Groovy, Sexy & Soulful Part 52 Californian Summer Edition

Let's kick off the summer with the Californian summer edition of ‘Groovy, sexy and soulful’! In this mix I try to recreate the Californian feeling between the mid-seventies and mid-eighties, when FM radio played this kind of music all day on the West Coast. I gave it a tiny funky, disco-ish, Professor Eddy twist. For some strange reason the West Coast sound, often called 'yacht rock' or 'blue-eyed-soul', wasn’t popular at all in the Netherlands. The only Dutch representative I could find was The President, who tried to copy Toto’s ‘Africa’. Even mega-selling artists in the US, like Hall & Oates, had marginal sales in the Netherlands. The Dutch were more into new wave artists from the UK. So it’s time to catch up now!

Helloloser.com gives this definition of yacht rock:

"Yacht Rock is that smooth, mellow music that emanated from Southern California in the late 1970s and early 80s. It has long served as the anthem for the “yuppies” of the 80s, since they LOVE to listen to Yacht Rock as they cruise through the harbor on the way to meet their cocaine dealer. If you’ve ever visited the dentist or been in an elevator you’ve definitely heard some Yacht Rock."

'Roll the dice' by British glam rock singer Steve Harley is an interesting 'yacht rock' track. In 1978 Harley (known for 'Make me smile') went to Los Angeles to record the album 'Hobo with a grin'. On 'Roll the dice' he played together with Bobby Kimball (Toto), Michael McDonald (Doobie Brothers), Bill Champlin (Chicago), Bill Payne (Little Feat) and drummer Rick Schlosser (Diana Ross, Etta James, Alessi, Hues Corporation). The single didn't chart, because his fans in the UK didn't expect him to record 'laidback Californian stuff', as Steve Harley explained it later. But in retrospect, it's one of his best songs. Led by a catchy keyboard intro, the song boasts a great hook ('Roll the dice and it sounds like thunder...') and an inspired Harley vocal.

Phenomenal bass player Louis Johnson, who passed away recently, was one half of the Brothers Johnson, of course, but he was a much sought session player too. For example, he was the one who played bass on Billy Jean by Michael Jackson and he was also the guy who played that distinctive bass part on I Keep Forgettin' by Michael McDonald. The intros on both records are copied and sampled many times, but Louis Johnson will always be the founding father of them.

There’s also a tribute to famous DJ Wolfman Jack by The Stampeders on this cloudcast. He was especially popular in the 1960s and 1970s. In the studio, he was every bit as crazy as he sounded, with his face contorting, his eyes bulging and his hands waving wildly. And he had a habit of issuing outrageous orders, like 'Get naked!' to his listeners. It was not until he played himself in the 1973 film 'American Graffiti' that fans could match the voice with a face. And they were not disappointed. The Wolfman looked the part, with bushy eyebrows, sideburns, a moustache and a devil's goatee. He died of a heart attack in Belvidere, North Carolina, almost exactly 20 years ago.

Tracklist:

Brothers Johnson – Sunlight (1981)
Alessi – Love To Have Your Love (1977)
Victor Fields Feat. Chris Camozzi – Let Me Be Good To You (2015)
The Bird And The Bee – I Can't Go For That (No Can Do) (2010)
Carol Bayer Sager – It’s The Falling In Love (1978)
Steve Harley – Roll The Dice (1978)
The President – You’re Gonna Like It (1984)
Odia Coates And Paul Anka ‎– Make It Up To Me In Love (1976)
Leo Sayer ‎– Easy To Love [Vincent Velocette Edit] (1977)
Earth, Wind & Fire – Shining Star (1975)
The Stampeders – Hit The Road Jack (1975)
Camera Soul – Dress Code (2015)
Chicago – Life Is What It Is (1979)
Sherbet – Howzat (1976)
Greg Phillinganes ‎– Lazy Nina (1985)
Funky Communication Committee – Let The Love On Through (1980)
Bruce Hibbard ‎– Never Turnin' Back (1980)
Michael Wycoff – Looking Up To You (1982)
Larsen-Feiten Band ‎– Who'll Be The Fool Tonight (1980)
Kenny Loggins – Wait A Little While (1978)

Groovy, Sexy & Soulful Part 52 Californian Summer Edition by Professor Eddy on Mixcloud

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