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From the KORD writers:

How Thelma Houston’s ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ became a cultural touchstone

“Don’t Leave Me This Way” may well be the greatest disco song ever recorded. Thelma Houston’s signature hit topped the U.S. charts in 1977, landed in the Top Ten in more than a dozen other countries, and earned the first Grammy ever awarded to a solo female Motown Records artist. The track also has all the hallmarks of a disco-era floor-filler: lush orchestration over a classic drum beat, a killer bass line, and a diva’s voice on an explosive chorus. More than that, though, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” has achieved something few songs do: it has become a cultural touchstone, with a meaning and resonance that extend far beyond its moment in the limelight. Though Houston may be forever remembered for just one song, that song will be remembered forever.

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Rockwell records the Eighties’ most paranoid hit with ‘Somebody’s Watching Me’

“Somebody’s Watching Me” is NOT a Michael Jackson song. Michael Jackson’s voice is the most interesting thing about it, but the single is by a completely different artist: a guy named Rockwell. It’s important to keep this in mind, despite what your ears tell you every time you hear “Somebody’s Watching Me.” The history of the song’s creation is a tale of nepotism, the attempt to escape it, and of a career based on a forgettable novelty track with an unforgettable backup vocal hook.

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Ike and Tina Turner’s ‘Proud Mary’ rolls on through triumph and tragedy

“Proud Mary” tells the tale of a nonconformist taking control of their life by ditching the shackles of working-class reality for the freedom of a rolling riverboat. But when the Ike and Tina Turner Revue set the U.S.A. ablaze by recasting Creedence Clearwater Revival’s mid-tempo strut as a rollicking boogie, Tina was trapped inside a life she didn’t control at all.

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