Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Songoftheday 7/27/16 - Have mercy on my eyes lady whatcha wearin now? you know it's a crim the way you look in clothes...

"Birthday Suit" - Johnny Kemp
from the album Sing (Original Soundtrack) (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #36 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 3

Today's song of the day comes from Bahamian-born pop/soul singer Johnny Kemp, who landed a top-ten hit with his weekend jam "Just Got Paid" in the summer of 1988. Two more singles from his second album, "Dancin' With Myself" and "One Thing Led To Another", also reached the R&B top-40, but missed the pop list altogether. His next move was a contribution to the soundtrack to the movie Sing in the spring of the next year. Written by Footloose scribe Dean Pitchford, who also penned the music to this song-and-dance film, it didn't grab a hold of that current generation's imagination like Footloose did, but the collection of music did draw some big names of that time in adult pop music like Terri Nunn of Berlin, Paul Carrack of Mike & The Mechanics, Mickey Thomas of Starship, Bill Champlin of Chicago, Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon, and even Patti LaBelle makes an appearance. The single released from the set was Kemp's "Birthday Suit", written by Pitchford with Rhett Lawrence. A bouncy and half-sleazy/half-squeaky jaunt about taking your clothes off, it gave Johnny his last pop hurrah...

"Birthday Suit" became Kemp's second and final top-40 pop hit in the U.S. in April of 1989. The song also climbed to #21 on Billboard's R&B chart, while the extended remix made it to #25 on their Dance Club Play list. Meanwhile, as opposed to Footloose's multiplatinum success, the soundtrack to Sing spent one solitary week on the albums sales chart at #196.

Johnny wouldn't release any more major-label releases, but did occasionally tour with other "oldies" 80s acts like Keith Sweat, but sadly he died in a freak fall accident in Jamaica in 2015.

Up tomorrow:

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