SHALAMAR Light Up The Holiday Season

SHALAMAR Right On! Magazine Holiday Issue January 1982
page 30
SHALAMAR
BY CYNTHIA HORNER

(page 30)
Shalamar and I just keep running into each other. Jeffrey Daniel spent a whole morning in my office recently and Jody and Howard, and I attend a lot of the same social functions, so during all of our socializing we made plans to do a cover story.
A few days later, following a long photo session (as you know we strive for perfection), it's time for the interview at Solar Records. As usual, pretty Jody is the first to appear. "Is it always this way?" I ask, "Yes, usually" she admits in her quiet manner.
Just then Jeffrey walks in the door asking for Howard. Howard is usually the second to show up for appointments so Jeffrey was surprised not to find him there. "But I'm not always late" he protests.
"Yes, you are," I tell him. "Why?' "Well because my legs are the longest and it takes more time for me to get in and out of cars," he quickly makes up an excuse.
"He's so hyperactive it seems he'd be here early, Jody remarks.
"No, the reason why is I do so many things in one day," he explains. "That's what it is, I try to cram in a lot of things."
"I do too," Jody kids him."No today, I went to Pasadena and back put film in the shop to be developed, and…" his voice trailed off as Jody merrily bursts into laughter.
"Have you a new source of transportation now that you're more successful?" I ask him.
"Yep, a new skateboard. I always have ridden skateboards, unicycles and skates. I don't go out that much anymore, but I used to skateboard down Hollywood Boulevard. I'd take my skateboard with me to the movies and lay it across the armrests so I could use it to hold my refreshments. I have memberships to skateboard parks and used o go riding all the time. On the streets I get recognized, so I can't do it as much."
I kept hearing noise outside the doorway and felt I recognized the voices. Leon Sylvers peeped his head in to say hello through the doorway. William Shelby of Dynasty was somewhere around, and I later met Reggie Calloway of Midnight Star. Linda Carriere of Dynasty called on the phone and photos of of The Sylvers, Lakeside, and Carrie Lucas hang on the walls, I was excited to be within the record company, as all their artists have been to visit me at Right On!
It reminded me to tell Jeffrey how much everyone at our offices enjoyed having him visit one morning. "You probably created a good impression because you brought me flowers. That's a sign of good manners." I tease him.
"I'll tell you why I brought them," he says. "I know why you brought them; you don't want me to be angry with you for anything."
"That's not why," Jeffrey protests. "It was because that was my first invitation to come talk to you at your office. I was very happy to come." "Why?" "For the same reason you're enjoying your visit at Solar. I have always

page 31
(page 31)
liked reading Right On! ever since I used to dance on Soul Train. Shalamar's been around the world and has gold records, but visiting Right On! was even more special to me."
"Me too," Jody chimes in. "I have all the old Right On!'s to prove I care. I entered the Miss Right On! contest when I was in 8th grade." "Don't use the old picture," warns latecomer Howard. "We don't want to shock anyone," he laughs. "I guess I take Right On! for granted," I surmise. "That's because you're there everyday," they chorus. "You can't see the forest for the trees," Howard adds.
"Who is the go between when the group has arguments," I wonder. "We don't have arguments," Jeffrey explains affectionately at his two favorite people. "Majority always rules. Like sometimes if I want to wear my hair one way and they want it another way, I have to go along with them. That happened with the photo session for the 'Friends' album which will come out in January," "What did you want to do?" Jody starts laughing, Jeffrey seriously says, "I have been wearing my hair sort of in dreadlocks except they didn't really dread. As you see,

page 32

(page 32)
it's like that now, I only combed it for the photo session." "but your hair wasn't even combed when you first arrived; it was braided. I was so afraid to ask you to unbraid it that I didn't know what to do," I confessed. Jody chuckles with me sympathetically having been through this before."
"Oh well, I just came in from the airport; I ha been back home to attend a wedding in Michigan for Shalamar's drummer and that's why it was like that." Jeffrey says.
"Jody, were you the main objector to the way he wanted to wear his hair?" "Yes, well, no." "It was majority rules," Jeffrey hastens to add. "Do you get hurt feelings, Jeffrey?" I ask him. "Sometimes. If you believe in something…" "We all go through that," Jody says. "Jody takes it the hardest. If it's choreography or whatever, and Howard and I don't want to go for it, she'll pout for a second. She'll get quiet on us," Jeffrey smiles at his dance partner.
"She seems so reasonable," I say glancing at the 21 year old female lead vocalist. "She usually is," Jeffrey agrees. "Reasonable?" Howard questions. "Huh!" "Yes, she pouts," Jeffrey went on. "But Howard and I knock her out of it."
"Usually the three of us think along the same lines," Howard mentions. "When we first got together, it was a meant to be situation. Jeffrey and I being the two male elements of the group had to feel each other out at first, but everything worked out." "Yeah, I got tired of him beating me up," Jeffrey laughs.
"Jeffrey," I remind him. "Remember the time we talked about your feelings on being original? Why don't you go into more details for the readers."
"Oh, yes, look at me now." The two-thirds of Shalamar look him over from head to toe. He's wearing jeans, a sweatshirt and an odd looking cap. "I like anything that's odd and interesting; I don't wear designer clothing. You know what? That's why I dance the way I do. I don't like to do anything anyone else does. It would hurt me to dance one way throughout a whole song. It would give me a pain in my chest."
"Are you doing anything new with your dancing these days?" "Yep" "It's getting worse" Jody murmurs innocently.
"That's cold" Howard exclaims. "I'm trying to stretch out; I don't want to do the same things I've been doing. I create a lot of new steps in discos, that have nice sized dance floors. "Speaking of dancing, do you ever visit Soul Train?" "Yes, we all go down there," says Jeffrey who seldom misses a taping if he can help it." "How does Don Cornelius treat you now that you're all famous?" "Same as always." He lowers his voice perfectly matching Don's. "Hey, Jeff" Jody chuckles delightedly.
"What did you with the photo I gave you of the two of you onstage at Soul Train?" "It's hanging up on display. After all if it weren't for Don, there'd be no Shalamar. It brought me out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. This sounds awful, but I quit high school so I could get to Los Angeles to be on Soul Train, Don Cornelius and Dick Griffey put together Soul Train Records, and through that company Shalamar was formed. I have a lot of respect for Don and Dick because they're two successful black businessmen. They know a lot."
The two other Shalamar members bob their heads in agreement. I look at Howard a little more closely, noticing how much he's changed since joining the group. "That's what everyone says; I don't know why." Howard explains, his shirt unbuttoned exposing a sexy hairy chest. "The boy's got some money in his pocket!" Jeffrey teases.
"I remember the first time I came to Right On! for a photo session. I wasn't even ready for it," he shakes his head remembering how he looked. "I remember my wife Rainy was pregnant at the time." "That's the baby I see all the time now?" I exclaim in amazement.
"She's not a baby anymore -- that was at least two and a half years ago. Now, I have another little girl, little Rainy Daze, who is 6 months old. I wasn't able to be at the hospital for her birth since we were on tour, but I helped deliver my first. She was born in 36 minutes. Four or five years later I'd like to have a boy." "Does your wife travel with you?" "She and my older daughter like it. They hang pretty tough." "Does your wife get lonely and expect a call every night when you're apart?"
The happily married man's eyes crinkle with laughter as he reveals, "Let's out it this way. She gets a call every night."
"How does it feel to have so many fans in love with you after your gold album "Three For Love?"
Howard says "It feels good, I praise the Lord for it. If they weren't running after us, something would be wrong."
"Did the songs give your fans romantic ideas about you?" "You should read some of the fan mail. The part I wrote in "For The Lover In You" was dedicated to all the lovers out there, my wife in particular.
"Hey, enough of that," Jeffrey broke in. "The theme of this issue is Christmas, remember?" We can't forget what we're here for." I ask Jeffrey if he likes celebrating Christmas. "Yeah" "I'll bet you like getting presents" "No," he contradicts me. "I like giving presents, I break myself financially. I like to surprise people and make them happy. Jody and I always used to bring the Soul Train dancers together for the holidays and cook for them. This Christmas I think I'll be at Jody's new house raiding the refrigerator since she says she'll be cooking a lot." "You know what? I'd like to see how many people would enjoy Christmas if they didn't get presents. It's so crazy, Christmas is supposed to be the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. What does it matter if we get presents or not; it's not our birthday." Jody agrees. "We shouldn't wait for a holiday to come up to express love and show people we appreciate them. That's how we were taught in our household anyway."
Howard concludes, "We have a special message to give to our fans this season. First of all, they're not going to be called fans anymore; they've supported us to the point that we now consider them our friends. We want to remain friends with them.
And what better people to spend your holiday season with than your friends?

page 33 Right On! January 1982. Jody Watley, Jeffrey Daniel, Howard Hewett

SHALAMAR Classic Photo with Jeffrey Daniel, Jody Watley and Howard Hewett in 1980

Originals Jeffrey Daniel and Jody Watley with third male lead Howard Hewett
Fresh faced Shalamar appear in costumes designed by Jody Watley in 1980, according to an article published in JET Magazine May1, 1980 cover story titled "Shalamar Having Big Fun with Hot Hits"; Watley was the creative for the wardrobe and choreography for the group.

SHALAMAR An Interview With Music Icon and Original Shalamar Member Jody Watley

Shalamar was the creation of Don Cornelius for Soul Train Records as many know. Former original member Jody Watley who has gone on the be one of music's influential female artists is interviewed for Soul Train website talking her new music, career, and of course Soul Train and Shalamar. Read and watch her debut performance as a solo artist on Soul Train in an exclusive video from Soul Train archives, click here

SHALAMAR Get Your Nightlife with Originals Jody Watley and Gerald Brown on Soulbounce

From respected blog music blog  Soulbounce: Jody Watley brought the noise, funk and attitude that dominated the late 70's and all of the 80's. First with Shalamar and then as as a solo act, she paved the war for many of the female acts who came after her..the exciting twist features the original Shalamar co-lead singer Gerald Brown.. read the rest after the jump on:  Soulbounce

Jody Watley and the concept of "Nightlife" helps keep the Shalamar name alive and relevant  into the 21st century and the first Shalamar duet since 1983. "Nightlife" debuts on Music Week at Number 20 in Great Britain, always a strong market for Shalamar.

SHALAMAR Two Originals Reunite for New Single

Shalamar originals Jody Watley and Gerald Brown have reunited for a new duet, their first since 1978's hit "Take That To The Bank." Watley's "Nightlife" features Brown on backing vocals and the new remix produced by Dave Doyle takes us back while keeping us firmly embedded in the present with this danceable soul groove.

To listen click this Youtube link: http://youtu.be/60yF-BaptBE


Here's a photo of Gerald and Jody receiving a Disco Award in 1978
Gerald Brown and Jody Watley pictured in 1978 receiving disco award 

SHALAMAR On Soul Train Making That Move

Jody Watley, Howard Hewett and Jeffrey Daniel rip the stage with "Make That Move" on Soul Train from 1980. The quality of the video isn't great and the interview is cut, but you get the point. Shalamar stood out amongst many groups at the time classic grooves of Leon Sylvers III production with his writing team, dancing and stand out memorable singing.

View the video: http://youtu.be/F7SEWtpUFxs

SHALAMAR. Friends Album Help Me Co Penned By Jody Watley





"Help Me" a downtempo funk ballad penned by Jody Watley, Nidra Beard, Joey Gallo and Leon Sylvers) from Shalamar's 6th album "Friends" produced by Leon Sylvers III released in 1982. Friends would go on to reach the top of the R&B chart and #35 on the Pop Chart and helped the group rule the UK reaching #6 on the UK charts and earning a place of British pop culture history.  Howard Hewett, co-penned the tune "I Can Make You Feel Good", with Watley also sharing writing credit on the song "Playing to Win." "Friends" is to date Shalamar's most commercially successful album.

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SHALAMAR Big Fun Album

Jeffrey Daniel, Jody Watley, Howard Hewett: SHALAMAR




Wikipedia:
Big Fun is the third album by American R&B group group Shalamar, released in 1979 on the SOLAR label. Big Fun was produced by Leon Sylvers III and is the first album to feature what is considered the 'classic' Shalamar line-up (Jeffrey Daniel, Howard Hewett and Jody Watley), with Hewett having replaced Gerald Brown.
Big Fun has been certified Gold in the United States for sales of over 500,000. It peaked at #4 on the R&B Chart and #23 on the Billboard Magazine chart (Shalamar's highest-placing album on this chart). In the UK it reached #45.
The Second Time Around:
"The Second Time Around" is a 1979 hit by Los Angeles-based R&B group, Shalamar. The song is the first single from their album, Big Fun. The single went to number one on the soul chart and was their most successful hit on the Hot 100 pop chart, reaching number eight in early 1980. "The Second Time Around" also went to number one on the disco/dance chart in January 1980. The song was produced by Leon Sylvers III, who cowrote the song with William Shelby.
In 1980, the band made a promotion of "The Second Time Around" for the radio station KJR in Seattle, called "The Sonics Came to Play," dedicated to the Seattle SuperSonics who had won the NBA Championship the previous 



SHALAMAR. A Vinyl Look

SHALAMAR back cover, The Look album, released in summer 1983 just after breakup. "The Look" was the 5th and final album during 4 years as a group for this lineup. Jody Watley, Jeffrey Daniel, Howard Hewett. Nothing like vinyl records and Shalamar.

SHALAMAR REUNION WITH TWO ORIGINALS





Original lead singers of Shalamar Jody Watley and Gerald Brown have been making some noise. First, Gerald Brown of "Take That To The Bank" fame surprised Watley by showing up to one of her concerts this summer. the two had not performed together in 35 years. Afterward, they reunited again onstage at Essence Festival in New Orleans, at Watley's invitation. Brown, who has been absent from the music scene since his fast departure in 1978, joins Jody Watley on her new single that's making waves, 'NIGHTLIFE."

Read Reviews and Hear the song for some of that classic Shalamar flavor with a fresh new spin.


Centric TV

OkayPlayer

Soulculture UK

Soulbounce

Singersroom



SHALAMAR: Gerald Brown, Jody Watley, Receive Disco Honors in 1978
SHALAMAR receive disco award in 1978 in Australia for "TAKE THAT TO THE BANK"

Jody Watley and Gerald Brown Take It To The Bank at Essence Music Festival 2013


SHALAMAR FASHION FLAIR RIGHT ON MAGAZINE JULY 1982


Page 36, Right On Magazine July 1982

Caption: Jeffrey Daniels international travels have taken him to parts of Europe, the West Indies and Africa. He shares the contents of his wardrobe brimming with unique fabrics and accessories in a special fashion layout with his many friends and fans in mind.
Page 37, Right On Magazine July 1982
Caption: Jeffrey and his friend Donna model Japanese Kansai fashions he found in Paris. At let he's wildly reggae shown with his many cases of guitars. The long white robe and matching pants are West African which he picked up while on tour.
Page 38, Right On Magazine July 1982

CAPTION: Shalamar's backup singer Jermaine Stewart (a former Soul Train dancer) has gone New Wave too. His friends think he's very trendy. Jeffrey's Scottish kilt, admired by his RCA dog is just the proper outfit for his travels to the British Isles

Page 39 Right On Magazine July 1982



CAPTION: "Shalamar's only female member Jody Watley who is a longtime friend and dance partner of Jeffrey's enjoys the New Wave look too. She took advantage of the opportunity to purchase clothing and accessories which would compliment Jeffrey's wardrobe. Now they have to get their lead singer Howard Hewett into the act. He's resisted their attempts to convert him so far."



SHALAMAR Let's Find The Time For Love

When ballads and groups was in, Smooth SINGING,HARMONIES AND STEPS FROM SHALAMAR Howard, Jody and Jeffrey 1979 BIG FUN Album (#4 R&B/Black Albums, #23 Main Chart) written by Kevin Spencer and Leon Sylvers III Produced by Leon Sylvers lll

Watch it on Youtube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSM_hcX3m4s


SHALAMAR Jeffrey Daniel Body Popping Dance Class Cover

Shalamar's Jeffrey Daniel On the cover of Melody Maker issue date July 17, 1982


Shalamar's Jeffrey Daniel takes Great Britain by storm and Shalamar to new heights with his impressive body popping in 1982.

SHALAMAR on SOULTRACKS

Shalamar - Friends (Deluxe Edition Reissue) review on blog Soultracks. The article incorrectly lists breakup of Shalamar as 1984, when the trio with Watley, Daniel ended with Hewett staying behind for an additional two albums according to documented press of the time found here on the blog.

Otherwise, pretty good overview of the reissue now available through amazon.com.

Review, 
From 1978 to 1984, former Soul Train dancers Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniel, along with Ohio native Howard Hewett, ruled the R&B charts both stateside and abroad as the vocal group Shalamar. Propelled by the sophisticated production finesse of Leon Sylvers, III and Solar Records' "Throwdown Brothers" rhythm section, the energetic trio delivered six 
albums' worth of vibrant modern-soul sung with vibrance and grace.

Click  here   to read full review

SHALAMAR The Look Billboard Magazine Advertisement 1983

Jeffrey Daniel, Jody Watley, Howard Hewett



Shalamar with a Billboard Magazine back cover full page ad announcing the release of "The Look" on Solar Records, Issue Date August 6,1983
Shalamar had split In July of 1983 prior to album release, see Jeffrey Daniel on Shalamar Split Melody Maker Magazine Issue dated July 16, 1983.

SHALAMAR Embrace A Trendy New Look In 1983

Howard Hewett,  Jody Watley, Jeffrey Daniel in 1983

Jeffrey Daniel and Jody Watley embrace British fashion World's End Vivienne Westwood, Howard Hewett goes for the tough guy look just before split in 1983 for "The Look" LP.

SHALAMAR A Night To Remember

Howard Hewett, Jody Watley, Jeffrey Daniel



SHALAMAR Signature single "A Night To Remember" from the album "Friends" released in February 1982. Writers (Nidra Beard, Dana Myers, Charmaine Sylvers) Produced by Leon Sylvers III.

US Billboard Hot 100 Peak #44, Hot Soul Singles, #8, Dance #15, UK #5.

SHALAMAR True Friends In Blues and Soul

Howard Hewett, Jody Watley, Jeffrey Daniel Blues and Soul 1982




EXCERPT:
Shalamar's leap to super-stardom is one of the great success stories of 1982. Howard Hewett raps with B&S and explains how the Shalamar explosion happened, and reveals their immediate and long term plans...


The thing about Shalamar is that you get the distinct feeling that they would hang out together even if the Shalamar bubble burst tomorrow - not that there's a whole lot of chance of that happening, you understand! And not wishing to abuse any clich├ęs but Jeffrey, Howard and Jody do genuinely appear to like each other.
I recall the first interview personally I had with Shalamar earlier this year, they seemed to possess a "oneness", a sort of three into one will go type of aura which was difficult to pinpoint but very easy to see and feel.
A flicker of the Daniel eye, a twitch of the Watley lip, a raising of the Hewett eyebrow - everything, which would normally be perfectly in order seemed to convey a secret message which only they understood.
I recall feeling slightly disoriented at the time but manfully struggled on and completed the interview--which appeared in B&S Issue 353.
Glancing through that interview, I note with interest that their "Friends" album had just been unleashed on an unsuspecting public, and my comment, although hardly a lone voice in the wilderness was pretty accurate and prophetic.
The album "Friends" is without a doubt, outrageously commercial and looks set to endorse the group's faith in it's own belief. The fact that it was also their debut Solar album under the WEA banner was also noted.
Shortly thereafter the whole Shalamar "thing" went into orbit: their recordings, which hitherto had attained pleasing results, suddenly became essential buys for what appeared to be the majority of the British record market whilst their live appearances became sell-out situations everywhere. Shalamar had become a very hot property indeed.
What happened?
The answer to this, and other questions was answered by Shalamar's Howard Hewett when I met up with him recently at the WEA offices in Soho.
"I don't think there is just one simple explanation for the success we have had this year.: smiles a relaxed, if tired looking Howard. "I believe one of the major factors was the switch from RCA to WEA Records which to be a viable and comfortable move for everyone, certainly as far as we're concerned!" "Naturally, the 'Friends' album didn't do us any harm either! We put a lot of effort into making that albumm just right - or what we hoped was just right -- and I guess without appearing too smug, we managed a reasonable job!"  "These two factors plus that indefinable something ... maybe it's the timing or the ability to catch the spirit or mood of the people...really made the difference this year."
Shalamar, of course, have always been an entertaining trio; their appeal is basic and uncluttered and effective. Howard's lead vocals, Jeffrey's dancing and Jody's...eh, well, Jody's all around talents have collectively proved to be the smash of the year..82's formula for success which shows little sign of easing up for 1983.

SHALAMAR In London

Howard Hewett, Jody Watley, Jeffrey Daniel


The classic trio with this line-up have not toured together since 1983.

SHALAMAR Jeffrey Daniel Dance Master Samurai

British Magazine clipping 1983

JEFFREY DANIEL's new group Eclipse obviously know the importance of a good haircut, amongst the styles they sport being a perfect pompadoured Charlie Foxx (as in Inez&..)! Jeffrey tells me that following the break up of Shalamar, Solar succeeded in getting Howard Hewitt to stay singing under the established group name with the two new recruits, instead of going solo -- which surely would have been a more sensible move for Howard?

SHALAMAR JODY WATLEY POSTER GIRL 1982





Shalamar's Jody Watley Cover Girl American Magazine RightON! SUPER SPECIAL Collectors Issue
Poster Book


SHALAMAR Cover Black Enterprise July 1982



SHALAMAR: Howard Hewett, Jody Watley, Jeffrey Daniel July 1982 EXCERPT: Top Seller for Solar "Among the stable of Acts is Shalamar. gold single "The Second Time Around" and then followed it up with their recent smash "A Night To Remember." With sales of 40.7 million dollars, ten biggest Solar Sellers Include Shalamar at #1 with 1.8 million, the company catapulted to eleventh place in the 1982 Black Enterprise List of Top 100 Black Owned businesses. The only company ahead of Solar is Motown which has held the No, 1 spot since the Black Enterprise List began a decade ago." - By Stephan Gale

SHALAMAR Jody Watley Beauty In Black and White Promotional Photo

JODY WATLEY, Three for love album promotional photo, 1980

Jody Watley went on to become Grammy winning solo artist with multiple top ten hits in Pop, R&B, and Dance Music.

SHALAMAR Strikes Gold


SHALAMAR BREAKUP Jeffrey Daniel On Shalamar Split 1983 Interview

July 16, 1983
Melody Maker Magazine United Kingdom



Pictured: Jeffrey Daniel, Howard Hewett, Jody Watley


Daniel recounts the sudden Shalamar split in the only archived article from any member in 1983. 


As Told To Adam Sweeting For Melody Maker, July 16, 1983:
http://www.shalamaronline.blogspot.comHeavy thunder brooded over Soho as I stepped with relief into the sweating street. On my way out of WEA offices, Jeffrey Daniel had touched my arm. "Hey," he said. "I'm glad this was for Melody Maker, cos they wrote the first story about us..that's what started Shalamar off over here." I wished him luck, and he smiled.
Jeffrey had just spent an hour and a quarter trying to describe why and how his personal heaven had suddenly caved in on top of his head. The day before, Shalamar had decided to end a lengthy period of personal and professional discomfort by splitting up the group. There had been friction in the recording studios, friction with their management and with Solar, their Los Angeles based record company. Worst of all, the three members had begun to turn on each other.
"I guess the public is due some explanation." said Jeffrey. "After all, the British public has been exceptionally good to Shalamar. And we actually care about people, i do."
If I'd been Jeffrey's attorney, I'd have certified him unfit to be interviewed this particular Wednesday afternoon. He was badly confused, visibly still reeling from the shock turn of events and struggling desperately to come to terms with a barrage of emotions which at times were clearly too much for him. Still, I guess our conversation - or at least his conversation - was some kind of necessary therapy. Some of the time, I'm not sure if he realised I was there.

With a new album, "The Look", finished and ready to go, and with their latest single "Dead Giveaway" hovering nicely in the top ten, times should have been extremely pleasant for Shalamar. Instead, it seems that "The Look" will serve as a bitter-tasting requiem for the good times which peaked with the success of their 1982 album "Friends" and it's impressive clutch of hits -- "A Night To Remember," "I Can Make You Feel Good," "There It Is" and the title track. So what the hell happened?
It started in 1977, when Jeffrey and his long time friend Jody Watley were regular dancers on the American "Soul Train" TV show. "Soul Train" supremo Don Cornelius formed a record company called "Soul Train Records" in partnership with Dick Griffey, and plucked Jody and Jeffrey off the dancefloor to become two-thirds of Shalamar. After Cornelius bailed out, the record company became Solar and Shalamar followed up their debut album "Uptown Festival", with "Disco Gardens" (1978) and Big Fun ('79).
The arrival of singer Howard Hewett in 1979 replacing Gerald Brown, seemed to complete the magic circle, and 1981's pair of albums "Three For Love", and "Go For It", preceded the chart busting "Friends"...but below the surface all was not well...


On the well tried Motown pattern, Solar had made Shalamar very much a product of company philosophy and regimented studio procedure. Regular producer Leon Sylvers III dominated choice of material and regularly used his own team of musicians, Dynasty. Plainly, the system worked. Equally clearly Jeffrey and Jody are not the same dance-mad kids they were in 1977. They've seen plenty and learned a lot, but their efforts to put their developing skills into practice were brushed aside.
"Well, what it was was we were fooling ourselves, you know, because Shalamar was put together by the company, so that's why...how much can you say about the situation?" Jeffrey Daniel paused, perhaps wondering how much he could say about this whole mess. "But there was always the promise that we would grow into something and in the past six years I have grown into something. Jody has grown into something. And now that we have reached that plateau, the facilities are still closed. When it's time to do a TV show and it's time to be onstage, then that's when they leave it up to Jody and myself and they want our full co-operation, full participation to help their records sell. But when it's time for us to contribute, they're not as open any more. All of a sudden you get a lot of second thoughts and a lotta reasons why it shouldn't be done."
"What I'm looking forward to in the future is just expressing what I do, you know, cos that's all I've ever wanted to do. That's why I joined the record company, so that I can make records and so that I can write records, and create music and musical concepts, so hopefully in the future I'll find those types of facilities. Of course, I resent a lot of decisions that have been made for Shalamar but I don't hold it against my record company or the other participants."


Was this the first time this kind of tension had broken out in the group I wondered?
"No" said Jeffrey, "but it's never become so prevalent.. Because if the fact that Shalamar is becoming an even bigger group, we're going to places we've never been and the snowball is accumulating as it rolls down the hill. And it's just that the people who are responsible for the snowball are getting the short end of it, while the other people continue to roll and grow and accumulate. It just makes you stop and wonder 'who am I doing this for and why am I doing it?'"



Jeffrey Daniel grew up in the housing projects of east LA - "we grew up on welfare, I've never had my father in my family" - and he owes everything he has to the street-dancing which first earned him a break on "Soul Train".
"I was only a street dancer, I was dancing on 'Soul Train' for free. The only reward we got was a box of chicken at lunchtime, okay, bu we were getting national exposure as dancers on television - everybody knew our faces and stuff snd we got popularity, and it helped a lotta other people lead to bigger things by being seen on 'Soul Train', so it was a good outlet for people who took street dancing serious."
As much as anything, it was Jeffrey's flabbergasting bodypopping dance routines which led to Shalamar being taken to enough British hearts for them to pack out Wembley Arena last year. The balance seemed to work effortlessly, with Howard as lead vocalist, and the more athletic and photogenic Jody and Jeffrey tackling the physical projections and backing vocals.
"That never bothered me," said Jeffrey, "because I accept Howard's voice and I think Howard does have a great voice. I've never tried singing more songs than him or anything like that, you know, because I feel that Howard is good at what he does. I feel I'm good at what I do. And Jody had developed into a very good vocalist over the years, and it's just sickening to see that over the last six years she's not getting any more play on our records than she does."
"Y'know, she gets her usual duet with Howard, maybe she gets to lead a song, and fine...but it's 'okay, now let's get the best material and give that to Howard, that type of attitude is what we're being given."
It's especially galling for Jeffrey that it was he who introduced Howard into Shalamar. Much of the cause of Shalamar's sudden demise stems from the fact that Howard has apparently taken steps to ingratiate himself with the group's management and record company, leaving Jeffrey and Jody outside looking in.

"That's even what makes it worse, the company has even made us grow farther apart from pulling Howard to the side and pumping his head with stuff, and then, you know, neglecting Jody and myself -- that's the type of stuff that goes on. Howard's the third singer that was placed in the group so me and Jody have been through this with other singers before, and at this point we just feel that there's no reason to do it any longer. Jody and I have been there from the beginning, and in fact I put Howard in Shalamar --I'm the one who selected him for the group in the first place, and then Jody and I get less amount of consideration.
The fact is that when people you're working for and you're working with don't give you the consideration as a mutual artist or a mutual human being, then that's when you stop the ball and say 'wait a minute', why in the hell am I here?"
I've always told them, when I no longer enjoy this I will never do this for money. I would never just do it for the money. Because I could do other things for money, I can't, you know, just bullshit an audience and the public believe in what I'm doing, and it wouldn't be so important if I didn't believe in it, alright?
If I didn't have a purpose or a cause, and if I wasn't struggling for something, well then it wouldn't matter, it would just be a concept and it would all just be for fun and I'd be making money and the public would enjoy it and everything would be dandy, you know, Solar could do whatever they want to do with Shalamar.:
Jeffrey paused, trying to disentangle his whirling thoughts. "I believe in myself, you know, and after that then I believe in Jody and Howard, then after I believe in them I believe in Shalamar okay? I lost my belief in Shalamar a while back, and here recently I've lost my belief in Jeffrey, Jody and Howard being together. Now before I lose belief in myself I'd better stop things and regroup the situation."

The pressure inside Shalamar had been mounting steadily over the last few days the group had been in England. An interview with Howard appeared in Black Echoes, which contained some veiled digs at Jeffrey and Jody. Howard didn't want to do photo sessions. "Jody and I will be friends for life, okay" I've known her since she was 12 years old and we've been family friends I know her entire family. We've always been close.
"Jody and I have had serious fights. We went through a period when we weren't speaking to each other. We had a fight onstage one time, this was back in the states. We were doing a routine and she kicked me and the audience couldn't tell what was going on you know. It was really funny, but when you love people you can do that, because if we didn't love each other we would have split up the group and went our separate ways back then and we'd no longer be friends now, you know? So that's genuine love. When you love people and care about them then you don't mind fighting to get things right."

Lately, though, attitudes had changed.

"Recently there's come a day that Howard has had the attitude of 'screw you guys, piss off.'  I'm not downing Howard, I understand where Howard's coming from because actually, when I selected him to join Shalamar, I think he wanted to purse a solo career then, but I think the best thing he could have done at that moment was to join Shalamar, and that's what he did. And he did it for the money as well, you know, and I don't think he believed in it when he did it, I think he did it to earn a living. He needed work, so of course.."
And, as Shalamar's success grew, the group's earlier intimate relationship with management and with Solar became increasingly distant.

"I remember a time when Dick Griffey, who's our manager and record company president, would come down to the studio with us, when he took us off Soul Train, he'd be there in person, y'know. Once the business started rolling and the money started coming in, I guess for business reasons as well he just drifted farther and farther apart from us, and we spent less time together at that point."
So strained had relations become, claims Jeffrey, that Solar even refused to pay for eight hours of studio time which he used to record some demos.
"it's like they're saying, 'hey okay, fine, yeah you can write, yeah you can do this, but just shuddup and dance. Yeah that's nice Jeffrey, let's get back to rehearsal now.' And that's what we felt when it was time for 'Dead Giveaway' yesterday.
The group did their best to finish the video session at Camden Palace, but it was a little difficult since they couldn't talk to each other.
"I walked over to Howard" Jeffrey recalled, "and stood toe to toe to him and just looked at him. He said 'hey man, what's happenin' Then I just gave him a punch on the arm, y'know, like 'don't worry about it'. So then he came across the stage and punched me on the arm and then walked back to his side, and that was all for the entire evening. It was so strange because at that exact moment I was caught between wanting to...er...y'know, hug him or something or tell him I love him or something..."
Suddenly it all became too much, and I watched in amazement as Jeffrey's face crumpled and tears started to roll down his face.
"I know Howard's not totally responsible for what he's doing, " he sobbed, struggling to regain control. "i think if the management team doesn't pull us apart, yknow..and they're encouraging him. Because they've done it with the other lead singer like 'Jeffrey and Jody and just the kids, they're just that, you are the important thing, you are this, you are this and you are this  ..' And they make people believe this stuff, and I can understand why Howard probably feels the way he feels."

After a couple of minutes, Jeffrey was a little steadier. Obviously, you feel betrayed by Howard?
"Yeahm Jody and I both do. And even if he did decide to go back to the management, at least tell us, let us know. I can only respect his reason even if I don't like his reason. I have to respect it cos it's his decision, he's his own person."
Phew. "Crossroads", anyone? With all this brewing up, perhaps it's no surprise that recording sessions for the forthcoming album "The Look" were marred by all kinds of bitterness.

"I'm not pleased with 'The Look', and it's very impersonal to me. " said Jeffrey sharply. "in fact it's the biggest slap in my face for as long as I've been in this business. It was like 'you're gonna accept this whether you want to or not' and then 'after it's put on tape and when the record's released, you're gonna get onstage and perform this stuff, like it or not, and act like you believe in it.' Y'know, you know what your role is and get out there and do your role is so get out there and let's help make this project successful.' I
mean, how can you live like that? How can I sleep like that?

Jeffrey has taken under his wing the six LA kids who comprise the song and dance troupe Eklypse. He's trying to bring them over to England, but on the day we met they were stuck in Paris because British Immigration officials wouldn't let them in. Also, Jeffrey has his alter ego Colonel Pop to think about. The Colonel is the guy Jeffrey always wanted to be with Shalamar but wasn't allowed to, a dancer/singer/writer expressing himself in as many forms as he could find.

"Howard never wanted it to happen," he continued. "He expressed it openly in meetings, and he told that I was just believing in my own bullshit and once you believe in your own bullshit you just get lost. He told me to my face that Eklypse and Colonel Pop and the whole thing was nothing but bullshit.


"But yet there's a 'Flashdance' with people bodypopping in it, and it helped spin off this breaker thing that's going on in New York, and Paul McCartney selected me to be in his film which was great not as a member of Shalamar, he selected me to do this dancing bit in his film which was a great privilege. This bodypopping thing is what established Shalamar over here, y'know, the appearance helped spin it off. But yet at home thet tell me it's just bullshit and forget about it."


At the moment, the future is unclear. Jeffrey says he's going to rescue Eklypse from Paris, then he's going on holiday alone for a couple of weeks to clear his head. The fate of jody and Howard remains to be seen.
"Everyone's kinda lost right now, cos everything happened so bitter at the end." says Jeffrey quietly. "The only thing that I resent is just that the hatred was allowed to accumulate. I don't mind the split because I think that's gonna allow me to do what I always wanted to do.
It's just the hatred and dislike that has grown between the certain individuals, y'know, between the company, between the group itself. That's what I really regret. And I just hope everyone finds their happiness, and I just hope the public accepts what we do in the future. I know a lot of people are gonna be disappointed, because a lot of people believe in us now."