Tag Archive: island records


This is the autobiographical memoir story of the first half of a life whose backdrop lays bare a dysfunctional family environment which she could not jettison as she grew older, only to rise above all, to superstardom; of talent and belief in self over drama.

I never cared whether Mariah Carey was Caucasian or just a light-skinned black American; in-fact, I figured she was “mixed” the first time I held one of her records in my hot DJ hands, without a second thought – obviously she wrestled with it.  Candid and insightful, Mariah and Michaela Angela Davis write a mix of slang and sesquipedalian words, in The Meaning Of Mariah Carey (Andy Cohen/Henry Holt, $29.99 978125016468), and I must admit that the co-author’s name threw me a bit, being a fan of the activist, philosopher, former Black Panther and professor with a similar moniker.

In describing her life in four parts, she amazingly defies poor decisions to thrive on the world’s greatest musical stages!

Making questionable decisions with some men, which were not in the ilk of her Army veteran father, who she loved, but did not strive to stay with and emulate, her descriptions of affairs saddened me.  I liked how she injected her  various song lyrics into the chapters and you will notice increasing mentions of God as her storied read progresses.

Also, I learned that her father’s trademark linguine dish is also one of my favorites to make!

As a music radio disc jockey at the height of my career during her Tommy Mottola marriage period, knowing what I’d heard about him, I always found it troublesome and curious as to why she married him!  It led to her post-Mottola “melt down”, which she totally could have avoided, in my opinion.  Maybe I like her less as a person – but more than many who I mention her to – as a result of the revelations here, but still will always enjoy her music. She mentions “radio” often and its a wonder our paths never crossed! Maybe cause I’m such a fan (“lamb” as she calls us) and was in that same music business on the radio DJ side during her times of struggle – part of my 40 years on the air – that its so difficult to read about the family hand she was dealt and her not understanding that her mother was emotionally conflicted.  Then when she “made it” was surprised they would try to soak her for endless “loans”, which would never be repaid. Not a totally unfamiliar scenario, but Ms. Carey seemed not to see it coming. Fortunately, her music saved her life.

Unfortunately, the story, with its great middle photo-album section, never speaks about her having higher education, like college, which may have trained her mind to recognize those who would try to use her fame to their advantage. Yes, the recording studio was her solace, as she kept trying to believe, even seeking a therapist, that family would change; they seldom DO.

Mariah also wrote this tome to set the record straight about how she became “the high-priced spread”, to push back against what the tabloid press puts out there about her life and struggles, “In her own words”, as the cliché goes.  I’m surprised she doesn’t mention the great Smokey Robinson in her “Few Words About Great Men” chapter, where she clearly adores fellow Motown hall of famer, Stevie Wonder’s lyrical musicianship and writing genius; I’d love to hear a Smokey & Mariah duet!

I kept this book on my bedside night table and read a chapter per night, since I saw it in the “Bestsellers” section at my local public library; Covid-19 library closures allowed me to keep the volume longer, and so, Mimi got into my dreams a few times – I guess I was concerned about her! For me, ‘the meaning of Mariah Carey’ is, “its in the Mix.”  I recommend this book for both Lambs (her fans) and casual popular music lovers alike, with five stars.

Although I never met  this impresario and didn’t even know he was  the founder of the Sex Pistols until the news of his death came over NPR, I reminisce his music at this time of his passing from the physical world because my inspiration for getting into radio, the late Frankie Crocker, broke this music in New York City while I was jocking on the competing station, which was then owned by RKO.  They had us playing his stuff back during the era of Break-Dancing during my time on WRKS FM ( “KISS”),  and I still have the 12-inch vinyl, special party mix album

 and 45rpm vinyls of the Island Records hits that we played too! This was when “scratchin” a record first came into vogue as a DJ’s skill while rockin’ da crowd.   So now, just in case you only thought he was a Brit with spastic punk-style rhythm, here are a few jams we used to move to at Danceteria and Private Eyes, to name only a couple of the clubs poppin’-it back during the early-to-mid-1980s in Manhattan.  I loved ‘Hey D.J.”; “Do Ya Like Scratchin’?”; “Buffalo Girls”, and of course every freelance DJ’s anthem back then, “The World Famous Supreme Team Show”. I am reminded that this “special PARTY MIX with…” was very hard to get back then because inside the 12″ album are some 45rpm versions…thank you Debbie Howard wherever you are, LOL  

This  sound takes me back to a free era in the world where there was no such thing as “terrorism” and the planet  just partied universally – at least we did in New York City – very judiciously to this infectious innovator. Just wanted to pay homage and hip you who may not know…ya HEARD?? LOL

R.I.P. Mr. McLaren and thanks for recognizing the DJs…and “all the Buffalo Girls going around the outside/all that scratchin’ is makin’ me itch!” LMAO

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