Category Archives: Whatever Happened To?

What’s New & Hot in Music?… Monk Parker

Genre: Alternative Americana / Indie folk / Singer-songwriter
Origin: Austin > Texas > US

How the Spark Loves the Tinder - Monk Parker (US release: 21 AUG 2015)

How the Spark Loves the Tinder – Monk Parker (US release: 21 AUG 2015)

Whatever Happened To… The Emotions?

Browse & purchase this albumBest of my Love – The Emotions (1977)
This American singing trio, consisting of the Hutchinson sisters, began recording in the late 60’s, but found their greatest success with the rise of disco in the late 70’s. They were later featured on Earth Wind & Fire’s Boogie Wonderland in 1979 and faded from the national limelight shortly thereafter. They continued to regularly release records well into the 80’s. Their latest studio effort came out in 1999, which demonstrates their turn towards gospel. But they still draw upon their R&B and disco roots when they continue to perform internationally.

Whatever Happened To… The Smiths?

Browse & purchase this albumYou Just Haven’t Earned it yet, Baby – The Smiths (1987)
This English band, formed in 1982, released four studio albums before calling it quits in 1987. Front-man Morrissey launched a successful solo career, which continues to this day. His latest record came out in 2009. Guitarist Johnny Marr went on to join several bands over the years – The The, Electronic, Modest Mouse, among others. Marr also started a side-project, Johnny Marr & the Healers, in 2000 and it continues today. Marr finally released his solo debut earlier this year. Bass guitarist Andy Rourke went on to be a successful session musician, working with Sinead O’Connor, The Pretenders, and Morrissey. Since 2009, Rourke has been one half of Jetlag, a remixing, audio production, and performance duo based in New York City. Drummer Mike Joyce, like Rourke, went on to work with Sinead O’Connor & Morrissey. In 2006, Joyce started a UK radio show which has since moved to the US.

Whatever Happened To… Musical Youth?

Browse & purchase this albumPass the Dutchie – Musical Youth (1982)
This British band, originally formed around two pairs of brothers, found international fame with this hit. But their fame was fleeting, and Musical Youth disbanded in 1985. Front-man Dennis Seaton launched a solo career, followed by a short-lived band. Musical Youth were slated for a reunion in the 90’s when bassist Patrick Waite died from a hereditary heart defect at age 24. In 2001, the band was re-formed but only with Seaton and keyboardist Michael Grant. They haven’t yet released new work in the US, but they recently launched a series of EPs and an accompanying tour in the UK.

Whatever Happened To… Peaches & Herb?

Browse & purchase this albumShake Your Groove Thing – Peaches & Herb (1978)
This American duo, comprised of Herb Fame and a succession of six different female vocalists to-date, originally found fame in the 60’s. They reached their greatest commercial success with the incarnation – featuring Linda Greene as “Peaches” – that produced this hit. Fame & Greene worked together through 1983, when Fame returned to his day job in law enforcement and Greene started a gospel ministry with her husband. Another incarnation of Peaches & Herb surfaced in the 90’s but did not produce any releases. Greene & Fame re-united (pardon the pun) in court in the early 2000’s to claim royalties from their former label…and won. The current incarnation, started in 2008 and featuring Meritxell Negre as “Peaches,” released their latest album in 2009. They can be seen performing in the US this summer.

Whatever Happened To… Don McLean?

Browse & purchase this albumAmerican Pie – Don McLean (1971)
This American singer-songwriter was launched into international stardom with this hit from his sophomore album. While he hasn’t been able to match the commercial success of this classic, McLean has remained a prolific artist over the years. He enjoyed a resurgence in the early 80’s when he covered Roy Orbison’s Crying, and in the early 00’s when Madonna covered this track. McLean has since been inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, and this single was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. McLean released his latest studio effort in 2009, and he continues to perform internationally.

Whatever Happened To… Marilyn Martin?

Browse & purchase this albumSeparate Lives – Phil Collins & Marilyn Martin (1985)
This American vocalist started singing with bands in the 70’s, eventually backing up for big names like Joe Walsh & Stevie Nicks into the 80’s. Martin landed a major label contract following the exposure provided by this worldwide hit but wasn’t able to replicate its success. She dabbled in country music during the 90’s, releasing one album, but then returned to singing back-up vocals. Her latest solo effort, a Christian/inspirational offering, was released in 2012.

Whatever Happened To… Lou Bega?

Browse & purchase this albumMambo No. 5 (A Little Bit Of…) – Lou Bega (1999)
Born David Lubega, this German singer/musician debuted with this remake of Perez Prado’s 1949 song. While he’s continued to record and perform over the years, Bega hasn’t been able to match the success of this worldwide hit. He’s lent his voice, both in song and spoken word, to various television shows and video games, primarily in his native Germany. Bega’s lastest release, a collection of 80’s covers, is set to be released next month in Europe.

Whatever Happened To… Sonic Youth?

Browse & purchase this albumSuperstar – Sonic Youth (1994)
This American band, with roots in the 80’s punk scene, found more mainstream success during the 90’s flourish of alternative rock acceptance. But Sonic Youth maintained their experimental and do-it-yourself ethos well into the 00’s, as demonstrated by the succession of labels with whom they worked. They continued to release albums over the years, with their last studio album coming out in 2009. In 2011, founding members Thurston Moore (guitar) and Kim Gordon (bass guitar) announced the end of their marriage, and Sonic Youth (as a whole) went on indefinite hiatus shortly thereafter. Various combinations of band members continue to work together, but no new Sonic Youth material or performances are planned in the foreseeable future.

Whatever Happened To… Oingo Boingo?

Browse & purchase this albumWeird Science – Oingo Boingo (1985)
This American band, which started out in the 70’s as a performance art group, reached the peak of their commercial success with this hit, along with their other contributions to 80’s movie soundtracks. Oingo Boingo released their final album in 1994 and split the following year. Front-man Danny Elfman expanded his previous side-projects in film scoring into a full-time career, earning most of his recognition working with director Tim Burton (a collaboration which continues today). Guitarist Steve Bartek also went on to work in scoring, often collaborating with Elfman, while also scoring television series on his own. Bassist John Avila went on to open a recording studio, and he currently performs as part of the performance group The Mutaytor.