Unsung 2022 ðŸŽµ Atlantic Starr Secret Lovers ðŸŽµ Unsung Episodes 2022Oct 26, 2022
I'll love you so much there was nothing like the passion of Atlantic Star and I found in the love song Arena you died the whole pack they can Funk with the best of them Atlantic Star could do it all the boys in the group started to change we were cursing each other at the top of our lungs it had a lot to do with jealousy and greed i was so sick of not having anything to show for it we just didn't see how in the world this band was going to survive the music was really bigger than us they are definitely Ensemble Beyond any words no compromises no Atlantic Star's peerless storm organization In 1987, no song ruled the airwaves like Atlantic Starr's tender ballad Always Watch the record for Billboard's top three hits at once and became an instant classic in every city every week.
Country people were just leaving and I was like oh my gosh but Atlantic Star wasn't a huge hit throughout the 1980s , boasted five top ten albums and over a dozen top 20 singles, a sound that rains down from Up Tempo dance floors the slow Central jams what's your favorite song what's your favorite ballad it doesn't matter whatever you ask for I guarantee Atlantic Starr was mentioned for Atlantic Star success was more than the sum of its parts they were a band that had grown together and I vowed to stay that way united by friendship and family. It was just a dream.
It was a dream come true. We were a group together, but the size of the group and the competition within. In the end, it destroyed his sound, his friendships, and his career. It's hard, I mean, you have a great band like that to keep everyone on track the same way. I will say that it was the outsiders that became very divisive and that's what started to drive us apart. The dream we had fractured 20 miles north of Manhattan is Greenberg, New York, a small town where blacks who immigrated from the South began to settle in the early 20th century and were members of the Atlantic Star grew up foreigners who came from the South Les i am grateful everyday of my life for landing just 20 minutes north of the largest city in the world so there were six of us from Atlanta star which was just inside two buildings the The Lewis brothers Jonathan Wayne and David grew up in the Greenberg housing projects.
Father John passed away in 1962, leaving his mother, Mary, to raise seven children. Jonathan was the oldest, you know, he was the man of the family, and of course Wayne was next. and then David, we were a very close family, my brother David and I were the closest because we were like a year and a half apart, all the brothers started singing in church when they were little kids and they quickly brought the house down on David. and the first time i sang in church i was right here in this building the whole church congregation jumped in the air and freaked out and my mom freaked out and then we went to try to sit down and they wouldn't let us, they made us sin g the whole song over again so they could believe it was really happening when they got to high school Porter Carroll was also reaching for the sky, drummer and singer in a band called the Cyclones, persuaded friends including Clifford Archer Bill Sutter Joy Phillips Keith Johnson and Jonathan Lewis to start something new, every single member of the original Landstar went to the club all of us, you know, and I think that's what made the group special because of the great sounds in the gang and the barcays.
The group of teenagers called themselves a new band and started playing around town. I don't know, something on the air was something that just clicked because like I think we have, we have some in 1975. The band was offered a gig in Los Angeles to perform at a party. for the 20th anniversary of the Spinners, at the time all three Lewis brothers were on board along with Porter's cousin, 17-year-old singer Sharon Bryant, we drove to LA with about $385, yeah, between all of us, yeah it's crazy but it was fun waiting to get a record deal the nine members of the band moved into a couple of two bedroom apartments on the west side of LA we didn't have a lot of resources we had to be creative we just wanted to hang out and we had a lot of fun we were a group that worked together and we decided things together it was all a vote this is a wonderful thing so because we all really like to take care of each other and really love each other and we did anything for each other we were so full of energy and so full of wanting to be and wanting to do so it was great that we started 8 30 playing like Westwood and then let Paco go to Rive rside to do a show out there we do three sets, pack up and then head to Orange County and after the hours we were playing in LA there was enough momentum to put on a show and at that point I had the luxury of a recording studio and a soundstage and we set up a showcase this guy comes all the way in t in the back of the room there's a guy and he does this starts the guy in the back room was she about Herb Alpert the a in a m he offered the new band a recording contract with a trap they had to change their name herb Alvin says we have to change it they are changing it we all write names on a piece of paper so my idea was Atlantic Flash because I thought that we were going to be a flash in japan we wanted to keep the park Atlantic because we were from the east coast and that's why the star s came up Atlantic Starr released his self titled debut album in 1978 the first single sta nd up was a funk anthem written by Wayne Lewis that became a solid hit reaching number 16 on the r b charts what's up tomorrow and you started with that stand up Get on Up and Up raise your horns about that day you know it was the Wayne's soul and that's what made you know the wheels were turning for us the foreign Atlantic Star was on the rise or on the way when you had nine very talented people together you've got a problem some of the other guys were being treated like piano With the top 20 hit on their debut album Atlantic Starr's future looked bright, but when their straight-to-the-point follow-up LP failed to break the top hundred, I looked to guide the band. away from funk and touring more of a singing oriented style, we were like a singing group within an indie band.
I felt like we were coming in with a full plate and I thought James Carmichael was the guy. for creating hits for the commodores diana ross and the jackson 5. at the time i was signed exclusively to motown huh but i might do one outside after a year and i chose
atlanticstar here's a guy who knows how to pick a great song knows how to getting a great vocal performance and then mastered correctly so the radio would stick out of the understaffed speakers. I like the talent, but I liked everything about them and for the lead single from his third album, the beaming Carmichael paid special. paying attention to the female singer of the group to use the clichÃ© diamond in the rough he knew the
secretweapon in his entire arsenal was Sharon and Eaton went for it released in 1981. when love calls he raced to the top of the rb charts putting a Sharon Bryant front and center in more ways than one was the coming out part of Sharon all of a sudden she was being compared to Chaka Khan and I was good at it you know oh I really sound like oh that's good , that's great, man, yeah, an ability to communicate could never be overdone, I mean, when she heard us sing, she could feel what she was singing, she started an identity with our sound, we had found our sound and people were responding to that, although at the time we were opening up on a lot of those shows. and people kept coming in while we were on stage playing but hey that was an opportunity and we had a great time like we just opened our doors we tried and we all got a flat and opened our doors and like we had a lot of fun every penny went to, you know, the community kind of thing, everything we did was together.
Atlantic Star returned to the studio and released their fourth album, Brilliance, in 1982. The lead single was a smooth dance track. written by Wayne and David Lewis and featuring Sharon Bryant called circles how are you going it was just great string instrumentation it was just lush then lyrically it was just a beautiful song i was honking the horn with you their circles hit number two on the charts of rb singles and took the album straight to number one just like that Atlantic Starr's reputation was transformed, they were moving away from their funkier roots and moving towards something that was more pop. r b something like that and it was good for the blast with two big hits under their belt Wayne and David Lewis were emerging as Atlantic Starr's main songwriters James Carmichael worked to hone their talents he taught us how to write real songs he told us instead of trying to write hit songs i want you to write songs that are timeless i can't think of many groups that even then really dove into storytelling and made it work but when they recorded their fifth album yours forever, Wayne's songwriting hit and David had set them apart from his bandmates because Wayne and I were writing songs, things were changing for us and they weren't changing for everyone else. change people the guys and the group started to really change where the people became kind of Hollywood only that's the only way to say it we always told the group that every one of them should always write and it happened that the Lewis brothers brought out a flavor in a direction that everyone wanted to go in and with the lion's share of song credits came the lion's share of royalties and that's where the frustration came in the dynamic that became so different So it was like The Have and the Have Nots maybe there's a lot of animosity because we don't have new cars no one cares how you got whatever they just see something new and boy do you have money Sharon Bryant as the star singer she got caught up.
In between there were times where you started to feel like some of the other guys were being treated like pawns. I can't honestly say that I felt that way myself, but it didn't matter. I feel like I'm a foreigner and you know the guys will come up to me and say well Sharon you know you can talk so you have to say something oh that was horrible it was so hard to make things worse some of the band they suspected that. the money was being mishandled by your management we weren't getting the money we thought we should let me talk to the accountant he would spin our heads with all these facts and figures and what we are doing and some of the things that happen with money you know what are you like how is this is happening what is this checkup? where is he going?
I don't really have any comment on that because First House I never realized there was any mismanagement um there may be some misunderstanding but there was never any mismanagement of anything as Atlantic Star started working on their sixth album in 1984 the group split in two, one included founder Porter Carroll, Sharon Bryant, Bill Sutter, Cliff Archer and Karan Daniels, in the other the three Lewis Brothers and Joy Phillips, there was a lot of crying and screaming and lawyers like I never thought we'd have around lawyer call my lawyer never thought we would get there and in the end only one side would survive instead of strong management coming in and saying let's do this together. get you a deal I can get you a deal by breaking up in 1984 Atlantic Star was at a crossroads once a close knit group the band now split in two once upon a time we were all one family and all together and all for one and suddenly it was like we weren't anymore it was like being on the road people were in separate rooms like you know not how we used to be this wasn't fun anymore things came to a head in the middle of recording their sixth album five of us wanted to address our management issues we took the decision to halt production on the record to address this issue, but the band's contract required a two-thirds majority to make any changes and we were unable to get a sixth vote from all five members. on strike they decided to leave Atlantic Starr those who push to change things actually pushed it to the point that it didn't work out the way they thought it was going to work out very hard to go from friends to business partners very very hard and we got caught up in that I didn't expect it from us, we were from Greenberg, New York, we went out together, we did this together, we starved together, so to me I was in shock, like half of Atlantic Star had been getting down to business. the three Lewis brothers.in firm control but the departure of Sharon Bryant had clearly left a gap in their sound and their style at first we were going to try to do it with just the guys and then we said people are too used to hearing Atlantic Star now with a woman enter Barbara resists a 21-year-old singer from North Carolina whom Wayne and David had been developing as a solo artist my brothers were working in a concert demo deal for herfor MCA Records we had already cut those songs and we said okay maybe this would be nice to incorporate Barber into the Atlantic Star dynamic.
I showed up at my door. The manager made the contract on this steakhouse. He said we want you to join the group. Sign Your Name On The Dotted Line With The Weather Aboard Atlantic Stars 1985 The album as the band toured featured a new look and New Groove came out. No one knew Atlantic Star at all they would say what this is. It was a different concept for us. We loved playing funk stuff in the video with the red shoe. It's because she's sexy and it was like a totally seductive song about, you know, girls in the club that took everyone by surprise. hit in the middle of a 1986 concert tour the label decided to let them loose we were at a show in greensboro but we had a conference call when they told us they weren't choosing our option they're looking at the bottom line you want to bring us millions of dollars if you're not you know to kick it to the curb but in a strange twist of fate the crossover success that would transform the Atlantic Starr's career was already starting at Bubble, we were playing with Confunction, Confunction's drummer. he said he said you know i've been listening to your set you're you're playing
secretlove it's too up on the set you said what you have to do is close with it we're done with secret
loversit was 18,000 people the light is on matches everything the stadium and i say we're getting ready to explode here we are together released as a single the year before secret
loverswhich had been promoted so unenthusiastically that
atlanticstar had to put together their own video clip and on records they ended up with atlantic start and didn't give them they gave the money to make the video and i hate that video to this day but as the group continued to tour the song gathered steam this jock in dc started playing it and it started playing. got up and called and records said y'all have to blow up your hands what are you going to do about it once you find out you jumped on board and I'll say from then on it was like a rocket ship and all of a sudden , we stopped playing with Patti LaBelle.
We all play with every band you can imagine. The lyrics were incredible. The voice was amazing. Clearly, it spoke to me and a lot of other people because it was successful on so many different levels. Secret lovers soared. in the top five on the rb pop and adult contemporary charts which gave Atlantic Star and Barbara Weathers a whole new identity we never had that kind of success and that kind of notoriety so it really was the start of a new stage. I saw the people I looked at it and they were like whoa, you know, it's like the people loved it, they loved the band, so it was like the magic came back once more.
Atlantic Starr was primed to explode and break. I didn't feel like they loved me. to be a part of the group freely you enter freely you can leave together fueled by the surprise success of secret lovers Atlantic Starr's last record for me turned out to be their first gold album once the contract ran out the label tried to drop them but at the time, the band had several not-so-secret lovers of Their Own, by the time he got really serious with us, it was too late and then Warner Brothers came along with the respect of secret lovers and they did what we wanted them to do.
Eager to build on the group's momentum, Warner released a new Atlantic Star album in February 1987, produced by the Lewis brothers, titled All In The Name of Love. One song was irresistible. The lyrics and the melody are very addictive. i love and an everlasting love the world and foreign written by the three lewis brothers always became a gold selling record while reaching number one on the rb pop and adult contemporary charts it took us to a whole other level we started to make small venues from 3,000 seats to 10,000 to arenas for Barbara weathers the sweets Same old feelings reflected in her personal life she and Wayne Lewis were involved in a long-term romance but not everyone was happy with their relationship I think her brothers they thought i was trying to get him away from them because they all worked together and i was never my desire we were a family and then she and i were a family so the two of them were ranked at some point when it comes to business they kept me apart and not they did it.
I don't want him to know anything about business. She thought that and I'll be honest. I agree that she wasn't being treated fairly once I got on the team. It was a particular animosity that I felt especially from David I. I don't think they really wanted another female vocalist to come into the group. I remember going backstage at the barbershop five minutes before a show and she's crying because someone came in and just cussed and said she used to think that was on purpose to make her have a bad show, it was hard to make it work because not just it was a working relationship, but also a romantic one and it has a way of not only affecting the two people involved, but the people on the periphery as well.
Tensions rose one night between Barbara and her singing partner David Lewis. I called them to my dressing room and sat down and told them I don't get what they dislike about me so I'm trying my best and I know I'm sounding better than when I first got there he stood up and she said who said you sounded good who said you sounded good and then we started yelling at each other Barbara was also getting more and more disenchanted with Atlantic Starr's b business manager she says she gave him a power of attorney when he signed his contract with the band he called and said that You don't have any more money in your account and I kept thinking wait a minute I just finished like a two year tour I'm doing television record sales.
I need some money. I found another account and flew to La without telling anyone, including Wayne. A new accountant had all my papers and as we were flying back home he told me what I didn't have and I remember throwing up when I confronted the guys including my fiancÃ©e they really didn't believe me in the fall of 1988 at the height of their success . Barbara Weathers walked away from Atlantic Starr. He was so sick after all that work that he had nothing to show for it. she made the decision to leave and the group has always had the impression that you really come in free you can leave i'm not one of those people who was yes foreign foreign foreign sell your soul to the devil for a dollar all that came with being a recording artist professional with a number one hit none of it mattered he just wanted peace in 1988 Atlantic Star was at the height of his popularity and fell apart shortly after Barbara Weathers left the group he also cut ties with his personal manager all over life, Earl Cole, whom he confronted. the guys and from what I understand he was fired for standing up for me and he remains my manager to this day.
This was a band that was pretty much not about controversy at all, but when Barbara left, that was controversial because we just didn't see how in the world this band was going to survive, but Atlantic Star was determined to do exactly that to replace Barbara Weathers they brought in another singer Portia Martin but this time with a different role in mind I felt like a singer for hire which was definitely my position whatever their differences with Barbara I knew they were trying to do a different approach They didn't seem like they wanted to focus on the woman. med like you know they were right let us know more foreigners stand out of course Atlantic Starr's next single My First Love put co-songwriter Wayne Lewis front and center that was a good song and the New vocalist, she was good, but I wasn't.
I don't think it had the true Atlantic Star sound, first love failed to make a dent on the pop charts, a huge setback after the crossover hit ever and their album, we're moving up, did anything but no we go up, but no. We started off, in a way, we moved laterally, but we didn't really move on after that, we had good music, but I don't think we really developed that kind of synergy that we had on the other albums. record sales weren't as high as they were hoping they would be and touring wasn't helping so it was almost like fading away you know it was all starting to fall apart a bit once versatile dance band the Atlantic sound
starr. he had been directly defined by his popular ba llads and neither the fans nor his label seemed inclined to listen to much more, you don't realize when you get into the record business that record companies just look for hits and a formula and whatever works doesn't they really want to stray to nothing else in 1990, after an ill-fated tour, Joey Phillips, the last of the original members not named Lewis, left Atlantic Star for good.
It's a terrible tour. There's such a bad vibe. The whole tour. mine tell me he said you don't look happy up there you look bored he's no stranger to shakeups the Lewis brothers also switched to female singers when their next album Love Crazy was released in 1991. Porsha Martin was out and Rachel Oliver was in now here they are on girl number four so they thought you know hey man maybe we should do Jonathan David and Wayne so I don't know how it can look like we're herding them like cattle and driving him out. and for whatever negative reasons and it doesn't mean the person has no talent or whatever it just means this might not be working out for Atlantic Star this time and I treasure you my love but when it came to singing the Lewis brothers were now Firmly on the Forefront, their follow-up single Masterpiece became a stunning crossover hit and Atlantic Starr's biggest hit ever.
I wonder what I would be.
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