Besides the food, one of the things I most enjoyed over the Thanksgiving holiday was a TV One television special entitled "Unsung." The 4-part series explored the lives and musical talents of The DeBarge family, Phyllis Hyman, Donny Hathaway and The Clark Sisters. Each hour long segment gave a detailed account of the individual's or the group's rise and subsequent fall from the limelight. The series greatly exceeded my expectations and I managed to catch every segment except the one on The Clark Sisters--which was unfortunate, because of all the artists profiled, I know the least about them.
Some of the things I learned about the DeBarge family truly shocked me. I mean, I knew some of them had drug problems, but dag, not ALL of them! And like an astute observer on another blog pointed out, whatever they were using and abusing, straight-up wrecked some sho'nuff havoc on those good looks. They now all look to be about the same age as their 70-some year old mama. Say it aint' so, Chico, say it ain't so! (LOL) Yeah, Chico is my favorite DeBarge and I hope one day soon he and some of the others are able to get it together and come back out strong.
The Hyman and Hathaway stories I pretty much knew, but they still left me melancholy and wondering what each might be doing now and much more great music might they have produced had they lived.
I do hope the folks at TV One plan on continuing the series and perhaps even, at some point, including a few unsung actors and atheletes in the mix. "Unsung" was some of the most insightful, educational and entertaining TV I've watched in quite some time. If TV One is considering expanding the series and is in need of a few suggestions, the following are a few "unsung" singers, groups and musicians I'd loved to see profiled: Curtis Mayfield, Gil Scott Heron, Angela Bofill, Bill Withers, Roger Troutman, Slave, The Sylvers, The Brothers Johnson, Billy Preston, Michael Henderson, The Stylistics, The Dramatics, Norman Conners and Loose Ends . . .
Obviously, I could go on, but I'll stop there. What about you? What "Unsung" entertainers from the music world would you like to see profiled in an upcoming show?