SLEPT ON SOUL!
Madame X – Madame X by Michael Gonzales
A look into the salacious, sultry, singin’, sista group
Back in the 1980s the girl group tradition was still kickin’ in stiletto heels. With the sexually charged trio Vanity 6 purring about being a “Nasty Girl” and the Mary Jane Girls up on the roof doing it “All Night Long,” those yesteryear hotties seemed to be embracing the post-seventies sexual liberation and hedonism of the ‘80s.
Still, the truth is, we don’t know much about what those fine femmes believed, because much like the singing “girls” that came before them, whether the Ronettes or Love Unlimited, girl groups rarely had much say in how they were portrayed. According to legend, Vanity came this close to being named Vagina and we all know what Rick James was smoking. Yet, while most girl-groups were created by men who wrote the lyrics, supplied the music and produced the sessions, Klymaxx was different. A real band founded by Compton born and raised drummer Bernadette Cooper in 1979, the group featured vocalist Lorena Porter, guitarist Cheryl Cooley, keyboardists Lynn Malsby and Robbin Grider and bassist Joyce Irby.
Signed to Solar Records, they were originally paired with outside producers and songwriters including label-mates Calloway and members of Lakeside. Yet, it was Minneapolis musicians Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam, who contributed material to half of their second album Girls Will Be Girls, that would have the most creative impact on helping Klymaxx define their musical image.
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