I KNOW that I am kind of late to the party on this celebration of amour, however I was not “late” where it matters – with my sweetheart! In fact since this “holiday” is new to her culture, I was ahead of the curve, thank you! lol
The catalyst of this post is my anthem and theme song of pleasant St. Valentine’s Days past and especially present with prayers and hope channeling the future.
By the time you read this (“except on the west coast” lol), yours is likely settled, over and I hope you got “some” of whatever it is that you desired, if only attention and the promise of future mutual relations. You see, all the object of your desires needs is your undivided attention, some creativity, respect and truly undying love; that isn’t too much to ask, is it?
“Valentine Love” by Philly’s own Norman Conners, featuring the voice of Jean Carn who I once introduced on-stage at Eisenhower Park’s bandshell in Nassau, New York, remains as the number one record that comes to mind on this now, mostly commercial day of remembrance. In my world, when you have found the “one”, every day is a day when “Cupid” interacts with your romance, and you had better let him or her know it. The album “Saturday Night Special” came into my young DJ hands via my friendly promo executive at Buddah Records, whose name I cannot recall at the moment, back in 1975 in New York City. Buddah had a kind of “pleasure” sound, whether it be soul, rock or comedy and thier vinyl is slightly heavy and everlasting. I have noticed that all the labels had their “own” studio sound that set them apart from the rest.
“VL” was a hot cut introduced to our ears by, you guessed it, Frankie Crocker’s WBLS FM back then. Norman Conners played “Gretsch drums (like Ringo Starr) and Latin percussion instruments” according to the back cover’s credit notes. Also on this Lp is a version of Herbie Hancock’s “Maiden Voyage”, but interestingly, Hancock is only featured as playing on another cut on the album, “Kwasi”. One of my true favorite bassists, Michael Henderson, played on many of the sessions in those days, and is all over this record with that round, full and smooth bottom (and maybe some vocals) herein 🙂 We played the grooves off of “Valentine Love” back on our university radio station, WBAU FM, in 1975.
The only other Norman Conners album I have is his 1976 follow-up, “You Are My Starship”. The title track being another song for your Valentine’s Day repertoire, featuring Michael Henderson and on the album, my dearly departed too-soon via self-deliverance, diva friend Phyllis Hyman. I’ll never forget the time she came up to me and introduced herself at a “welcome to WBLS” party thrown in my honor at the NYC nightclub “70-West”. I was sittting there by myself, “hiding” in plain sight but away from the action with my beverage, when suddenly this voluptuous hand appeared in-front of my face. When I looked up, it was the first time I saw a “diva'”, square-shouldered in a black cape and matching chapeau, looming over me as she said in a kind of deep voice for a woman,”Hye, I’m Phyllis and you are…?” [she knew of course]. We always had fun with the lyric, “And don’t you come to soon” on “Starship” I wonder if he meant that kind of “coming” to this day? Other cuts on “Starship” of-note are his version of the Stylistics’ “Betcha By Golly Wow” (with Phyllis shining and Gary Bartz on sax solo) and “Bubbles” which I liked to use as a bed while doing PSAs, promos and other, sometimes “non-commercial”, announcements.
For me this Valentine’s Day compares with none of my past two score-plus-more! I found my mirror/other-half/soul-mate in 2010, and we are now looking forward to that first in-person meeting this spring! C’monn, passport! Isn’t “the future” wondeful!? As Norman Conners put it on the last “Starship” cut, “The Creator Has A Master Plan**(Peace) – written by Pharoh Sanders and Leon Thomas. “Happy Valentine’s Day, week, month, year and life!”