August 20, 2011

Black-white music collaborations worth listening to

Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr., and RUN-DMC and Aerosmith, being very far back on the stage -- not letting-themselves-go enough, and too goofy, respectively. Chaka Khan only does back-up vocals with Steve Winwood on "Higher Love". I'm thinking more of a Riggs and Murtaugh, Rocky and Apollo, Foley-Taggart-Rosewood kind of team result.

Heard the one below on the radio today, and it's got to be near the top of the list. (For those born within 5 years of 1980, you have also heard it in instrumental form in this video game music.) It's by Phil Collins (also with Genesis) and Philip Bailey (also with Earth, Wind, & Fire).


  1. Jerry Lieber of Lieber and Stoller just died. As songwriters, they collaborated with a lot of black performers.

  2. (Cliff Arroyo)

    There's this:

    But Labelle and McDonald are filmed in different locations (and sound like it too)

    Probably not what you meant but the Bacharach/David and Dionne Warwicke collaborations would be close to the top of my list. Here's a live medley.

    Absolute not what you had in mind but I like it: Grace Bumbry's excellent Carmen trying to tempt Jon Vickers, without a doubt the whitest Done Jose in opera history. My favorite part begins at around 4.40

  3. Sinatra and Stevie Wonder also made a great duo:

  4. (Cliff Arroyo)

    This doesn't find either artist at their best, but I was able to find a video of the Petula Clark & Harry Belafonte duet which caused some controversy back in the day. She holds onto his forearm for part of the song which was a dangerous new level of black and white fraternization (for 1968 tv).

    And here's a #2 country hit from 1986 with Earl Thomas Conley (who had a number of country #1s in the 1980s) and Anita Pointer (who with her sisters had earlier hit the country charts with Fairytale in 1975 or so)

  5. (Cliff Arroyo)

    While here, it should be mentioned that while northern soul musicians were very urban it was nothing that unusual for southern soul singers to cover country songs.

    Original by Jeannie Seely (grammy winner IINM):

    Great cover by Bettye Swann who recorded a number of counry songs.

  6. Anthrax and Public Enemy on Bring the Noise


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