Friday, September 10, 2010

Today In Oldies 9/10/2010

Golden Hits Radio & GHR-2's Everything Oldies.....stand by for Oldies news

Where In The World Is......Charlene?

Throughout the history of pop music, very few songs get more than one shot at becoming a hit.  Upon the rare opportunity they do, it is often the result of a radio personality rescuing it from obscurity for various reasons.  Examples of this include UB40's version of "Red, Red Wine", "Wicked Game" by Chris Isaak, and a song from the subject of today's "Where In The World Is......"? 

Charlene Marilynn D'Angelo (known as "Charlene") had already lived quite a life before she ever stepped into a recording studio, having been married at 16 and physically abused by her first husband.  In 1973, she was one of the few white artists signed to the legendary Motown Records.  Several singles and two albums for the label crashed and burned, with none of the singles going higher than #96 on the Billboard Hot 100.  One fateful day in 1982, five years after it had been left for dead, one of those singles would become a smash on both sides of the Atlantic thanks to the girlfriend of a morning DJ in Tampa, Florida. 

"I've Never Been To Me" was written by Ron Miller, and originally came from a male perspective.  He rewrote it for Charlene in 1976 as a song from the perspective of the female singer addressing a housewife wishing she could trade her mundane life for the exciting, nonstop life of the singer.  It became the final straw for Charlene's days as a Motown artist.  After it flopped on its first attempt in 1977, she was dropped from the label and had quit the music business altogether.  She had married again, moved to London, and was working in a candy store.  Meanwhile, in Tampa, Florida, Scott Shannon of WRBQ-FM (Q105) had a girlfriend who loved "I've Never Been To Me" and urged him to play it on his morning show.  Once he did, momentum spread nationwide and the long forgotten 1977 flop became an international hit in the summer of '82, hitting #3 in the U.S. and #1 in Britain.  

Just as quickly as Charlene became a star thanks to "I've Never Been To Me", she returned to musical obscurity.  Follow up attempts, including a duet with Stevie Wonder, were unsuccessful, and a planned stint as a regular entertainer in Las Vegas never materialized.  She escaped the music business once again and spent most of the 80's and 90's as a full time mother.  One hit wonders never really go away for good, however, and TV shows including The Simpsons, Saturday Night Live, Will & Grace, and (appropriately) Desperate Housewives have kept "I've Never Been To Me" at the top of our minds.  They've also helped Charlene come out of musical hibernation and milk the cash cow once more, as she recorded a dance remix of the song in 2007. She continues to do occasional live appearances, but has no plans to record any new material at the moment. 

Being a one hit wonder can be a blessing and a curse, and the sweet of "I've Never Been To Me" becoming a giant hit must be swallowed along with the bitter of the song making several lists of the "Worst Songs of All Time" over the year.  We'll let you be the judge of that after you take a look at Charlene's appearance on Solid Gold in 1982.......

Golden Hits Radio and GHR-2's Burning Question of the Day

Stevie Wonder originally wrote "Superstition" for which rock guitar hero (who also created the original drum beat for the song)? 

Come back to Everything Oldies Monday (9/13/2010) for the answer, and leave a Comment here with your best guess!

Yesterday's Burning Question (and Answer) of the Day

"Martha" in The Beatles' song "Martha My Dear" is named after what (or whom)?

Answer: Martha was the name of Paul McCartney's English sheepdog



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