One of the most talented female vocal groups of all time, and one of Detroit’s greatest gifts to the music world, is the Jones Girls. For whatever reason, Shirley, Valorie and Brenda Jones have not received the amount of attention their talents and accomplishments merit.
The Jones Girls were at their peak from 1979 to 1982 when they enjoyed national success with hits such as “You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else,” “I Just Love the Man,” “Nights Over Egypt” and “Dance Turned Into a Romance.” Their well-received albums include “The Jones Girls” and “At Peace With Woman.”
When the group became inactive, Shirley Jones emerged with a No. 1 hit in mid-1986, “Do You Get Enough Love?”
The Jones Girls’ first big break came in 1975 when Diana Ross hired them as her background singers. Their harmony was so tight and their attitude and demeanor so professional that they were hired on the spot. There was no need to audition anyone else. They stayed with Ross until 1978.
We send love to Brenda and Shirley, and cherish the memory of Valorie.
SPEAKING of trios, Deborah Cox, Kelly Price and Tamia, who have had success individually, are making an album as a trio, titled “The Queen Project.”
This is, of course, not the first time three songstresses have worked together. Patti LaBelle, Dionne Warwick and Gladys Knight, for example, formed a power trio in ’91 to record a new version of Karyn White’s “Superwoman.”
The guys do it too. Gerald Levert, Keith Sweat and Johnny Gill decided to collaborate in 1997, calling themselves LSG. Their first single, “My Body,” was a huge hit, remaining at No. 1 on the national R&B chart for seven weeks.
LONETTE MCKEE, the actress/singer from Detroit who now has her own production company in the Detroit area and conducts acting workshops, sure laid it on the line in that very interesting interview in Gisele Caver’s Key of Gee e-zine.
“When we are in our late thirties and early forties,” she told interviewer Ortheia Barnes, they start elbowing you out and letting you know in no uncertain terms that you are no longer a desirable commodity for the camera.”
McKee’s has had major roles in such movies as “The Cotton Club,” “Malcolm X,” “Jungle Fever” and her first film, “Sparkle.”
Amazingly, Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue” continues to be the best-selling jazz album of all time. It’s smooth, authentic and everything else real jazz is supposed to be. Trumpeter Davis is accompanied by John Coltrane and Julian “Cannonball” Adderley on saxophone, Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly on piano, Jimmy Cobb on drums and Paul Chambers on bass.
You have to give Smokey Robinson and controversial talk show host/radio personality Wendy Williams credit. Both have been completely candid about their past cocaine addiction.
IT HAS BEEN reported that Jasmine Guy, most familiar to the public as Whitley Gilbert in the long-running sitcom “A Different World,” has filed for bankruptcy. That’s sad to hear, and we hope she has a full financial recovery, but one has to wonder how people let these situations develop. She is said to owe nearly $125,000 in back taxes.
Justin Timberlake describes Rihanna’s upcoming album as “the next step for her” and says it will be “a little grown up” and “has got some edge.” Timberlake is co-producing, along with the duo Chase and Status who are adding more dance beats to the project.
“So many performers sacrifice their entire life for the stage,” said Maxwell, who took a nearly ten-year hiatus from recording and performing. He made it clear that he is not willing to make such a sacrifice. Hence, the hiatus.
Jamie Foxx expects to have a new album in the stores before the end of the year.
BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW …that Bill Cosby had a Top 10 single in the summer of 1967, “Little Old Man.” (Yes, it was comedic.)
MEMORIES: “Free Your Mind” (En Vogue), “I Miss You” (Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes), “Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run)” (Billy Ocean), “I’ll Always Love My Mama” (the Intruders), “Groovin’” (the Young Rascals), “I Wanna Get Next to You” (Rose Royce), “Wildflower” (Skylark), “Here and Now” (Luther Vandross), “I Love Music” (the O’Jays).
BLESSINGS to Cheryl Grant, Rita McClendon, Ken Donaldson, Patricia Holsey, Cindy Thomas, Herb Boyd, Alan C. Young, A.B. Braggs, Angela Bell, Larry Robinson, Mojo, Dahyrl Gooden, T.P. Coleman and Ted Talbert.
WORDS OF THE WEEK, from Mark Twain: “Explore. Dream. Discover. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did.”
Let the music play!
(Steve Holsey may be reached at Svh517@aol.com and P.O. Box 02843, Detroit, MI 48202.)