I got a copy of Unsung the other day for two of the upcoming shows: Stacy Lattisaw and Rose Royce. I LOVE that show, it is truly the BEST thing TV One produces and I look forward to watching it each season. In addition it brings the point home that many of our artists still have huge fanbases out there who consistantly want to know what happened to them.
Stacy Lattisaw was interesting. A chunky fair skinned girl with a big voice, when I watched some of her videos in the show she had the enthusiasm of a boiled egg. Her mother admits that Stacy didn’t really want a career in show business and while I somehow missed that during her heyday, the show makes that very apparent. She was doing it for her parents. Stacy mentions that she did not want to sell herself short by “having sex with this person and that person” so she quit. Ironically, when I asked a few people that knew of her back then, they have a different opinion of her. Who knows. Johnny Gill stars in the show as well as Stacy taking a tour of her old home in DC where it all started and her very first performances. Great show.
Rose Royce: I was not a big fan of the group and I despised the song “Car Wash.” To me, it was the epitomy of ghetto life. What the hell would black people want to sing about a damn car wash for, sh… make a record called Doctor’s Degree. But who am I, Norman Whitfield wrote a plethora of hits for the band which was considered mostly studio musicians with the addition of an unknown (star) girl from Florida who the group didn’t know. There was tension from the beginning as lead singer Gwen Dickey was told to change her name to a stage persona of the group name as “Rose” the men had an issue with that as they felt it wasn’t her group. Still Whitfield moved them into a mansion from South Central LA and Florida, he groomed them, bought them elaborate costumes and wrote all their hit songs. The group felt they didnt’ get paid enough and were at odds with Norman until the day he died. One of them even went to Whitfield’s dying hospital bed and asked him “Why didn’t you give me my money?” I knew Norman Whitfield and we have had some great conversations about music and I’m not sure if the group had a legitimate claim. I mean he wrote all their music, paid for their tours, moved them into his mansion and spared no expense for their success. Sure they should have been paid for tours but should they have been paid for performing Norman’s songs? One thing’s for sure, there were too many members. The group could have still been a huge success at half the size considering Gwen made most of the contribution to their success. It’s unfortunate that Gwen left on bad terms as she could have collaborated with Norman and had more hits. Once again, a can’t miss. More info about the shows below.