Joanna Kool & the Gang
Song Title: Joanna
Artist: Kool & the Gang
Date of release: 17th of December 1983
Description: ” Joanna ” is by Kool & the Gang, the American funk and rhythm and blues band. It was in 1964, in Jersey City, New Jersey, that five high-school friends along with Robert Bell and his brother Ronald formed an instrumental band called the Jazziacs.
A few years later, in 1967, they changed their name to Kool & the Flames, then in 1969 the band changed their name again to Kool & the Gang because of the ” Godfather of Soul ” James Brown’s Famous Flames would cause confusion.
Ten years later ” J.T. ” Taylor joined the band as lead singer and they moved away from funk and closer to rhythm & blues and pop music. Under the guidance of Eumir Deodato, the Brazilian fusion musician and producer, they enjoyed international success in the early 80s with ” Get Down on It “, ” Fresh ” and ” Cherish “.
” Joanna ” was written by the band with production for the single by Eumir Deodato. Eumir is a Brazilian pianist, composer, record producer and arranger. He has produced or arranged music on over 500 Albums for various artists including Kool and the Gang, Björk, Christophe and k.d.lang.
The romantic ballad was released 17th of December 1983 by record label Polygram ( Universal Music Group ) and taken from the band’s 15th Album In the Heart. The Album, released on the 21st of November 1983 became a hit and took the band back on to the Billboard charts.
Guitarist Claydes Charles Smith took the tune to the band, then the song was called ” Dear Mom “. Changes were suggested by Ronald Bell which included a title change to capitalize on the trend at the time for singular female names as titles.
The accompanying music video focuses on the current owner of a small, roadside café named ” Joanna’s Diner “. Filming took place at the Colonial Diner in Lyndhurst, a township in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. The area of Lyndhurst was also used for some scenes for the hit TV series The Sopranos.
Throughout the video, ” Joanna ” serves the band members as both their cook and waitress while they serenade her. The video occasionally flashes back to her younger days as a dancer at Harlem’s famous Cotton Club in New York City. The Cotton Club was a popular venue during the time of America’s Prohibition. Although the club was a whites-only establishment, it played host to many of the most popular black entertainers of the time.
” Joanna ” was a commercial success for Kool & the Gang. In the United States the song reached a peak of number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. It spent 24 weeks on the chart there. They were kept off the top of the chart by Culture Club’s ” Karma Chameleon “.
In the United Kingdom the song entered the UK Singles Chart on the 11th of February 1984 and peaked at number 2. It spent 6 weeks in the top ten and a total of 11 weeks on the UK chart.
BillBoard Hot 100 Highest Chart Position: 2
UK Highest Chart Position: 2
Other Countries Highest Chart Positions: Australia 45, Canada RPM 15
Official Website: Koolandthegang.com
FaceBook Page: Facebook.com/koolandthegang
Wikipedia Page: Wikipedia.org/Koolandthegang