Monday, December 22, 2008


The theme for my most recent posts seem to be flop acts. This next group is a CD I've seen in used cd stores for years and never got around to buying. Finally the last time I saw it I said what hell and plucked down a $1 for it. The name of group was Ricca and they released their self-titled debut on Epic Records in 1994. I honestly don't remember this group being around, which is shocking because I was all about girl groups back in the day. It would make sense because by the mid 90s the wave of popularity many girl groups enjoyed only a few years before was pretty much over. Unlike the majority of Latina girl groups that came before them (Sweet Sensation, The Cover Girls, etc.) their album was heavily R&B and not dance/pop like one would expect (not to say they weren't some dancier tracks included but they tend to lean more towards new jack swing). The album pretty much came and went, not charting on any Billboard charts. Two singles were released and from what info I could find they didn't chart as well. They included Any Love and Such A Rush. Like I said the album is very mid 90s R&B sounding with some tracks even leaning towards New Jack Swing. It's a shame as the album was good, with catchy hooks and slick production.

(L-R: Ricca CD; Such a Rush 12"; Any Love CD single)

The group was comprised of Natalie Soltren, Elisa Soltren and Teresa Rodrigues. While searching on info as to what happened to the ladies of Ricca, I pretty much came empty handed. That is until I was able to find some info on member Teresa. Teresa if the voice of BabyBaby, a website that creates custom lullabies. According to her bio after Ricca disbanded she went on to sing backup for the likes of DLG and Joe McIntyre. She currently is a member of the Connecticut based band Pandemonium. You can check out their myspace page or their official website. As for the remaining 2 ladies, whom I am guessing are sisters, not much is known about them. So if any of you know what's become of the gals of Ricca please let us know!

Def Dames

To make up for lack of posts lately I'm trying to do several today. Up next is another group I didn't discover until recently. The neon pink and green of Def Dames's album cover 2-4 The Bass literally screamed at me while I was at a music store not too long ago (they are a dying breed so I try and support them when I can). The cheap price and the even cheaper cover was all it took to purchase the album. The release is from 1989 on the indie label Sedona Recording Company. Def Dames (not to be confused with 90s Euro dance act Def Dames Dope) were Kandy Kane and Special T (which by today's standards sound like either stripper or porn star names...actually they probably sounded this way in 1989). From what little I could find (mostly via the album peaked at #76 on the R&B Album Chart. It also spawned two singles that charted on the Hot Rap Singles Chart. 976-Boom peaked at #19 while Set It Off (wonder if Peaches was a fan?) peaked at #20. The album is über cheesy bass/electro rap which was never really taken that seriously back in the day, but it's cheesiness lives on. Of note the song Work It even pokes fun of Salt N Pepa and L'Trimm (which is quite ironic since this album doesn't sound that far off from L'Trimm at times).

(L-R; 2 4 The Bass CD; Set It Off 12"; 2 Large CD; The King Of Romance 12")

They followed up their debut with 2 Large. This album failed to chart but yielded at least two singles The King of Romance (which peaked at #20 on the Hot Rap Singles Chart) and Whip It, which you can guess samples Devo's hit heavily. After this album came and went it seems like the ladies of Def Dames pretty much disappeared. What little info I was able to find was via this myspace page which seems to be run by their old producer/discoverer DJ Sparkle. Not much is said about the two ladies that made up the duo, but apparently two new ladies (Tish 'n' Playette) are now part of Def Dames and have a new album coming out soon. That's all fine and dandy, but what about Kandy Kane and Special T? Faithful readers I'm hoping someone can help us out or even give more insight into the group. In the meantime I was able to find the following videos on youtbe. God bless the internet.

First up is Whip It:

Next up, The King Of Romance:

Friday, December 19, 2008

Three Shades Brown

First off sorry for the lack of updates. To say I've been neglecting this blog is an understatement. But I know there are peeps out there that actually care about this kinda stuff so I must comply :) Without further a do I present the following.

Now this next group I know absolutely NOTHING about. They are called Three Shades Brown and they seem to have released but one album in 1992 on Interscope Records. I found their cd at a used cd store for a $1 and could not pass it up. They had me at the early 90s fasions. Their sole album was entitled Stronger Than Strong and was produced by The Funky Mercenaries (better known as Jesse Johnson of the Time). It peaked at #98 on the Billboard R&B album charts. Let me tell you this is album is an early 90s R&B dream come true!! Very New Jack Swing (so you know I love it). The group itself was comprised of former Jesse Johnson backup vocalist Kim Cage on lead vocals, Christi Thornton was the lead rapper and Leah Johnson was the backup vocalist. From what little info I was able to find it seems they released one single entitled Nasty Bass. From searching Billboard's datebase it did not chart...but if someone knows otherwise please tell! I tried searching on the members to see what they're up to now and came up w/ nothing. So I am hoping some of my faithful readers can help me out.

(L-R: Strong Than Strong CD; Nasty Bass 12")

I could not find any video footage either, just this fan made clip. At least you can hear what they sound like...

Friday, June 27, 2008

For Real

R&B vocal group For Real were formed in 1993 and was comprised of Wendi Williams, Latanyia Baldwin, Josina Elder and Necia Bray. By 1994 the group dropped its debut album It's a Natural Thang on A&M Records. Their debut single was Easy To Love and it reached #60 on the Billboard Hot 100. Subsequent singles scored even better including You Don't Know Nothin' (#27) and You Don't Wanna Miss (#28).

After releasing their debut album they collaborated with Stevie Wonder (with whom they also went on tour). By 1995 they scored a Top 20 hit, Freedom, which featured Aaliyah, TLC, En Vogue, BlackGirl, SWV, and Vanessa Williams from the movie Panther. It was their inclusion on the Waiting To Exhale soundtrack that would land them a deal with Rowdy Records.

I personally didn't come to know of this group until the first single from their sophmore album, Like I Do. A throwback to the 1960's Motown sound. Suprisingly the song only peaked at #72 on the Billboard Hot 100. A second single The Saddest Song I Ever Heard peaked at #65. By 1997 the group would contribute to the film Grace Of My Heart.

By 1999 the group parted ways. Wendi Williams would go on to record the vocals for the singing voice of Introducing Dorothy Dandridge which earned Halle Berry an Emmy and a Golden Globe for best actress.

Not much has been heard from from these ladies since they broke up. Aside for Wendi I haven't been able to find out much info. Can you help us out? All I was able to find was a myspace fan page. Meanwhile let's enjoy some of the group's music videos.

First up Easy to Love:

The video for Like I Do:

Friday, June 06, 2008

Updates coming soon!

I've been slacking on posting. But that's not to say that I haven't been working on some new pieces for y'all. Coming soon pieces on girl groups For Real and i5, not to mention an interview w/ a dance music legend. Thanks for visiting. Remember if there is anyone you'd like to see featured, or have us investigate please leave a comment or post in our shoutbox to the right!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

We're JJ Fad and we're here to rock...

As a child the opening lines of J.J. Fad's (Just Jammin' Fresh and Def) lone hit Supersonic will forever be etched in my brain. The late 80s were a fun and carefree time in popular music and J.J. Fad certainly fit the bill. J.J. Fad was comprised of 3 female rappers: MC J.B. (Juana Burns), Baby-D (Dania Birks) and Sassy C. (Michelle Franklin). Hailing from Los Angeles, CA, the ladies were signed to Ruthless Records and their debut album was produced by Dr. Dre and Yella. While there seems to be some confusion as to who the original members were of this all female rap group, according to a visitor of here is a little background:

JJ FAD does not mean "Just Jammin Fresh And Def"; that was a revision. Originally, there were 5 girls in the group, and JJ Fad was an acronym of their names:

Juana, Juanita, Fatima, Lady Anna, and Denea (JJ FAD).

The original version of Supersonic had this spelled out in to beat-box intro, which was revised later when remixed, and the group reduced to a trio (and adding DJ Train to replace Lady Anna
But before we get to Supersonic, it must be noted that their first single was actually Another Hoe released in 1987 which took many jabs at fellow female MC Roxanne Shante. Unlike many West Coast rappers of the day, their producers made J.J. Fad's sound easily accesible to a pop audience by including many electro elements throughout (fabulously displayed on my personal favorite track Blame It On The Muzick).

(L-R: Supersonic CD, Supersonic 12", Not Just A Fad CD, We In The House 12")

Their lone hit was the aforementioned Supersonic. While this song is fondly remembered by many (inspiring Fergie's recent hit Fergalicious) I was quite surprised to see that it only peaked at #30 on the Billboard Hot 100 & #22 on the R&B charts. Two more singles were released from their debut album, Is It Love (#92 Hot 100) and Way Out (#61 Hot 100), but neither did much chart-wise. All three singles were pulled from their debut album Supersonic: The Album which peaked at #49 on the Billboard 200 Album Charts and #20 on the R&B album charts.

After being away for a few years, the ladies returned in 1991 with their follow-up album Not Just a Fad. Unfortunately the album flopped. Two singles were released from this album, Gold and We In The House. The latter heavily using the house music sound which was oh so popular during the early 90s. A year after this album was released the trio disbanded and have yet to be heard from. According to wikipedia the ladies are likely to be featured on Dr. Dre's upcoming album Detox.

We couldn't leave you without sharing some videos now could we? First up an old promo for J.J. Fad's 1-900 line!

Of course the infamous Supersonic video:

And did I mention I found a recent interview / the ladies? Grimmie Wreck TV recently interviewed the ladies but not once did they talk about what they are up to. least we get to see what they look like now!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Jeremy Jordan

In 1993 Jeremy Jordan exploded onto the music scene via the popular teen drama Beverly Hills 90210. Included on the soundtrack to the show, his video was shown during the closing credits and in the process helped the Indiana native become a teen mag sex symbol. With his model good looks (and his apparent dislike of shirts), Jeremy's afore mentioned debut single The Right Kind Of Love peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100. A second single Wannagirl also made the Top 40 peaking at #28. Both singles fared well in Australia as well peaking at #5 and #22 respectively. Two more singles were pulled from this album but did not chart, Try My Love & My Love Is Good Enough. Despite two Top 40 singles Jeremy's deubt album Try My Love only peaked at #176 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart. After his singing career fizzled out, Jeremy tried his hand at acting. Appearing in films like Nowhere, Never Been Kissed (where he sang on the film's soundtrack), Leaving Las Vegas, Dreamers, etc. It's been nearly 10 years since his last role. Not much has been heard from Mr. Jordan since then. Rumours of his whereabouts have plagued internet message boards ever since. When searching for this piece, I was only able to find that there is a gay porn actor with the same name. So anyone know what's become of Mr. Jordan?

(L-R: Try My Love CD; The Right Kind Of Love CD single; Wanna Girl CD single; My Love Is Good Enough 12")

While we wait let's relive some of his music video moments:

Monday, March 10, 2008

I'm With The DJ

After a quick visit to remix source I was reminded how much I loved a forgotten 90s dance ditty by the name of DJ Girl. "Excuse me? Excuse me? Excuse me Mr. Bouncer!" Who could forget those infamous opening lines to this club smash. Katalina was signed to the California dance label Thump Records. Quite honestly the only reason I even knew of this label was because of their issuing of a Stacey Q greatest hits. And speaking of Ms. Q...long time collaborator Jon St. James was responisible for the bulk of Katalina's one and only album, Sonic Grooves. But I digress...Katalina's debut single was entitled DJ Girl and was an anthem for girlfriends of DJs around the globe. The song peaked at #86 on the Billboard Hot 100. Not sure of it's club chart peak as Billboard's chart link seems to be down at the time of this writing. But you can check that out later for yourself by clicking here. Like I mentioned before a large bulk of her debut album was produced by Jon St. James while the rest were produced by Carlo Zanella. The album straddled the lines between dance, pop, freestyle, synth-pop, etc. Two more singles were released, the title-track Sonic Groove and You'll Be My Future. Neither did much either chart wise. After this album came and went, little has been heard from Katalina. That's where you, are trusty readers come in. Got any info on her whereabouts? Let us know! Are you in fact Katalina and reading this, let us know what you're up to! We'd love to know.

(L-R: Sonic Groove CD; DJ Girl CD Single; Sonic Groove CD Single; You'll Be My Future CD Single)

Unfortunately we were unable to locate the video online to share with you all. Let us all cry in silence.


I was snooping around IMDB and lo and behold found some more info. Katalina's real name is
Kara Wethington and is from Chicago. According to the site here is some more background info:

She was working part time at a recording studio when a vocalist failed to show up for a session. The producer asked her to sit in and do a scratch vocal. After only 10 minutes it was obvious that DJ Girl was a smash and Katalina had a career.
They also state she sang on a song called Wish Me Well with the band The Bouncing Souls and appeared as a singer in the 1999 film Simply Irresistible billed under her real name. Who knew?


After doing even more digging around, we were able to get in touch w/ Kara, aka Katalina, and she had this message to share with our readers:

Just want everyone to know that I am now a fashion publicist who gets to work with bands that inspired me growing up.

I still make cameo appearances on various artists albums and will be singing with the Bouncing Souls again for the first time in over 8 years at the Bamboozle show at the Verizon Wireless show in Irvine - April 5.
For more on the Bouncing Souls click here. Thanks so much to Kara for sharing that with our readers. If you're in her neck of the woods for that upcoming show, check it out and tell her Milk Carton Pop Stars sent ya!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Teen Dream

I really don't know much about this group. I vaguely remember seeing the album back in the day. I picked up this CD at a flea market for a mere $1...boy am I glad I did! This is a funky r&b/dance/pop girl group that should have been huge! This is what little info I could found out about the group was from the actual CD. The three ladies that made up Teen Dream were Lisa, Nikki & Terri and they hail from Columbus, Ohio. For whatever reason they are constantly referred to as bitties and phrases like throwin' down, get live, mixin' 'n' relaxin', fresh, hittin' hard & freeze it are sprinkled throughout. Basically the artwork (and even the font) looks like an 1987 issue of Seventeen magazine.

Anyhoo back to the gals. Their debut single was Let's Get Busy which featured Valentino. From what info I was able to gather, Valentino is indeed actor Michael DeLorenzo. (Source) According to the group never even charted w/ any of the singles released from this album (something I find a little hard to if anyone has any other chart facts let us know).

(L-R: Let's Get Busy LP; Slip-Slide 12"; Let's Get Busy 12", Toy 12")

But back to their debut album. It was executive produced by Chris Powell & Benny Medina (Medina as you may or may not know has gone on to represent people like Jennifer Lopez & Tyra Banks) and released by Warner Bros. Records. Subsequent singles were released, Slip-Slide and Toy, but failed to do anything chart wise. By 1990 the group was signed to the label Muscle Shoals Sound Records (huh?) and released a single entitled Games which spent 4 weeks on the Billboard R&B charts peaking at #90. Needless to say the label went under and so did this project. Though it seems an album did get released and is deemed very rare. Only one of the original members remained for this release with 2 new replacements. As to who stayed and who left remains a mystery. So what's become of the ladies of Teen Dream? Who knows!!! But that's why wer'e here to found out. So if you're out there ladies let us know what you're up to! BTW...they would be perfect for our sister blog, The Isle of Deserted Pop Stars run by our very own Grant.

Monday, March 03, 2008


Produced by The Berman Brothers (known for their work w/ Real McCoy), 1998 saw the release of React's self-titled debut album. Made of up of two former models (makes sense, cause if I recall I only bought their single because I thought they were cute), Timothy Cruz and Daniel Metreyeon, their album spanwed 2 singles Can't Keep My Hands Off You and Let's Go All The Way.

While neither song did much chart wise (...All The Way peaked at #3 on the Bubbling Under Chart in Billboard and hit #4 on the Club Charts) it must be noted that they had some FIERCE remixes! The Vission & Lorrimer Extended Mix of Can't Keep My Hands Off You alone is worth a visit to It shouldn't come to any surprise with the Berman Bros. on board, but I'll be honest, their album was not what I was expecting at all. The signature dance sound of their previous efforts (Real McCoy, She Moves) was replaced by a more teen pop sound. Check it out for yourself:

It's been about 10 years since this album came and went, so I got to wondering what ever became of the boys of React. After doing a little digging around, it didn't take much to find them. A quick visit to lead me in the right direction.

Finding info on Daniel was a little more difficult probably because he now goes by the name Daniel Metrey. Seems he has been writing and producing for other acts over the years. The exact details are a little vague on his myspace page. He had a song featured in the film Laws Of Attraction and is currently working on his own album. You can visit his myspace page at

The other half of React was Timothy Cruz who goes by Timothy Andrew Cruz now. After the group disbanded, Tim went on to join the boyband B3 which had a lot of success in Germany. They were most noted for their cover of the Bee Gees I.O.I.O.

After 4 albums the band broke up and Tim is now a solo artist. You can visit his official site at

From what I can tell Tim's current music is very far removed from his boy band past. It's nice to know that some of these forgotten acts are still doing their thing.

Baby love

Ok so we've been pretty slow in our posts of late. I apologize. To make it up, I offer not one lost pop star, but 2 lost pop stars! First up...Regina scored big in 1986 with her Madonna-esque hit Baby Love. Produced by Stephen Bray (who worked with Madonna during her early days up until Like A Prayer) the song instantly became a smash and peaked at #10 in the US. (Source)

Regina didn't just come out of nowhere. She had previously released an album on A&M Records fronting the band Regina & The Red Hots in 1981. Prior to signing with Atlantic Records, she released a single independently entitled Deep Dreaming. While the Madonna comparisons were inevitable, if anyone listened to Regina's debut album Curiosity one would know that Regina was no Madonna clone.

While Regina here undeniably employs the chirpy tone and coquettish nuances Madonna had become known for, a few listens to Curiosity demonstrate who's the better vocalist of the two. (All Music Guide)

Released in 1986 the album peaked at #102 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart. While subsequent singles came and went (Beat Of Love peaked at #40 on the Dance Charts but failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100), Regina was able to stay in the public eye. Thanks mostly in part to this PSA:

Thanks to Regina and her crazy hair, what child of the 80s does not remember that Users are losers!

A second album, Best Kept Secret, was planned but after the 1st single bombed, the album was scrapped. That single Extraordinary Love did however peak at #11 on the club charts. Her last known recording was released in 1990 on the small label Centurion entitled Track You Down. She is not to be confused with a Brazilian singer also named Regina who scored a club hit in 1997 with Day By Day. Of note, in 1991 Dannii Minogue covered Baby Love where it made the UK Top 20.

So readers we ask you, where is she now? Any leads would be greatly appreciated. But before we leave, let's take a trip down memory lane...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tara Kemp

While some might argue that the early 90s were flooded with female singers on the charts, I'd like to take a moment in bask in those glory days. Ok moment is up. Now let's find out what became of Tara Kemp. Born Tara Leslye Kemp May 11, 1970 in Livermore, CA Kemp came out of nowhere with her debut hit "Hold You Tight". With her pop and new jack lite sound she took the Billboard Hot 100 by storm peaking at # 3. The song also fared well on the R&B charts peaking at #4. (Source)

Check out the rare 1st version of the video:

The more well known 2nd version:

Lightening struck twice with her follow up "Piece Of My Heart" which also made the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at #7. (Source)

A third single came and went entitled "Too Much". It failed to set the charts on fire and stalled at #95. (Source)

All three of these songs were from Tara's self-titled debut album.

Released on Giant Records, the album peaked at #109 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart and at #34 on the R&B album charts. (Source)

While fans waited for a follow-up to Tara's self titled debut, Tara appeared on the soundtrack to the 90s hit teen show Beverly Hills 90210 with the track "Action Speaks Louder Than Words". Then in 1992 Tara appeared on the soundtrack to Class Act with the track "Anything You Ask".

After a successful debut, one would think her label would be rushing to release a follow-up. Word is that Tara left Giant in 1992 to record for Nerve Records. A single was released in 1994 entitled "Come Off" and flopped, thus the infamous follow-up never saw the light of day.

It's been about 16 years since her debut. So readers, we ask of you...what became of Tara Kemp? Anyone??? All I was able to find was a fan made myspace profile. Sigh.
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