Month: June 2014

  • Jheri Curl June: Mary Jane Girls’ “All Night Long”

    The Mary Jane Girls were essentially Rick James’ answer to Vanity 6: the girl group Prince constructed as the prostitute foil to The Time‘s pimp image. In this case, though, Rick James might have actually one-upped his longtime rival; for their 1983 American Bandstand performance of “All Night Long,” the girls look like they were literally picked up off…

  • Jheri Curl June: Mtume’s “Juicy Fruit”

    Ladies’ Week continues with “Juicy Fruit,” another jheri-ballad from 1982 by Mtume. The band is named for its founder and lead songwriter, former Miles Davis percussionist James “Mtume” Forman; but the voice you hear front and center in “Juicy Fruit,” as well as the band’s other hits, is female co-vocalist Tawatha Agee. And it’s the…

  • Jheri Curl June: Evelyn “Champagne” King’s “Love Come Down”

    It’s Day Two of our informal Ladies’ Week for Jheri Curl June, which means it’s time to break out the Champagne. “Love Come Down” is the first single from Evelyn “Champagne” King’s 1982 album Get Loose, and it’s as frothy and ebullient as her liquid namesake, with one of those irresistible computerized synth-basslines early-’80s jheri curl…

  • Jheri Curl June: The S.O.S. Band’s “Tell Me If You Still Care”

    Friday was the 55th birthday of James Samuel “Jimmy Jam” Harris III: former keyboardist for The Time and, with partner Terry Lewis, one of the main architects of the “Minneapolis Sound”–or, as we call it in these parts, good old-fashioned jheri curl. As usual, though, Mr. Jam was overshadowed by his almost-birthmate and former boss Prince,…

  • Jheri Curl June Special: Prince

    I think we’ve already established that we are huge fans of Prince here at the ol’ DDP, so we have to do something to celebrate his 56th birthday tomorrow, June 7–especially when that birthday falls right at the end of the first week of Jheri Curl June. And besides, if we’re really going to celebrate…

  • Jheri Curl June: Dazz Band’s “Joystick”

    In my introduction to Jheri Curl June, I noted that jheri curl music is an inherently hybrid, polyglot genre, blending funk and soul with rock, disco, and pop. Another prominent influence–one that spawned its own subset of JCM, better  known to the less folically-obsessed as electro-funk–is the robotic, heavily synthesized form of dance music known…