I confess that, at the start of the day, I would never have guessed this would be my song of the day. However, 2016 is only 5 weeks old, and already it’s been an incredibly rough year to be a music fan. Today (2/4/2016), we lost Maurice White, the legendary voice (and founder) of Earth, Wind & Fire, who died at the age of 74.As I mentioned in my debut post, 1979 was the year I really started getting into music. It was mostly Pop music, but there was a lot of great Pop and Rock music that year – and some great Soul and Dance music, too.
Earth, Wind & Fire gave us 3 amazing singles in 1979 – “September” (which peaked at No. 8 on the BILLBOARD Hot 100 in February), “Boogie Wonderland,” with The Emotions (No. 6, July) and “After The Love Has Gone” (No. 2, September).
I remember “After The Love Has Gone” was one of many big Top 40 hits used on episodes of WKRP IN CINCINNATI (and prominently featured, I might add), and when the first DVD incarnation of WKRP’s first season was released by Fox back in 2007, it was brutal to watch. Most of the original music from the episodes hadn’t been properly secured by Fox, and was replaced by, well, generic poopy crap. No one bought the DVD for that reason (I did, but I ended up selling it right away), and it took 7 years, but in 2014, the kind folks at Shout! Factory got it right.
Some of the original music from the WKRP episodes featured on the Fox DVD version was intact – not much, but some, and folks like Bob Marley and Earth, Wind & Fire were kind enough to allow the music to stay in those episodes, while most of the other artists bailed for whatever reason. I always respected Bob and Earth, Wind & Fire for that. Of course, I still think all of the artists should have allowed their music to appear on the DVD free of charge, or for a minimal fee, considering the last episode of WKRP aired 34 years ago. Despite the amazing work Shout! Factory did with the DVD reissue in 2014, 20% of the artists STILL didn’t allow their music to be featured in the DVD collection, even though those artists’ songs appeared in the original episodes that aired all those years ago.
Earth, Wind & Fire wasn’t on my radar much after 1979, save for the 1981/1982 monster hit, “Let’s Groove,” and the 12” remix of their 1987 No. 1 Dance and Soul hit, “System Of Survival” (also a No. 9 hit in New Zealand, although a very underrated single whose 12” extended mix kicks some serious ass!!).
But, I’ve always been a fan of Earth, Wind & Fire, I own their ESSENTIAL collection and, even though Maurice White has gone, my love for Maurice and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band he founded in Chicago way back in 1969 will continue forever…