Monday, March 22, 2021

"She's Only 20" by Tami Show

Spotlight Alert!

Song#:  3440
Date:  03/12/1988
Debut:  92
Peak:  88
Weeks:  4
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  Three sisters from Chicago, Cathy, Claire, and Kristen Massey, discovered their voices early on and in their teens formed a harmony vocal group called Sirenz that would perform around the city. Attending one of their gigs was guitarist Tommy Gawenda, who was in a local band called Pezband. He liked what the sisters were doing and asked them to help backup the Pezband for a series of shows they had lined up. The sisters agreed and began working with Gawenda. After a couple of years, Kristen would chose to depart and that led Cathy and Claire to fully join forces with Gawenda and members of the Pezband to form a new group called Tami Show. The sextet would record a demo that would end up in the hands of Blondie bassist Nigel Harrison, who happened to be working in Chicago at the time. Harrison liked what he heard and after returning to L.A. gave it to producer Mike Chapman (Pat Benatar, Blondie, Scandal). Chapman also dug the demo and helped to get the band signed to Chrysalis Records. Chapman would then produce the band's self-titled debut album. This first single was released and it was able to make the Pop chart, but only for a short month. A second single failed to chart and the album disappeared quickly. Yet all was not lost as the band would get a second chance in the new decade to come.

ReduxReview:  This is quite a nice song. Wonderfully written with appropriate production from Chapman and a performance by the band the perfectly suited the song. That said, if I was a record exec listening to the album, I'm not sure I'd call this song out as a potential hit single. In general, it was a really nice tune, but I think that may have been the issue. Nice doesn't necessarily cut it on the Pop chart. A song really has to have something that makes it stand out and as lovely of a listen as this one is, the tune just didn't have that extra oomph to make it a contender. It certainly could have done better on the chart and probably should have made the Top 40, but it wasn't destined to be a major hit. Still, it is an enjoyable song. I wasn't aware of Tami Show until their second album, which I ended up getting at a used CD shop in NYC. Their single "The Truth" definitely had more meat on the bones and did better. I remember kind of liking the album, but in the end it got sloughed off in one of my moves and I don't have it anymore. I probably should have held on to it as listening to this song and "The Truth" made me want to hear more from the band after all these years. The two charting songs showed that the band had something good going on and so I'll give this one the Spotlight treatment in hopes some other folks will go back and give them a listen.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Following their debut album, changes at Chrysalis got the band pushed over to RCA. In 1990, they would release a second album titled Wanderlust. It too would be produced by Chapman. The LP's first single, "The Truth," would end up cracking the Pop Top 30 at #28. Unfortunately, a second single failed to do anything and the album wasn't able to chart. To make things worse, Chapman had a bit of a falling out with a new person in charge of RCA and that along with the album's results didn't bode well for the band and they would end up being let go from the label. Not long after, the band would break up.  2) The band got its name from a two-night concert event in 1964 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium billed as "The T.A.M.I. Show." The acronym stood for Teenage Awards Music International and in some advertising Teen Age Music International. The shows brought together rock and R&B acts from the US and the UK. On the bill were The Rolling Stones, James Brown, The Beach Boys, Lesley Gore, the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, the Miracles, Chuck Berry, and others. The shows were filmed and then edited together to make the concert movie The T.A.M.I. Show. While there were several good performances in the film, it is arguably most notable for James Brown's explosive performance. Released in late December of '64, the film had a short run in theaters. After that, some versions of the film would make the rounds including one that eliminated The Beach Boys. Due to legal wranglings and other issues, the movie was very rarely shown and people would have to watch it via bootleg copies. After years of never getting an official, full release for the home video market, the movie was restored and issued out on DVD in 2010. A blu-ray version would come out in 2016. A little trivia side note: the concerts also featured some go-go dancers that would appear on stage with some of the artists. Among these dancers were two future stars, actress Teri Garr and singer/dancer/actress Toni Basil.


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