Category: it’s gonna take a miracle

On this day in music history: May 15, 1982 – &…

On this day in music history: May 15, 1982 – “It’s Gonna Take A Miracle” by Deniece Williams hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 2 weeks, also peaking at #10 on the Hot 100 on June 12, 1982. Written by Teddy Randazzo, Bobby Weinstein and Lou Stallman, it is the second R&B chart topper for the Grammy Award winning songstress from Gary, IN. Co-written by New York based songwriter Teddy Randazzo (“Goin’ Out Of My Head”, “Hurt So Bad”), the song is originally written for Little Anthony & The Imperials, but instead is recorded by the female R&B vocal group The Royalettes when Randazzo is in a financial dispute with Don Costa Productions over royalty payments for the previous hits he has penned for Little Anthony. The Royalettes, who record for MGM Records have a minor hit (#28 R&B) with “Miracle” in 1965. Producer and arranger Thom Bell suggests to Williams that she record “It’s Gonna Take A Miracle”, while they are working their second album together. The track is cut at the famed Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia in late 1981, with musicians such as Bob Babbitt (bass, piccolo bass), Bobby Eli (guitar), Charles Collins (drums), and Larry Washington (percussion). Issued as a single in March of 1982, it quickly becomes a hit on R&B radio, and crosses over to the pop singles chart. The success of “It’s Gonna Take A Miracle” sends Williams’ accompanying album “Niecy” into the top five on the Billboard R&B album chart and the top twenty on the Top 200 in mid 1982.

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On this day in music history: November 17, 197…

On this day in music history: November 17, 1971 – “Gonna Take A Miracle”, the fifth album by Laura Nyro is released. Produced by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, it is recorded at Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia, PA from May – June 1971. Following the holiday themed “Christmas And The Beads Of Sweat”, singer and songwriter Lauro Nyro again follows her muse and changes musical direction yet again. For the first time in her career, Nyro decides to record an album of all cover material, rather than another featuring original material penned by her. Having recorded a cover of The Drifters classic “Up On The Roof” on her previous release, which becomes her only single to crack the Hot 100 in the US, Laura records a full album of favorite R&B songs during her years growing up in The Bronx. Prior to recording the album, Nyro meets singer Patti LaBelle, when she is being interviewed by LaBelle’s manager Vicki Wickham. Laura and Patti become close friends and tour together. When it comes time to work on the project, Nyro is paired with Philadelphia International Records co-founders and producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Backed by the core rhythm section of PIR’s house band MFSB, Nyro invites LaBelle (Patti LaBelle, Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash) to perform backing vocals throughout. Recording a well selected group of songs that include Motown classics (“You Really Got A Hold On Me”, “The Bells”, “Nowhere To Run”, “Jimmy Mack”), girl group standards (“I Met Him On A Sunday”, “It’s Gonna Take A Miracle”), Brill Building pop (“Spanish Harlem”) and doo wop (“The Wind”), the recordings are spirited and inspired. The title track is released as a single not long after the album, and though it does not chart, the album itself receives favorable reviews and performs well. In time, “Miracle” is regarded as a favorite among Laura Nyro’s loyal fan base and today is revered as a classic “blue eyed soul” album. It is also the last album Nyro records for nearly five years. By the end of 1971, the already media shy musician turns away from the spotlight to get married and live in rural Massachusetts. Out of print in the US for many years, the album is reissued on CD in 1991, then is remastered and reissued again in 2002 with four bonus tracks, recorded live at The Fillmore East in May of 1971. “Gonna Take A Miracle” peaks at number forty six on the Billboard Hot 100, and number forty one on the R&B album chart.

On this day in music history: May 15, 1982 – &…

On this day in music history: May 15, 1982 – “It’s Gonna Take A Miracle” by Deniece Williams hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 2 weeks, also peaking at #10 on the Hot 100 on June 12, 1982. Written by Teddy Randazzo, Bobby Weinstein and Lou Stallman, it is the second R&B chart topper for the Grammy Award winning songstress from Gary, IN. Co-written by New York based songwriter Teddy Randazzo (“Goin’ Out Of My Head”, “Hurt So Bad”), the song is originally written for Little Anthony & The Imperials, but instead is recorded by the female R&B vocal group The Royalettes when Randazzo is in a financial dispute with Don Costa Productions over royalty payments for the previous hits he has penned for Little Anthony. The Royalettes, who record for MGM Records have a minor hit (#28 R&B) with “Miracle” in 1965. Producer and arranger Thom Bell suggests to Williams that she record “It’s Gonna Take A Miracle” while they are working their second album together. The track is cut at the famed Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia in late 1981 with musicians such as Bob Babbitt (bass, piccolo bass), Bobby Eli (guitar), Charles Collins (drums), and Larry Washington (percussion). Issued as a single in March of 1982, it quickly becomes a hit on R&B radio and crosses over to the pop singles chart. The success of “It’s Gonna Take A Miracle” sends Williams’ accompanying album “Niecy” into the top five on the Billboard R&B album chart and the top twenty on the Top 200 in mid 1982.