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Happy 'Bout the Whole Thing

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Album Review

Dee Dee Sharp is best known for "Mashed Potato Time" and "Do the Bird," Top Ten hits in the early '60s. This mid-'70s Philly sound outing has pop leanings that infiltrate the disco so important to the dance music empire of Sharp's husband, Kenneth Gamble. "Love Buddies" is an interesting concept seeing that much of the Philly sound was club oriented, and this first song is the only one penned by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff. "Touch My Life" is an adequate tune by James Mendell, but it's Sharp's exquisite voice that really shines, taking over the material and making the entire album listenable. The familiar sounds Sharp creates are a perfect marriage with the Philadelphia sound. Thankfully, she gets the chance to break out of the TSOP formula. The cover of Stan Vincent's "Ooh Child" is sublime, and her cabaret co-write with Mendell on "Real Hard Day" is strong, music that Whitney Houston could send up the charts."Make It Till Tomorrow," the second of three songs co-written by Dee Dee Sharp, shows a maturity and style, a voice that is always welcome on the radio. Hearing her distinctive and happy cover of "I'm Not in Love" (the 10cc hit) stretch over five minutes and 17 seconds — the longest track on the record — is a delight. Sharp looks stunningly beautiful on the cover and inside photos, and the sounds she emits are superb. She takes the less than perfect "Share My Love" and gives it her best, bringing it to a plateau it simply couldn't reach in lesser hands. Six of the nine titles are written or co-written by associate producer James Mendell, his "Best Thing You Did for Me" a beautiful pop conclusion to this elegant collection.

Biography

Born: September 9, 1945 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Dee Dee Sharp hit the biggest with her first record for the Cameo/Parkway label, a blessing that pigeonholed the Philly songstress as a teenybopper forever to be identified with her number one smash from 1962, "Mashed Potatoes Time." Living in Philadelphia, the home of Dick Clark's American Bandstand helped her career; she appeared on the syndicated teen dance show many times from 1962 to 1981. The first...
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Happy 'Bout the Whole Thing, Dee Dee Sharp
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