Category: chaka khan

Chaka Khan photographed by Robert Rodvik circa…

Chaka Khan photographed by Robert Rodvik circa 1975.

On this day in music history: October 1, 1984 …

On this day in music history: October 1, 1984 – “I Feel For You”, the fifth album by Chaka Khan is released. Produced by Arif Mardin and David Foster, it is recorded at Atlantic Studios, Greene Street Recording Studios, Daily Planet Studios, Chelsea Sound Studios, Clinton Recording Studios, and First Choice Studios in New York City, Bill Schnee Studio, Lion Share Recording Studios, Lighthouse Recorders, Music Grinders Studios, Soundworks Digital, Bossa Nova Hotel Studios in Los Angeles, CA, A&M Studios and Capitol Studios in Hollywood, CA from Early – Mid 1984. Following the modest sales of her self-titled 1982 album, Warner Bros Records pressures the singer to come up with a major hit record for the follow up. Working closely with her longtime producer Arif Mardin, she does just that. Khan’s cover of Prince’s “I Feel For You” (#1 R&B, #3 Pop) becomes the biggest hit of her solo career, earning her a Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female in 1985. The album features a group of top flight studio players including Steve Lukather (Toto), Michael Sembello, Dan Huff (guitars), David Frank (keyboards), Mic Murphy (backing vocals) and Paul Pesco (guitar) of The System, Khan’s former Rufus band mates John Robinson (drums), Tony Maiden (guitar) and David “Hawk” Wolinski (keyboards), Nathan East, Reggie Griffin (bass), former Average White Band members Steve Ferrone (drums) and Hamish Stuart (guitar, backing vocals), and David Foster (keyboards).  It also spins off two further singles, “Through The Fire” (#15 R&B, #60 Pop, #16 AC) and “This Is My Night (#11 R&B, #60 Pop). "I Feel For You” peaks at number two on the Billboard R&B album chart, number sixteen on the Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

JET Magazine covers from 1976

JET Magazine covers from 1976

Rufus & Chaka Khan video shoot for “…

Rufus & Chaka Khan video shoot for “Masterjam” in 1979.

twixnmix: Chaka Khan and Ike Turner (1979) 

twixnmix:

Chaka Khan and Ike Turner (1979) 

Photo

Photo

twixnmix: Chaka Khan and Ike Turner (1979) 

twixnmix:

Chaka Khan and Ike Turner (1979) 

On this day in music history: May 30, 1981 – &…

On this day in music history: May 30, 1981 – “What Cha’ Gonna Do For Me?” by Chaka Khan hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 2 weeks, also peaking at #53 on the Hot 100 on June 20, 1981. Written by Ned Doheny and Hamish Stuart, it is the second solo chart topper (sixth overall at the time) for the Chicago, IL born R&B vocalist (birth name Yvette Marie Stevens). Co-written by Average White Band guitarist and vocalist Hamish Stuart and singer/songwriter Ned Doheny, the song is originally intended for AWB, and is released on their album “Shine” in 1980. By chance, Chaka Khan is present in the studio when Stuart and Doheny cut a demo version of the song. A couple of years later, Khan mentions the song to her producer Arif Mardin (also AWB’s producer) and suggest that they record it. The pair record the track and vocals at Mountain Studios in Montreux, Switzerland. “What Cha’ Gonna Do For Me” features a number of musicians who have recorded with Khan before including Steve Ferrone (drums), Anthony Jackson (bass), David Williams (guitar), Larry Williams (keyboards, saxophone), Errol (Earl) “Crusher” Bennett (percussion), Michael Brecker (tenor saxophone, featured soloist), Lew Soloff, Barry Rodgers, Randy Brecker, Lew Delgatto (horns) and Hamish Stuart (guitar and backing vocals). Issued as the first single and title track from her third solo album in March of 1981, it is an immediate smash on R&B radio. The success of “What Cha’ Gonna Do For Me?” propels the accompanying album to Gold status in the US, becoming her second release to reach that plateau.

Chaka Khan circa 1975

Chaka Khan circa 1975

On this day in music history: March 26, 1980 -…

On this day in music history: March 26, 1980 – “Naughty”, the second solo album by Chaka Khan is released. Produced by Arif Mardin, it is recorded at Atlantic Studios in New York City from Late 1979 – Early 1980. Following the Gold selling success of her debut album “Chaka” and completing the album “Masterjam” with her band Rufus, the singer returns to the studio with producer Arif Mardin in the Fall of 1979 to record her sophomore solo release. The album features many of the same musicians that played on Khan’s debut including Anthony Jackson (bass), Steve Ferrone (drums), Hamish Stuart (guitar, background vocals), Hiram Bullock, Phil Upchurch (guitars), and Richard Tee (keyboards). Several tracks feature background vocals by a then sixteen year old Whitney Houston, her mother Cissy Houston, Ullanda McCullough, and a pre-fame Luther Vandross who also arranges the background vocals parts on the project. It spins off three singles led by the Ashford & Simpson penned “Clouds” (#10 R&B, #103 Pop), “Get Ready, Get Set” (#48 R&B) and “Papillion (aka Hot Butterfly)” (#22 R&B). The album’s cover art features a photo of Chaka in the foreground, with her then six year old daughter Milini sitting on a couch in the background, with another shot of Milini on the back cover. Out of print in the US for many years, it is finally reissued on CD by Warner Bros in 1999. “Naughty” peaks at number six on the Billboard R&B album chart, and number forty six on the Top 200.