"Little Jackie Wants To Be A Star" - Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
from the album Straight To The Sky (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #29 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 4
Today's song of the day comes from the dance-pop trio from New York City, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, who had made it big-time on mainstream pop radio in 1987, with back-to-back #1 singles in "Head To Toe" and "Lost In Emotion". Surprisingly, the next two singles from the set, the love ballad "Someone To Love Me For Me" (with producers Full Force) and the freestyle throwback "Everything Will B-Fine", didn't catch the same attention (only "Someone" reached a meager #78), though both of the songs were top ten hits on Billboard's R&B chart. Maybe "Someone" sounded too much like Gloria Loring's "Friends And Lovers" from the previous year, and "Everything" was a little to protean for fitting in mainstream radio. Nevertheless, after scoring another top-20 R&B hit with "Go For Yours" from the soundtrack to Caddyshack II, the trio recorded their third album (and third with the writing/production team of Full Force), Straight To The Sky. With a looser, more organic sound, the set's first single, "Little Jackie Wants To Be A Star", focused on a strumming guitar and a story of going for fame sung by Lisa "Lisa" Velez...
Although "Little Jackie..." signaled an evolution in the craftmanship of the group, it didn't probably do as well as hoped, though the single did become their fifth top-40 pop hit in May of 1989. The song also climbed to #3 on Billboard's R&B chart and #7 on their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio list (their biggest hit on that format). Internationally, the single made the top ten in the Netherlands (#6) and New Zealand (#10), and was a minor hit in the UK at #90 and Canada at #98.
The follow-up single, "Just Git It Together", was a top-ten dance hit at #7, and hit #16 R&B, and the third, "Kiss Your Tears Away", peaked at #26 on the latter chart, but neither would reach the pop list at all. She would return in the 90s with another club jam that would be their last big hurrah.
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And here's the group performing live on Arsenio Hall, showing how fierce they were for a freestyle act in a concert setting...
Up tomorrow: The queen of disco gets a British makeover. Seriously.