One thing that irritates me is when a particular song is not included on “greatest hits” and “best of” collections — and for no good reason.

For example, Stevie Wonder’s “My Eyes Don’t Cry” was a national Top 10 R&B hit in 1988, as well as the song everyone did the original hustle to. It was not, however, a pop hit.

But you can only get that song on the album it originally appeared on, “Characters.” It is not on “The Definitive Collection,” “Song Review: Greatest Hits” or even the four-disc box set, “At the Close of a Century.”

In 1982, Chaka Khan had a hit with her rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Got To Be There.” Although she never cared for the song and didn’t want to record it, she gave in to the persuasive urgings of key figures at Warner Bros. Records.

“Got To Be There” was left off the hits collection, “Epiphany: The Best of Chaka Khan.”

The Isley Brothers charged to No. 4 on the national charts in 1977 with the exuberant Livin’ in the Life.” Yet, mysteriously, it is not included on the career defining three-disc, 50-song  collection, “It’s Your Thing: The Story of the Isley Brothers” or “The Essential Isley Brothers.”

Similarly, the Drifters’ last two hits, “Baby What I Mean” and “Ain’t It the Truth,” from 1966 and 1967 respectively, are nowhere to be found on the four-disc set, “Rockin’ & Driftin’: The Drifters Box.”

Go figure.

IT IS HARD to believe that it has been a year since the completely unexpected passing of Michael Jackson, a once-in-a-lifetime talent. His personal issues could never change that.

“Forever Michael” is the name of the red carpet tribute scheduled to take place at the Beverly Hills Hilton on June 26, presented by The Jackson Family Foundation.

Hope it’s all being done with pure hearts and complete honesty, because it has been proven numerous times that there are people in the Jackson family determined to find ways to benefit financially from Jackson’s demise.
Ruben Studdard has taken off a lot of weight, as viewers discovered during the “American Idol” finale that featured a tribute to departing judge Simon Cowell.  A hundred pounds to be precise. (He used to weigh over 400 pounds.)

Studdard, who changed his diet radically, looks a lot better and the dropped pounds will be a big plus for his health. We wish him the best in having the fortitude to go the rest of the way.

Had to laugh when athlete-turned-actor Terry Crews said he hated Las Vegas because “it is the only place more phony than Los Angeles.”

MORRIS DAY and the other members of the recently reunited Time say their album will be out before the end of the year, but they don’t dare to even give a month.

“The album has been done for a long time now,” said Day. “But we keep adding to it. It just keeps getting better and better.” Then he added with a laugh, “So the deal is, we’ve got to stop at some point. In fact, I think we’re going to stop right now, go ahead and put it out, finally.”

“Distant Relatives,” the surprise duet album by hard rapper Nas and reggae star Damian Marley, had a sensational opening week, Pop and R&B. Nas, fortunately, shortened his stage name from “Nasty Nas.” And by the way, his real name is Nasir bin Dara Jones.

Mr. T (Laurence Tureaud) has made it known that he is not pleased with the movie version of “The A-Team.” He is turned off mostly by the violence, noting that in the 1980s TV series, there was less violence and no one was ever killed. He thinks they overdid it on the sex, too. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson portrays Mr. T in the movie.

Nick Cannon has asked that the media and the public “respect the privacy” of wife Mariah Carey, himself and the child they are expecting. Well, lots of luck on that!

BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW…that as a child, George Benson played the ukulele before he picked up  a standard guitar.

MEMORIES: “Just Got Paid” (Johnny Kemp), “If It Isn’t Love” (New Edition), “Finally” (Ce Ce Peniston), “The Glamorous Life” (Sheila E.), “It’s a Shame” (the Spinners), “Square Biz” (Teena Marie), “Groovin’” (the Young Rascals), “Uptown” (Prince), “Whispers (Gettin’ Louder)” (Jackie Wilson), “Save the Best For Last” (Vanessa Williams).

BLESSINGS to Denise McClung, Brian Love, Fred Holsey Jr., Lisa Jackson, Hansen Clarke, Damon Williams, Patrice Gordy, Lydia Nance-Adams, Jade C. Woodson, Carol Prince and Phyllis Lynn Burns.

WORDS OF THE WEEK: “Success comes in cans…not cannots.”

Let the music play!

(Steve Holsey can be reached at and PO Box 02843, Detroit, MI 48202.)

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