In case you missed it – here’s the link to Watch It Now on MSNBC : https://www.msnbc.com/cross-connection/watch/iconic-tv-show-soul-train-turns-50-122588741958
This tribute post is everything. To rarely be acknowledged for my influence is something I’ve gotten used to and never expect it at this point so this is very special to me.
Read it now : The Medium
Should you find yourself continuously in the midst of consistent lies, vendettas, grudges, bitterness, jealousy of others.. keep going, that’s what I do anytime people bring something negative to me that others are saying. Those people can’t stop anything and trust me in my case, they’ve been trying for a long time. Remember that whatever they do or if they are able to turn others against you – whatever it is and whoever ‘they’ may be – it isn’t worth much anyway. Keep on keeping on to anyone who can relate to this type of thing.
New interview with Mike Vitti aired yesterday on popular UK station Mi-Soul Radio. You can listen now on the just posted new link. We had a great chat while I was in London for my April concert there at Under The Bridge – we touched upon the new music, a few thoughts on my Shalamar days and went back as far as Soul Train – I shared a fun bit of my history with The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin. A must listen:
One of the most comprehensive interviews I’ve ever done. You really must listen to this..history, first time onstage with my Godfather Jackie Wilson,Soul Train, Shalamar, aspects of my solo career moving up through to the current new music. Mike Vitti was masterful with the questions, knowledge as well as weaving a tapestry of quality music spanning decades.
UPDATE:: To those outside of the UK here are the individual shows without restriction:
Mike Vitti takes it back to the beginning with Soul Train and Shalamar as we begin the first of three parts of our in depth conversation highlighted with the new and classic music…you will be dancing too..or getting some fly by minutes on the treadmill!
Listen Now or At Your Leisure: MiSoulRadio Mike Vitti
Watch it Now:
I love this fan made video by The Fantasy Clinic – the video is a mashup of the teen me on Soul Train blended with current visuals created by Ray Easmon out of the U.K. The remix keeps the essence of the song with a nice deep house edge – which you know I live for!
I posted on my Facebook page yesterday, August 29, 2015 to not only celebrate Michael Jackson but my longtime friend, one of my favorite people and dancers ever – going back to my teen years – Tyrone Proctor, a Soul Train original. Many will also always remember him as my freestyle waacking dance partner in the classic ‘Still a Thrill’ video filmed in Paris, France at the Opera House – the first time any music video or commercial project was filmed there (thank you director Brian Grant for making that dream come true.)
With each social media throwback Thursday my desire is to not only share a photo moment from the past – but to perhaps inspire someone by providing what was behind a photo moment in my life on this journey.
From my Facebook Page post”
“Queen Jody! Living in KCMO (from Chicago though) at the time – had run a campaign for President of the school, I think I was the only girl who ran..and lost..kids were clowning me. It was a big disappointment and embarrassing for me – at the loss ..but I wasn’t discouraged in the long run, a theme in my life and career. I learned early on to never give up, keep pushing forward and stay motivated. Though not popular and still reeling from the loss of President..I went after “Miss Explorer Queen of Southeast Jr. High’ – because you never know unless you try right?! The outcome was triumph although I appear quite melancholy and sad in the photo’s (though still dealing with shade – a lot of girls including those who came in second and third weren’t happy as evidenced in the photo – shade is nothing new ) We didn’t have a lot of money but I put together my outfit and if you notice you can see what would become a style signature in my music career – jumbo hoop earrings. Certainly, I experienced far more challenging moments in my life, and even with this photo and moment there is much more to reveal.. however this is one of those touchstone character building moments. #JodyWatley #Shalamar #life #inspiration – Just keep striving and be yourself is what I hope the takeaway is from this, beyond the TBT..” May 7, 2015
THE IRREPRESSIBLE JODY WATLEY RETURNS WITH A BRAND NEW ALBUM THAT HARKS BACK TO HER FUNK SOUL ROOTS. HERE, THE SINGER REFLECTS ON HER RISE TO THE TOP, WORKING WITH THE WORLD’S GREATEST FASHION PHOTOGRAPHERS AND STAYING TRUE.
Jody Watley at Giorgio’s the exclusive, the exclusive Saturday party at The Standard in Hollywood, where Mick Jagger and Andre Harrell mix and David LaChapelle might be spotted with Daphne Guiness on his lap. Watley is the queen of the venue-she holds court almost every week just past DJ Adam XII’s booth with her friend and Decades cofounder Christos Garkinos. Tonight, the mother of two a self described basketball mom, carpool mom, fabulous mom..” wears all black save for a pair of crystal Jimmy Choo pumps. When she’s in the mood, she’ll fan herself on the dance floor-something she has done since beginning her career as a dancer on Soul Train as a teenager. “I always have my little fan action.” the icon says with a smile. “It’s so glamourous. Eat your heart out Karl Lagerfeld.” Watley shot the video for “Nightlife”, the clubby lead single off her new album “Paradise”, at Giorgio’s. “I want to inspire people, because people get stuck in a rut.” she says of the music. “Oh, I’m not going out, Oh, the good ole’ days..” And it’s so frustrating. It’s like make new memories! Even if you had a great time ten, twenty, thirty years ago, be fabulous now! You’re alive, Hello!”
The daughter of a Chicago minister, Watley first performed onstage as a child with her godfather, the incredible crooner Jackie Wilson. After relocating to Los Angeles she succeeded in her mission to become a Soul Train regular. In 1977, Don Cornelius the show’s creator and host, selected her to become an original member of the disco super trio-Shalamar, which would record world-class dance-floor anthems like “The Second Time Around” and “A Night To Remember.” Watley left the group after six years, loved to London, and recorded “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” with Band Aid.
After returning to Los Angeles three years later, she signed with MCA Records and released her 1987 solo album “Jody Watley”, co-writing a handful of tracks. It contains some of her most enduring dance music, including the lead single “Looking For A New Love” (which features the popular pre Terminator 2 kiss-off “Hasta la vista baby!”). “Don’t You Want Me.” and “Some Kind of Lover.” She accepted her 1988 “Best New Artist” Grammy-winning over Breakfast Club, Cutting Crew, Swing Out Sister and Terence Trent D’Arby – in a vintage dress and biker jacket painted with her likeness.
‘When I signed to MCA, I didn’t see anybody like who I wanted to be.” she says. “I wanted to do that badass fashion chick that’s just different. And not everybody likes her. And not everybody liked me. “You don’t smile, you’re a black girl, you’re glamorous and you’ve got this cold as ice stare.” While in London she sought out designers like Azzedine Alaia, Claude Montana, Vivienne Westwood, and Jean Paul-Gaultier. “I bought one of the first cone bra’s, pre-Madonna. It’s on the single sleeve of “Don’t You Want Me”. I also bought the huge one that she ended up wearing, but the understated one was more me”, she says.
With her gorgeous mane, lean frame, stunning brows illegal cheekbones and ballsy attitude Watley was the perfect subject for fashion’s top photographers.”[When I first started] the label didn’t want to fly me to New York for my first layout for Harper’s Bazaar” she laughs. “So I flew myself out to shoot with Scavullo!” Steven Meisel photographed the cover of her 1989 follow-up album Larger Than Life. The video for ‘Real Love’ was directed by David Fincher and featured her ruling the runway in menswear paving the way for future acts like Aaliyah and TLC.
“I never wanted to be like anybody else” says Watley who, in the decades that followed never stopped recording, performing and changing up her style and sound. Now she’s writing a memoir, which she plans to finish this year. “I can only be who I am. Because to me that’s what street is. Street is real.” – Mark Jacobs
My blog about the photo used in the piece: Here