Photo by: Anthony Barboza/Getty Images
Drummer/composer Norman Connors was a pioneer in the synthesis of progressive R&B and jazz, creating a blend that appealed to intellectuals and romantics both.
Much like Roy Ayers, George Benson, and Patrice Rushen, this musical genius is most recognized for his significant R&B successes but was originally a jazz improvisation.
His vast list of timeless classics includes “You Are My Starship,” “Valentine Love,” “This Is Your Life,” “Betcha by Golly Wow,” “Invitation,” and “I’m Your Melody,” among many others.
He influenced numerous well-known jazz and neo-jazz musicians to perform in his style throughout the 1970s, notably bassist Stanley Clarke and saxophonist Pharoah Sanders.
Born on March 1st, 1948, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Connors shared a neighborhood with comedian and actor Bill Cosby, where he showed an early interest in jazz music.
If you don’t know this musical wizard by name, you’ll know him very well after watching his upcoming segment on TV One’s Unsung!
To celebrate his legacy with this Sunday’s episode of Unsung, here are some of our favorite works of the legendary Norman Connors.
“You Are My Starship”
It was published in 1976 by Buddah Records and featured Philadelphia vocalist Phyllis Hyman and bassist Michael Henderson. The album peaked at number one on the Jazz chart and positioned five on the US R&B chart.
On the US R&B singles chart, the song “You Are My Starship” peaked at number four.
“Valentine Love” will always be a staple song, especially if have experienced the same dilemma as Norman Connors.
Listening to Norman Connors’ heartfelt pleases to get his lover’s affection will always do something for us.
From Glenn Jones’ beautiful vocals, to the overall production of the song is nothing short of top-notch.
How can you not have this song in rotation?!
“Betcha by Golly Wow”
“Betcha by Golly Wow” is such a timeless song.
The fact that there are several versions of this song speaks about the longevity of “Betcha by Golly Wow.”
“Invitation” is a song that makes you want to slow dance all night long.
With the combination of Adaritha’s feature, and angelic vocals, to the jazz influence that puts you at ease.
Whew! We can feel Norman Connors’ illustration of what falling in love feels like and it’s a beautiful experience!
Tune in an all-new episode of Unsung, Sunday, October 30th, at 9P/8C!
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