lee felt I should be aware and involved in some way as a founding original member of the group and ‘Classic’ lineup.

I’m proud to be a part of the pinnacle hits and recordings of Shalamar from 1978-1983 forever embedded in the history of the group. My sincere appreciation of the notification of this special and significant honor.

**Updated** August 15, 23* Before the misinformation begins, as it has already been erroneously been posted on the official ‘Shalamar Friends’ fan page – I was not, as a former member, invited by anyone to attend, though they posted all former members have been invited, it was very disingenuous to post that as it’s not true.

** Updated** September 2, 2023** I was tagged in these posts by the Official Shalamar page, shared from the Camden Walk Of Fame a couple of weeks ago.

I’m not sure what to make of this actually, a 2023 copy trying to replicate the original ‘Friends’ album of 1982 when I was in the group used in tandem with this event. I can’t imagine another group dressing up to give the illusion of being the same. It feels very disrespectful and misleading. Shalamar is a group that has consisted of many members over the years as we know. That said the pinnacle recordings that are still performed heavily by this incarnation were performed by the version of the group that included me. It’s great to keep the torch going in live performance but recreating the imagery in my opinion crosses the line of ethics and as I have said previously this lineup has a history false and misleading marketing and I’m surprised that the Camden Walk Of Fame would use this type of approach.

It’s an unfortunate thing to experience when constantly (going back to 2005 which I addressed in a blog post in my website in 2016 “An Open Letter” -the unethical, dishonest, disrespectful, behavior) of all involved – bait & switch, false and misleading actions as evidenced in these photo collages and mimicry in trying to present Carolyn as me in 1982 in this promotion.

I have no idea why Lee & Camden Music organization thinks this is ok or that I support the behavior based on his comment that II was made aware from a supporter of mine via the Camden Music Walk Of Fame Page.

There have been no social media posts from me that’s another example of the dishonesty attached. I had one email exchange when informed and a request for a quick chat to discuss the event and how I to include me, as an original member and never heard back from Mr. Bennett. It’s OK that the former members who sang on the records are not invited, it’s their event to handle as they please, however using this type of misleading representation makes one question the motives. Clearly, this is purposeful to satisfy someone’s ego and delusions to rewrite the history disregarding those who actually laid the groundwork and foundation in the hits and albums recorded decades ago of which the current female was not a part of beyond her step-father owning the label, that are still performed live today.

Why the cosplay? I don’t think another group with member changes has ever done something like this.I don’t know who dresses up like a public figure unless it’s Halloween, a drag show or a tribute and I doubt it’s the latter.
The Shalamar photos that include me (upper right and lower right) are from magazines in 1982, when Shalamar were considered style icons in the UK. The inclusion of additional photos give off illusion (Carolyn Baldwin in the black and white jumpsuit, and the re-creation copy of the “Friends” album are not from style features in magazines to my knowledge. They are attempting to imply it’s same situation and it’s not and same set of people and it’s not. Why not a collage with every member that has recorded anything significant as Shalamar that would include Gerald Brown (Take That To The Bank) Gary Mumford (Uptown Festival), Delisa Davis, Micki Free & Sidney Justin (Dancin’ In The Sheets, My Girl Loves Me, Games, etc). Will they be dressing as them at some point for marketing purposes? Shouldn’t they all noted as a part of this honor as well?
The original album cover art “Friends” album 1982, Howard Hewett, Jody Watley, Jeffrey Daniel. The most successful and bestselling album for Shalamar in the U.K.