Remember the song "Rapper's Delight" by the Sugarhill Gang? They had a group of guys backing them up called Fats Comet who were also known as Tackhead. These are the same guys backing up Grandmaster Flash on White Lines and The Message.
Culture Club was a rock-n-roll quartet from Nashville, Tennessee which featured a pretty young lady on lead vocals named Boy George
(...let the E-mails commence!)
First there was the Sex Pistols, then Malcom McLaren took Adam out of Adam and the Ants and inserted a 13 year old girl into the band and called them Bow Wow Wow but, when that band started to waver, he threw in a teenage Irish transvestite named George O'Dowd to sing lead. That didn't work out so well - Anabella didn't want him there and the fans didn't want him there - he was booed off the stage.
Ironically there was another member of Adam and the Ants - a drummer named Jon Moss who started his first band called Pig Williams in 1975 with his friend Nick Feldman (who later found fame in the band Wang Chung) who was not in Bow Wow Wow because he was busy playing with Shane MacGowan's band The Nips at the time before replacing Rat Scabies as the drummer for The Damned. He was advised by an unnamed friend that Bow Wow Wow's new singer Lieutenant Lush was calling himself "Boy George" and he started a new band called Praise of Lemmings. Jon Moss joined Praise of Lemmings and they changed their name to Culture Club.
Culture Club started out as a reggae band but most of their reggae sound was overshadowed during production in favor of a pop sound.
A lot of their music had reggae influences but they never released a straightforward reggae song in their heyday. It wasn't until 1999 when they released the album Don't Mind If I Do when they had a minor hit with a cover of the Dolly Parton song "Your Kisses are Charity"
They even performed this song live with Dolly herself
Dolly Parton and Culture Club doing a reggae song:
This download includes the original Don't Mind if I Do version of "Your Kisses are Charity" as well as a studio version featuring Dolly Parton plus two early reggae demos "Lion's Roar" and "Run, Run, Run"
This band was out of Vancouver, WA and recorded an album in the late 90's that never quite got finished or released, until just a few days ago. This band has a unique style with the lead singer who plays an upright bass. One more reason to pick it up, proceeds from the album will benefit The National Brain Tumor Society in the name of Joshua Dalton, the bands founder and bassist who is battling cancer. Although the band has been broken up for many years now, their music can now be properly enjoyed and remembered.
The Choice was a post punk / new wave band from Ithaca New York. Their set was comprised mostly of covers: "Should I Stay or Should I Go" (Clash), "Psycho Killer" (Talking Heads), "What I Like About You" (Romantics), "Freedom of Choice" (Devo), They also played some Rolling Stones and a B52's cover or two etc.
The band was started by two brothers from Florida Jay and mark Mendelson. Jay worked at a T.V. center in Owego and was able to use some equipment to make a couple of videos. One for their original song "Life of the Party", and another for "Technician". They did release a CD that had these two songs and a few more studio tracks with several live songs. I have never come across this cd.
Remember the Twilight Zone episode "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" about the man who was on an airplane and kept seeing a man on the wing of the plane? The main actor was a guy named William Shatner who later went on to find fame in a TV show called TJ Hooker with a woman named Heather Locklear who was married to members of Motley Crue and Bon Jovi after Charles in Charge broke up with her.
Anyways...this TJ Hooker guy went on to do commercials for an online based airplane ticket agency, which is ironic considering his beginnings. He made enough from his commercials to fund one of the most...um...interesting album of 80s cover songs. On this album he enlisted the help of a down-and-out nobody named Toots Hibbert (normally I would never say a negative thing about Toots - he's the guy who sang Split Personality - but he sank pretty low on this one and I feel like my shit talking is justified).
I never got around to buying this record yet. There are lots of them all over the internet so I will have a copy someday but the song itself is easy enough to find on line so here it is if you don't have it yet. This was definitely going to be on my next podcast but I couldn't decide if I wanted the 7" version at the beginning of the episode or the 12" version at the end. You can have both: