Sunday night, I made a list of my 20 songs that make me throw up my hands when the intro drops and have my mind wandering to places I don’t discuss in a public forum like this. (Hi, Dad! Hi Cousin In Mississippi who I hear gets to work, checks the local news sites, then scrambles over here!) Then I went to YouTube because for some reason the songs I thought of like "Cold Sweat" by Faze aren't on my iPod. (Why don't I have this? Who has this?!)
I hated riding in the car with my mother when I was a teenager. Dad would let me listen to whatever station I wanted as long as I didn’t fiddle with the buttons too much. With Mom, we would only listen to WHUR or Majic 102.3. Mommy (from the Midwest, grew up on Motown) wanted to hear grown folks music while she drove and my stations (WPGC, WKYS) didn’t cut it. I could talk freely over the music--- unless any song by Luther Vandross or a particular Marvin Gaye song came on. At that point I had to shut up.When the intro to “Distant Lover” began to play, Mommy would turn up the volume knob, place both hands back on the wheel to steady herself, and as soon as Marvin wailed the opening lines, “Distant Loverrrrrr,” she would throw up both hands in the air, do a small shake of her head, then I’d watch her, thinkingMommy has lost her mind, as her thoughts drifted to some unknown placethat I still don't want to know about. Mommy really liked Marvin… or whoever it was that she thought about when Marvin sang. (My parents are still married. I hope it was my Dad. LOL!)
I didn’t get her reaction for a long time. That is, until I was grown and away at school in New York, but back home for some break to check for my BF. I was driving to his dorm (he was still in undergrad), and I was listening to WHUR on the way over. (Go figure.) The deejay dropped the intro to Troop’s “All I Do Is Think of You” and yes, I had a Mom moment. Fiddled with the radio volume, braced myself, and threw both hands up when the lead sang in his oh-so-perfect falsetto, “I can’t wait to get to school each day…” And then I drove a little faster on the Beltway.When was the last time a song came on Hot 97 (or whatever station that is geared toward non old-folks R&B/ Hip-Hop in your town) that made you do that?
Take a look and a listen of some songs from my favorite male R&B groups (a couple exceptions). These men had some feelings and some strong inclinations to share them (Aaron Hall can't wail "I miss you" like that without having missed someone at some point.). Then tell me what your “old school” jams are that make you think back, waaay back on these chilly Spring nights.
(Adjust your audio if you're at work.)