It is almost hard for me to believe, but it was about 25 years ago that the beautiful and talented Jody Watley ruled the dance floors with her solo debut. Born in Chicago, the young Watley was inspired by Diana Ross and many others making great music. She made her first stage appearance alongside her godfather, Jackie Wilson, at a very young age. By the time she was a teen, Watley was becoming a regular on Soul Train, a standout with her beauty, style, and slick dance moves. Along with fellow Soul Train dancer Jeffrey Daniel, Watley was selected to join Gary Mumford and become original members of the R&B group Shalamar, put together by the late, great Don Cornelius. Before long, Mumford was replaced, and soon Howard Hewett was on lead vocals. Watley was a part of the group from 1977 to 1984, taking part in hits like "The Second Time Around". Once she left the group, it was time to get to work on some solo music.
In February of 1987, Watley released her solo debut, the eponymous Jody Watley. The music audience seemed to like what they heard, for the album was soon certified Platinum in sales in the US, and Gold in Canada. Part of what drove the sales was the amazing first single, "Looking For A New Love". Written by Watley and André Cymone, the song was one of the biggest selling R&B singles of the year, making it to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #1 on the R&B and Dance Club Play charts.
The third single off the album made it to #6 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #3 on the R&B chart, and #1 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart. "Don't You Want Me" was written by Watley, Franne Golde, and D.P. Bryant. The studios loved her crossover appeal, and her ability to score on the R&B, Dance, and Pop charts with the same song. And it was certainly popular in the gay clubs in New York when I was out and about!
#10 on the Pop Chart, and #3 on the R&B chart. Once again, however, Watley reigned supreme on the Dance chart, hitting #1. Written by Watley with former Prince bassist André Cymone, "Some Kind of Lover" was the third song off Jody's debut to make it to the Billboard Pop Top 10, something not many artists can have on their resumé.
For more about Jody Watley, you can visit her official website. You can find her debut album on iTunes and Amazon. You can find the remix album, You Wanna Dance With Me?, in my CD collection, as well as on iTunes and Amazon. You can also follow her on Twitter.