Wednesday, July 29, 2009

JODY-PALOOZA: A TRIBUTE TO JODY WATLEY

In celebration of Jody Watley's current tour--and her upcoming hometown appearance at Chicago's Market Days, where I plan on being in the front row--I decided to post an interview that I did with her in 1999. (Man, time flies!) This was one of my favorite assignments, because I've been a fan of Watley's style, attitude, and cool, deadpan delivery ever since her days with Shalamar. I followed her solo career closely. As a teenager, I even hunted down her U.K.-only, pre-"Looking for a New Love" singles "Where the Boys Are" and "Girls Night Out," both produced by the folks behind the Art of Noise. (You can listen below.)

What I've come to appreciate about her even more over the years is her commitment to evolving creatively and her dedication to the gay community. Where, say, Madonna gets more attention for her connections to the gay community, Watley has actually recorded songs with lyrics supporting gay people. (See "Affection" & "When a Man Loves a Man" below.) Plus, her 1989 "Friends" video included voguing a year prior to Madonna's "Vogue" AND Watley kept voguing in the context of gay ball culture as opposed to making it seem like it came from Hollywood. (See the "Jody For The Kids" section below.)

In this interview, Jody talks about her music, her "Soul Train" memories (including a fight among two "queens" which called for security to step in), and losing her friend Jermaine "We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off" Stewart to AIDS.










JODY FOR "THE KIDS:"

"Friends (1989)"


"When a Man Loves a Man (BBG Deep Mix-1993)"


"Affection (1995)"



RARE JODY:

Where the Boys Are (1984)


My House (4 Free-1984)


Girls Night Out (1985)


I'm the One You Need (David Morales Dead Zone Mix-1991)


Ecstasy (David Morales Remix-1993)


Off the Hook (Booker T Mix-1998)


If I'm Not in Love (Pull KHZ Mix-1998)


SOME TRACKS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

Love Injection (1987)

Come Into My Life (1989)

Lifestyle (1989)

It All Begins With You (1991)


Until the Last Goodbye (1991)

Don't You Want Me (King Britt Mix-2006)

Midnight Lounge (Mark De Clive Lowe Mix-2006)

Borderline (Christian Paduraru Vocal Dub Mix-2006)

Candlelight (Aris Kokou Dub-2009)

4 comments:

Mel Beavers II said...

Craig love the Jody blog. I 100% agree and totally adore her. She is fabulous in every sense of the word.

Jody Watley said...

Thank you Craig. I really appreciate your support and longtime appreciation :-)

QH said...

Oh wow! Really great article! I gleaned this link from Ms. Watley's home page & I'm impressed. You highlighted "Come Into My Life" & "Lifestyle," two of my favorite LTL-era JW jams.

She's amazing isn't she? Her commitment to her art is just beautiful. I'm blogrolling you good sir.-QH

Nico said...

Hey, like your blog. But Jody doesn't vogue. It's called Whack dancing. If you were at her concerts this summer she explained the concept and even treated us with a demonstration of Whack dancing with her old pal and mentor [who's name slips me at the moment, but anywhooo]. Jody said that before Vogue there was Whack dancing and she can remember doing it when she was a little girl.