Classics: Cheryl Lynn – Got To Be Real (Columbia)
What a better launch pad as a debut than appearing on two timeless gems? The first as a guest on Toto‘s rendition of the classic ‘Georgy Porgy’. And the second while scoring her biggest success with ‘Got To Be Real’. A cut which David Paich of the Toto‘s fame happened to produce for her. And in the meantime, what a better title than… ‘Got To Be Real’ to describe her obvious singing talent???
‘Got To Be Real’ not only had that sophistication one could find on the arrangements of say Ashford & Simpson or Maurice White‘s Earth Wind & Fire. It also had the flamboyance one could find in the dominant horn-infused Funk sound at the time. In cuts such as The Emotions‘ ‘I Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love’ and other ‘Best Of My Love’. But also Alton McClain & Destiny‘s ‘It Must Be Love’. Not to mention Crown Heights Affair‘s ‘Say A Prayer For Two’…
In other words, firing!
A Los Angeles, CA native, Cheryl Lynn started singing with her church choir. Eventually getting her break courtesy of The Gong Show back in early 1976. A TV talent show which brought her to the attention of CBS who signed her 2 years after. Her professional singing career started during that same year (1976). This when she obtained a job as a backing vocalist for the national touring company of the musical drama ‘The Wiz’.
1978 happened to be a key year for Lynn. Appearing along with Toto on their rendition of ‘Georgy Porgy’. But also delivering her self-titled debut-album along with producer David Paich of the Toto fame, along with David Foster in the songwriting team. An album which spanned the memorable ‘Got To Be Real’ (her biggest success) and ‘Star Love’. Keepin’ on with the same team, she eventually delivered her follow-up album (‘In Love’) the year after. It didn’t generate the same following though. And this despite the presence of gems such as the infectious ‘Love Bomb’ and the quiet stormy ‘Don’t Let It Fade Away’. Not to mention the firing ‘Feel It’ on some Hi-Energy vein.
By 1981, Ray Parker, Jr. brought her back to the top. Producing the boiling hot ‘Shake It Up Tonight’. The key track from her third album, ‘In The Night’. Meanwhile she would team up the year after with Luther Vandross and Marcus Miller. This resulting in the release of another smash hit by the likes of ‘Instant Love’, the title track of her fourth album. Lynn came up 2 years later with ‘Preppie’, her fifth album. Most likely producing all its track to the exception of ‘Encore’ left in the hands of Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. The aforementioned becoming her second #1 single. Meanwhile the latter also produced ‘Fidelity’ and the title track of her 1985 ‘It’s Gonna Be Right’ sixth album.
She made a brief stop at Manhattan Records with the release of her seventh album, ‘Start Over’, in 1987. Then made a return in the Top 10 with ‘Every Time I Try To Say Goodbye’. A track from her eighth album – ‘Whatever It Takes’ – which she co-produced with Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken. And by the end of 1995, after a 6 year hiatus, she delivered her last album to date (‘Good Time’). Eventually joinin’ forces with New Jack Swing mogul Teddy Riley on its title track. An album which only had a limited resonance at the time as only released in Japan, on Avex…