Throwback: Cheryl Lynn-Shake It Up Tonight

Cheryl Lynn is a Los Angeles, California native who got her first break as a winner on The Gong Show in 1976. Her successful showing on The Gong Show was followed by a deal with Columbia. Her first single was the 1978 smash “Got To Be Real” which was the prelude to her self-titled debut album that went platinum. “Star Love” came right after and also entered the dance and R&B mainstream worlds. Lynn provided vocals on the song “Georgy Porgy” for the rock band Toto ensuring their only arrival on the R&B and dance charts. Her contribution to the song was a mutual favor because Toto’s keyboardist David Pauich who wrote “Georgy Porgy” was a co-writer of Lynn’s “Got To Be Real.” “You Saved My Day” from that first album did not warm to the market but was revered by independent-minded soul fans. Her second album was not received as well but “Shake It Up Tonight” penned by Ray Parker, Jr. from her third album put her back to the center of the commercial and underground R&B spaces. “In The Night” and “Show You How” found audiences without the same level of the promotion as “Shake It Up Tonight.” Luther Vandross would produce her fourth album Instant Love which became known for his superb duet of “If This World Were Mine” with her. Their combination would prove to be just as good as the original done by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. “Instant Love” and “Sleepwalkin'” were notable among her more devout fans but did not chart the way the label would have intended. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis would write and would her final big hit “Encore” from her fifth album Preppie in 1984. Next year would produce her last album for Columbia that had the distinction of the minor hit “Fidelity” written and produced by Jam and Lewis. They also wrote “It’s Gonna Be Right” which was a take-off of “Got To Be Real” without the hot-tempered vocals. An eighth album Whatever It Takes came out in 1989 with “Every Time I Try To Say Goodbye” being the lone single and it did well by earning Top Ten status.

Lynn began the ’90s doing session work for Richard Marx and Luther Vandross. She wouldn’t record another solo album until 1995 with production help from Teddy Riley. Good Time was her ninth recording and it was released in Japan and went to the US as an import later. “Guarantee For My Heart” was the favored club tune that Riley produced from the set. Lynn’s music was repackaged into a couple of compilations in the late ’90s and she performed at Sinbad’s Summer Soul Jam 4. In 2003 she performed on ABC’s The Disco Ball…A 30-Year Celebration. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis wrote “Sweet Kind Of Life” which Lynn recorded for the Shark Tale soundtrack. Lynn performed earlier this year in her hometown at A Night Celebrating Cookie Johnson.