Saturday, November 22, 2014

"And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" by Jennifer Holliday

Grammy Alert!
Song#:  1087
Date:  07/03/1982
Debut:  83
Peak:  22
Weeks:  14
Genre:  R&B, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  Although Broadway cast albums were big sellers in the 50s and 60s, it became less so when the 80s arrived. Therefore, it was quite rare that a song direct from a cast album (not a cover version) would hit the charts. An exception came with this single from the cast album of "Dreamgirls." Holliday was cast in the role of Effie and this was the showstopper she sang in the musical. It was an unexpected hit that reached #1 on the R&B chart and almost cracked the pop Top 20. Holliday would win multiple awards for the show and this song including the Tony Award and a Grammy for Best R&B Performance, Female.

ReduxReview:  Oh man, I remember hearing this song for the first time and wondering who the heck was singing it. You didn't hear this type of diva-ing on pop radio at the time so I was totally bowled over. It's not your standard pop song but it's a killer Broadway tune sung to the nth degree by Holliday. It's a rollercoaster ride with Holliday practically pushing it off the rails and it is thrilling. I wished I could have seen the show at the time. I'm sure she was amazing. The song has since become a staple of Broadway and diva wannabes since.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) The role of Effie was originally created for Nell Carter, but when she got the offer to do her sitcom "Gimme a Break," the role went to Holliday. Initially, Holliday left the project because she didn't like the material and her character died in the first act. She came back, but when she did she discovered the role had significantly diminished, so she walked again. Finally, with rewrites to boost her character (and remain alive), Holliday returned and stayed in the role for almost four years.  2) The role would also bring a major award to another singer named Jennifer. American Idol contestant Jennifer Hudson won the role of Effie for the 2006 film version. Hudson walked away with the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.


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