Washington, D.C., vocalist Amii Stewart came whooping and shouting into the spotlight with an amazing though unconventional cover of Eddie Floyd's "Knock on Wood." Her boisterous vocal, coupled with a non-stop arrangement and equally unrestrained backing vocals, topped the pop charts in 1979 and reached number six on the R&B side. Stewart, who was in the Broadway musical Bubbling Brown Sugar, did another remake as a follow-up, the Doors' "Light My Fire," backed by "137 Disco Heaven." It dissipated the initial momentum of the lead single, and things went downhill from there. Stewart later moved to Italy and had some singles issued on international labels before trying again in America on RCA in the mid-'80s. Her 1985 single "Friends" for Emergency just missed the R&B Top 40. ~ Ron Wynn
- Washington, D.C.