пятница, 15 июня 2007 г.

La Mama

La Mama

Formed 1980, Germany
Disbanded 1985

Madeleine Davis (vocals, 1980-85)
Patricia Shockley (vocals, 1980-85)
Cathy Bartney (vocals, 1980-81, lead vocalist 1982-83)
Judy Cheeks (vocals, 1983-84)
Rhonda Heath (vocals, 1985)

Related Artists
Precious Wilson
Boney M.
Frank Farian
Mad [dance]

Genres disco, soul, pop

American singers Madeleine Davis, Patricia Shockley and Cathy Bartney all met in Munich in the late 1970s, doing backing vocals for several disco artists including La Bionda and Ramona Wulf. But it was Frank Farian in need of soulful backing vocalists for Precious Wilson's first solo album who got them signed to his studios late 1979.

At the same time as Farian recorded Precious' On the Race Track in the first half of 1980, he also used La Mama for demo vocals on new Boney M. recordings. In one case, Boney M.'s "Gadda Da Vida" didn't feature any vocals by the actual group members, the song was performed by Farian and La Mama only! Although it was never officially credited, La Mama's backing vocals also cropped up on several tracks on Boney M.'s Boonoonoonoos albums, recorded during 1980-81.

Recordings for Precious Wilson's second album All Coloured in Love commenced in the fall of 1981, at this time the trio also officially adapted their collective name 'La Mama' when they began recording their first single, produced by Frank Farian, Dietmar Kawohl and Mats Björklund, while simultaneously providing backing vocals again for Precious. Their double-A-side single "Elephant Funk / In And Out" was released early 1982, followed by a cover of The Manhattan Transfer's "Chanson d'amour". Madeleine Davis also wrote the lyrics for the new Precious Wilson single "I Don't Know".

Due to modest success of their singles, La Mama's album release was postponed a bit as it was felt it needed a cut above the rest. They recorded a Hi-NRG cover of "Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi (Lady Marmelade)", released December 1982; it was followed by the quasi-titled album Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec La Mama, January 1983. Unfortunately, by the time the LP was released, lead singer Cathy Bartney had already left a few months before, due to disagreements with Frank Farian.

Singer Judy Cheeks had taken her place, and the new formation recorded a string of cover versions of contemporary hits which Farian used as background music on Sydne Rome's Aerobic Fitness Dancing LP, December 1982, an LP which reached the #1 spot in the German album charts. Farian recycled the tracks (without Sydne Rome's aerobic instructions) on the album Mad For Dancin' - 28 Super-Hits 〈Non-Stop], 1983, which was considerably less successful.

A third Precious Wilson album was recorded late 1983, this time La Mama weren't only backing singers but were credited alongside Wilson on the cover of Funky Fingers, a medley album of soul classics. New Boney M. recordings (recorded 1982-83) were released on 10.000 Lightyears, once again with La Mama's uncredited backing vocals on some tracks. The trio also appeared on the benefit single for Ethiopia, "Mother And Child Reunion", released by Frank Farian Corporation, January 1985, although they were credited individually on the cover.

At this time, Judy Cheeks left and was replaced by ex-Silver Convention vocalist, Rhonda Heath. This line-up did backing vocals on some tracks on Boney M.'s final album Eye Dance. Patricia and Rhonda also did additional backing vocals on Farian's rock project, Far Corporation, before going their separate ways.

In 1989, Madeleine Davis received a phone call from Maizie Williams of Boney M., asking if she'd like to join the line-up since lead vocalist Liz Mitchell had just left. Madeleine agreed and did numerous gigs with the group in 1989-90, appearing in the video for "The Summer Mega Mix" and recording new material with the group on their "Everybody Wants To Dance Like Josephine Baker" single.

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