Thursday, November 1, 2012

"Scandal" by RCR

Redux Spotlight Alert!
Song#:  0114
Date:  04/05/1980
Debut:  94
Peak:  94
Weeks:  2
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  Again, this is why I enjoy doing this - the unexpected. RCR is the trio of sisters Donna and Sandra Rhodes and Charles Chalmers (last name initials = RCR). The three formed a group that performed backing vocals on recordings by major artists like Elvis Presley, Al Green, Paul Anka, Andy Gibb, John Mellencamp, Neil Diamond, and Olivia Newton-John. In 1980, the trio finally recorded their own album titled "Scandal." The title track made it to the chart, but just for a couple of weeks. A follow-up single, "Give It to You," failed to chart. It appears this was the only album from the RCR trio.

ReduxReview:  Looking this song up was a hoot. There isn't much out there but I found the names of the members and started to look them up. I found info on Chalmers and began reading. I thought he sounded familiar and then I found out why. In the early 90s, he moved to Branson, Missouri, to work with Mel Tillis at his theater. At the time, I was working for Andy Williams at his theater in Branson. Chalmers ended up opening a recording studio in town. A good friend of mine there, who is a terrific singer/songwriter, decided to record an album and hooked up with Chalmers who produced the album for him! I'm not sure if I ever met Chalmers (I might have either through business at the theater or an event), but this is something I never expected when doing this little blog project; finding someone on the chart that I have a weird connection with. In addition, Sandra Rhodes played on the album. As for the song, it is not what I expected from their history. It's pretty good. The song has a nice rock groove and a good guitar line. I'm actually surprised it didn't do better. I'm calling this out as a Spotlight pick both because it is an interesting song and this story behind the group. If you like this, I suggest looking up "Give It to You" on YouTube. The song has a totally different groove - almost disco, sounding very BeeGee-ish. Needless to say, I've ordered the LP and it is on it's way to me now!

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Triple Shot!  1) The sisters were rooted in country and they recorded as a duo in the 60/70s as The Lonesome Rhodes. Chet Atkins produced them. Sandra was also a songwriter and at age fifteen, she wrote a song that became a country hit for Skeeter Davis, "How Much Can a Lonely Heart Stand" (#92 pop 1964). Sandra met Chalmers at Sun Studios and they eventually married (although they are divorced now). She still performs at a theater in Mountain View, Arkansas.  2)  Chalmers was also a sax player and has performed on many classic songs like Aretha Franklin's "Respect" and "Chain of Fools," Wilson Pickett's "Mustang Sally" and "Land of a Thousand Dances," and Dusty Springfield's "Son of a Preacher Man."  3) He and Sandra co-wrote "The Clown" which was a #1 country hit for Conway Twitty in 1982.


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