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Ladies and gentlemen out there in podcast land, Thomas Inskeep and I would like to welcome you to the SIXTH episode of the Jheri Curl Chronicles podcast. Yes, folks, we’re taking you down memory lane for a discussion about songs that hit #1 on Billboard Magazine’s Hot R&B Singles chart in the ’80s.

If you’ve missed an installment, never fear. You can find them by clicking on the link for each respective episode.

We’re up to Episode 6! This installment finishes out the year 1981 with a bang, as we go through the final five chart toppers of the year.

Episode 1 | Episode 2  | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5

The songs featured in this episode are:

“When She Was My Girl” by The Four Tops

“Never Too Much” by Luther!

“I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Pt. 1” by Roger

“Take My Heart (You Can Have It If You Want It)” by Kool and the Gang

“Let’s Groove” by Earth, Wind & Fire

And here are some show notes/secondary topics brought up as these songs are discussed.

-The Four Tops’ brief resurgence on disco label Casablanca Records, which was on its last legs at the time.

-“When She Was My Girl”‘s resemblance to this hit by The O’Jays, and this novelty smash by Joe Tex.

-The insane amounts of love we have for Mr. Vandross and his sterling career, although we argue that he never topped “Never Too Much”, his debut solo single.

-The lengthy history of “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”, which hit #1 R&B for the third time thanks to Roger’s rendition.

-Thomas’s somewhat inexplicable and intense dislike of Creedence Clearwater Revival (they also covered “Grapevine”) and the somewhat dubious chart record they hold.

-The era of sampling and how it kept Zapp’s legacy alive, even though they were pretty much a one-trick pony.

-Robert Palmer’s slick cover of “Take My Heart”, which you’ll hear a snatch of at the conclusion of this episode (our opening song is Teena Marie’s 1981 jam “I Need Your Lovin’.”

-We compare and contrast the legacies of Kool & The Gang and Earth, Wind & Fire while giving props to the recently departed Maurice White.

-Why waste an opportunity to talk about “Easy Lover“?

-EW&F’s solid string of early ’80s singles, including “Wanna Be With You” and the immortal “Fall In Love With Me“.

There are a variety of ways you can enjoy this podcast. You can listen in the player below, download the mp3 file directly to your computer or device, stream the show on Liberated Syndication, or you can subscribe to the Blerd Radio family of podcasts on ye olde iTunes. Enjoy!

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