Tuesday, June 30, 2015

"It's Raining Men" by The Weather Girls

Song#:  1313
Date:  01/22/1983
Debut:  88
Peak:  46
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Dance

Pop Bits:  In 1977, Martha Wash and Izora Armstead began to work as backup singers for disco/soul singer Sylvester. He dubbed the duo as Two Tons o' Fun and it wasn't long before they started to get a following of their own. This was not lost on Sylvester's producer, Harvey Fuqua, who got the duo a recording contract. As Two Tons O' Fun, they recorded a self-titled album that spawned three consecutive #2 dance chart hits. Unfortunately, the songs didn't make the pop chart and only one, "Just Us," got on the R&B chart (#29). The ladies would make a label change and move over to Columbia where they began work with producer Paul Jabara. He had written a song in 1979 with Paul Shaffer (of David Letterman fame) that they shopped to mega stars like Donna Summer, Cher, and Barbra Streisand. No one bit, so Jabara got Wash and Armstead on board and recorded "It's Raining Men." The song inspired the duo's new name of The Weather Girls and it wasn't long before they had their first #1 dance hit. The song proved to have some crossover appeal and got to #34 at R&B while getting close to the pop Top 40. Their album "Success" contained some other popular tracks, but it was this one that got all the attention. It would be their only pop chart entry. The duo would record one more album before splitting. However, this song quickly became a gay anthem and it continues to be popular. Armstead resurrected The Weather Girls in Europe with her daughter, but that came to an end when Armstead died in 2004.

ReduxReview:  Wow! Where do I start on this one. It really is...wait for it...legendary! If I'm being completely honest, I'm probably the only gay guy in the world who doesn't like this song. It's just so corny. I know it's supposed to be silly and campy, but I've never been a fan of songs like this. However, I realize it is an iconic anthem so I do have to give it props. These days I don't mind it so much, but if you were out with me and this song came on, you'd probably notice a quick eye roll from me. Although I can't find any evidence of it, I'm sure that I saw Two Tons O' Fun on The Gong Show back in the day. As The Weather Girls, I think my brother saw them in Miami. They were really popular on the club circuit. I'm torn on rating this. On one hand, I'm not a fan of the song. On the other, it's a classic that has lived on far longer than most chart singles and continues to be an anthem. I guess I'll split the difference and call it good. I await your hate mail...

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) After The Weather Girls split, Martha Wash found herself singing on various house/dance tracks. Italian group Black Box hired her to do vocals on songs meant just for the clubs. However, the songs were commercially released and Black Box ended up with two Top 10 pop hits, "Everybody, Everybody" (#8, 1990) and "Strike It Up" (#8, 1991). Wash was uncredited and the videos for the songs featured someone else lip syncing. The same thing happened with C+C Music Factory's 1990 #1 hit "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)." Wash sang the song yet was not credited and Zelma Davis famously lip synced it in the video. Wash sued both groups and RCA for credit and royalties. She settled out of court and with that settlement came a recording contract. Wash issued a self-titled debut album in 1993 for RCA that featured two #1 dance hits.  2) Wash did a follow-up to this song in 1998. She and RuPaul recorded "It's Raining Men...The Sequel." It reached #22 on the dance chart.



  1. No hate mail, but I am disappointed. As a twist to your view of things back in the day, I thought I was the only straight guy who loved this song. It's amazing the longevity this obvious novelty song has had. I'd be hard pressed to name many other non-top-40 hits from the 80s that are as popular today as this one is. Wash's history of not getting credit on songs goes back to the 70s. Sylvester's Dance (Disco Heat) was solely credited to Sylvester, but other than a couple of lines, it seems like Wash and Armstead did all the vocals. Thankfully, Martha Wash continues to perform and record. Currently, she's on the Billboard Dance chart with a song called "Show Some Love". The song is credited to "First Ladies Of Disco." The group consists of Wash and fellow disco divas Linda Clifford and Evelyn "Champagne" King.

    1. Wash, Clifford AND King? Wow, I gotta hear that one! Wash certainly deserved a lot more credit and attention. She was awesome. It's sad how other people just used her voice and then tossed her aside. She absolutely had the makings of a star. It didn't fully happen, but in the long run she did pretty well and finally got some credit.