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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

S.F DJ Bus Station John Lists His Top Five Favorite Divas

Posted By on Wed, Oct 10, 2012 at 8:57 AM

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2. Cheryl Lynn can do things with her voice that no one else can; with her jazz-like phrasing & idiosyncratic inflections, she makes any song she wraps her tonsils around her own. Her "turkey-throttle" glissando during the break in her disco epic "Star Love" is immortal.

Happily, the "Got to be Real" lady moved forward in her career, bringing us the exuberant "Shake It Up Tonight."

Her 1981 album In the Night also brought us this sleeper cut, "If You'll Be True to Me."

When people ask me why I started "Love Will Fix It: An R&B Funk Party For the Soul,"

I joke that "I'm a little black girl trapped in a big white bear's body!" But, pray, how did this boy growing up in white '60's central Oregon get "the funk?" Perhaps we should ask the final shining star on our list:

1. Teena Marie. Alas, if only we could. I cried when she left the planet two years ago. She was only 54. But she left us with something special beyond a lot of great tracks. While paying the utmost respect to the cultural roots of R&B, she epitomized the power soulful music has to bring people together, regardless of race, age, or orientation. Seriously, who throws attitude when Teena & Chaka are on the sound system?

"Behind the Groove"'s multi-layered mixture of sparkle and funk is pretty irresistible. Note Teena's slo-mo move at 3:24 -- she's her own special effect!

Teena's cover of Rose Royce's "Wishing on a Star," while sounding very old-school, was actually recorded in the the late '90's -- evidence that real talent never dies.

*Bonus track! "Change feat. Luther Vandross"

Okay, we have to include at least one male vocalist this go 'round -- and who better than the sublime Mr. Vandross? This gorgeous track, "The Glow of Love," represents to me the true spirit of "Love Will Fix It."

"(Here in the glow of love) you're a shinin' star

(Here in the glow of love) no matter who you are...."

-- @DerekOpperman


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Derek Opperman

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