Category: rufus & chaka khan

On this day in music history: October 15, 1983 – “Ain’t Nobody” by Rufus & Chaka Khan hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 1 week, also peaking at #22 on the Hot 100 on December 3, 1983. Written by David “Hawk” Wolinski, it is the fifth and final chart topper for the veteran R&B band fronted by lead singer Chaka Khan.  Originally a member of the Chicago based garage band Shadows Of Knight (“Gloria”), Wolinski joins Rufus as a second keyboardist in 1978, after working as a side musician for Minnie Riperton. He quickly becomes a major creative force within the band, writing (or co-writing) several hits including “Hollywood”, “Everlasting Love”, “Street Player”, “Any Love” and the chart topping “Do You Love What You Feel”. He comes up with the initial idea for “Ain’t Nobody” in 1982 while working with musician Michael Sembello. The song had been considered for inclusion on Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” album when the songwriter offers it to Jackson’s producer Quincy Jones. Rufus’ producer Russ Titelman convinces Wolinski to hold on to the song. Rufus records it with Chaka Khan as one of four new studio recordings on their final album “Stompin’ At The Savoy”. Another unique characteristic of the record is its drum pattern, played both by drummer John Robinson (live drums) and by keyboardist Wolinski on a Linn LM-1 drum machine. Not wanting to play it with a straight 4/4 time signature, the pair create the songs’ distinctive syncopated rhythm. “Ain’t Nobody” earns Rufus their second Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals in 1984. The song is also featured prominently in the film and on the soundtrack of “Breakin’” in 1984.

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On this day in music history: August 10, 1983 – “Stompin’ At The Savoy – Live” by Rufus & Chaka Khan is released. Produced by Russ Titelman, it is recorded at the Savoy Theater in New York City from February 12 – 14, 1982 (live tracks) and Warner Bros. Recording Studios in North Hollywood, CA, Village Recorders in Los Angeles, CA, RPM Studios, Soundworks Digital in New York City, Group IV Recording and Sunset Sound in Hollywood, CA circa Early 1983 (studio tracks). After ten years and six albums with lead singer Chaka Khan, Rufus record one final album together before disbanding. The album is a two LP set consisting of three sides of live material recorded over three nights at the Savoy Theater in New York City, with the fourth side containing four new songs recorded in the studio. It spins off two singles including the smash “Ain’t Nobody” (#1 R&B, #22 Pop). which also wins them their second Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal in 1984. Out of print on vinyl since the early 90’s, it is remastered and reissued by Music On Vinyl in 2014. The CD release is remastered and reissued by Big Break Records in 2015. “Stompin’ At The Savoy – Live” peaks at number four on the Billboard R&B album chart, and number fifty on the Top 200.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

On this day in music history: December 15, 1979 – “Do You Love What You Feel” by Rufus & Chaka Khan hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 3 weeks, peaking at #5 on the Club Play chart, also peaking at #30 on the Hot 100 on February 2, 1980. Written by David “Hawk” Wolinski, it is the fourth R&B chart topper for the Chicago, IL R&B/Funk band. Following her guest appearance on Quincy Jones’ number one R&B hit “Stuff Like That” the previous year, the producer signs on to work with Rufus on their eighth album “Masterjam”. Sessions get underway at Westlake Audio in Hollywood, CA in mid 1979 just as Jones is completing work on Michael Jackson’s “Off The Wall”. During the sessions for the song, Wolinski and Jones have a disagreement over the songs’ bridge, that nearly leads to “Hawk” withdrawing the song from the album. Eventually all is worked out in the end with the song being recorded as Wolinski intended it. Released as a single in late September of 1979, “Do You Love What You Feel” an immediate smash on R&B radio and on dance floors around the world. The song is also issued as a longer extended version (remixed by engineer Bruce Swedien) that is released in the US only as a promotional 12" to radio and club DJ’s (with original copies becoming sought after collector’s items), but is released commercially in the UK. The success of “Do You Love What You Feel” sends their album “Masterjam” to number one on the Billboard R&B album chart (#14 Pop), driving its sales to Gold status in the US. Over the years, “Do You Love What You Feel” has been sampled by rappers MC Shy D (“I Wanna Dance”), Fresh Kid Ice (“I Wanna Dance Y’All”), Poison Clan (“Some S*** I Used To Do”), Ras Kass Featuring RC (“Lapdance”)  SWV Featuring Brianna Perry (“Do Ya”), and The Jacka Featuring Husalah (“Love How It Feels”). Other elements of the song are interpolated into tracks by Cam’ron (“Rockin’ And Rollin’) and Murderbot (”More Guns”).

On this day in music history: October 19, 1979 – “Masterjam”, the eighth album by Rufus & Chaka Khan is released. Produced by Quincy Jones, it is recorded at Westlake Audio and Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles, CA from Spring – Summer 1979. With lead singer Chaka Khan scoring a big hit on her own the previous year with her self titled solo debut, and the R&B chart topper “I’m Every Woman”, it looks as though her tenure with Rufus has come to an end. With her band mates in Rufus having recorded and released the album “Numbers” without her, that looks to be the case. However, Khan is not yet able to leave the band, as she is obligated to record at least two more albums with Rufus. During this time, the band’s long time label ABC Records is absorbed by MCA Records. Also in 1978, Chaka also lands another R&B #1 as part of Quincy Jones’ smash “Stuff Like That” (with Ashford & Simpson), and expresses a desire to work with him again. Drummer John Robinson, keyboardist David “Hawk” Wolinski and bassist Bobby Watson had also worked with Jones on Michael Jackson’s “Off The Wall”. “Q” commits to working on Rufus’ next album, just as work on Jackson’s album is completed. Even with the veteran producer at the helm, the sessions are sometimes tense, with relationships between Chaka and her band mates continuing to break down. Chaka’s constant tardiness to the studio often holds up sessions, with studio time often costing thousands of dollars a day, is another sticking point. During the sessions, Quincy and “Hawk” Wolinski have a disagreement about the bridge of the song “Do You Love What You Feel” (#1 R&B, #5 Club Play, #30 Pop) (written by Hawk), with Jones initially not caring for the songs’ bridge. Wolinski is unwilling to make any changes (after a few attempts to do so), and goes as far as stating he’ll withdraw the song from the album. Eventually, the song is left as the keyboardist had intended. Released in the Fall of 1979, “Masterjam” is another major success for Rufus & Chaka Khan, though some fans of Rufus’ earlier more R&B/Funk material feel the record is “too slick and disco oriented”

(due to the use of string orchestration and the Seawind Horns on various tracks), compared to their previous work. Besides the chart topping “Feel”, the album spins off two more singles including “Any Love (#24 R&B, #5 Club Play) and "I’m Dancing For Your Love” (#43 R&B). Non single album tracks like “What Am I Missing? written by Chaka and her brother Mark Stevens, the funky and lush "Heaven Bound” and the Rod Temperton penned “Live In Me” also become fan favorites. Originally released on CD in 1993, “Masterjam” is remastered and reissued most recently by Universal Japan in 2015. “Masterjam” spends two weeks at number one on the Billboard R&B album chart, peaking at number fourteen on the Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: October 15, 1983 – “Ain’t Nobody” by Rufus & Chaka Khan hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 1 week, also peaking at #22 on the Hot 100 on December 3, 1983. Written by David “Hawk” Wolinski, it is the fifth and final chart topper for the veteran R&B band fronted by lead singer Chaka Khan.  Originally a member of the Chicago based garage band Shadows Of Knight (“Gloria”), Wolinski joins Rufus as a second keyboardist in 1978, after working as a side musician for Minnie Riperton. He quickly becomes a major creative force within the band, writing (or co-writing) several hits including “Hollywood”, “Everlasting Love”, “Street Player”, “Any Love” and the chart topping “Do You Love What You Feel”. He comes up with the initial idea for “Ain’t Nobody” in 1982 while working with musician Michael Sembello. The song had been considered for inclusion on Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” album when the songwriter offers it to Jackson’s producer Quincy Jones. Rufus’ producer Russ Titelman convinces Wolinski to hold on to the song. Rufus records it with Chaka Khan as one of four new studio recordings on their final album “Stompin’ At The Savoy”. Another unique characteristic of the record is its drum pattern, played both by drummer John Robinson (live drums) and by keyboardist Wolinski on a Linn LM-1 drum machine. Not wanting to play it with a straight 4/4 time signature, the pair create the songs’ distinctive syncopated rhythm. “Ain’t Nobody” earns Rufus their second Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals in 1984. The song is also featured prominently in the film and on the soundtrack of “Breakin’” in 1984.

On this day in music history: August 10, 1983 – “Stompin’ At The Savoy – Live” by Rufus & Chaka Khan is released. Produced by Russ Titelman, it is recorded at the Savoy Theater in New York City from February 12 – 14, 1982 (live tracks) and Warner Bros. Recording Studios in North Hollywood, CA, Village Recorders in Los Angeles, CA, RPM Studios, Soundworks Digital in New York City, Group IV Recording and Sunset Sound in Hollywood, CA circa Early 1983 (studio tracks). After ten years and six albums with lead singer Chaka Khan, Rufus record one final album together before disbanding. The album is a two LP set consisting of three sides of live material recorded over three nights at the Savoy Theater in New York City, with the fourth side containing four new songs recorded in the studio. It spins off two singles including the smash “Ain’t Nobody” (#1 R&B, #22 Pop). which also wins them their second Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal in 1984. Out of print on vinyl since the early 90’s, it is remastered and reissued by Music On Vinyl in 2014. The CD release is remastered and reissued by Big Break Records in 2015. “Stompin’ At The Savoy – Live” peaks at number four on the Billboard R&B album chart, and number fifty on the Top 200.

Born on this day: March 23, 1953 – R&B vocal icon and songwriter Chaka Khan (born Yvette Marie Stevens in Chicago, IL). Happy 65th Birthday, Chaka!!

“On this day in music history: December 15, 1979 – “Do You Love What You Feel” by Rufus & Chaka Khan hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 3 weeks, peaking at #5 on the Club Play chart, also peaking at #30 on the Hot 100 on February 2, 1980. Written by David “Hawk” Wolinski, it is the fourth R&B chart topper for the Chicago, IL R&B/Funk band. Following her guest appearance on Quincy Jones’ number one R&B hit “Stuff Like That” the previous year, the producer signs on to work with Rufus on their eighth album “Masterjam”. Sessions get underway at Westlake Audio in Hollywood, CA in mid 1979 just as Jones is completing work on Michael Jackson’s “Off The Wall”. During the sessions for the song, Wolinski and Jones have a disagreement over the songs’ bridge that nearly leads to “Hawk” withdrawing the song from the album. Eventually all is worked out in the end with the song being recorded as Wolinski intended it. Released as a single in late September of 1979, “Do You Love What You Feel” an immediate smash on R&B radio and on dance floors around the world. The song is also issued as a longer extended version (remixed by engineer Bruce Swedien) that is released in the US only as a promotional 12" to radio and club DJ’s (with original copies becoming sought after collector’s items), but is released commercially in the UK. The success of “Do You Love What You Feel” sends their album “Masterjam” to number one on the Billboard R&B album chart (#14 Pop), driving its sales to Gold status in the US. Over the years, “Do You Love What You Feel” has been sampled by rappers MC Shy D (“I Wanna Dance”), Fresh Kid Ice (“I Wanna Dance Y’All”), Poison Clan (“Some S*** I Used To Do”), Ras Kass Featuring RC (“Lapdance”)  SWV Featuring Brianna Perry (“Do Ya”), and The Jacka Featuring Husalah (“Love How It Feels”). Other elements of the song are interpolated into tracks by Cam’ron (“Rockin’ And Rollin’) and Murderbot (”More Guns”).