Throwback: Jomanda-Make My Body Rock (Feel It)
Joanne Thomas, Cheri Williams and Renee Washington were an all-woman house trio from New Jersey. They started recording as Jomanda with producer Cassio Ware’s Backroom Productions in 1986 and he co-produced their first single, “On Top (Of The Groove.”) “Make My Body Rock (Feel It)” became their breakthrough house hit after a lukewarm reception for “I’ll Give It To You (Come Get It)” and “Drifting.” “Make My Body Rock (Feel It)” started Jomanda’s brief moment in the national spotlight because the song charted well and was heard on the radio and in the clubs. Their success marked a time when house was regarded as music to be listened to outside of late-night club adventures and artists were more than an alias for the producer. David Cole and Robert Civilles sampled the song for “I Need A Rhythm” as The 28th Street Crew before they became C&C Music Factory. The trio peaked in 1991 with “Got A Love For You” also produced by Backroom Productions and famously remixed by Steve “Silk” Hurley. Their first album, Someone To Love Me included their big singles and a significant amount of slow R&B. Nubia Soul was the follow-up sophomore album and the group focused more on straight R&B with less emphasis on dance music and that change alienated some of their core fans. Jomanda broke-up in 1994 and Joanne Thomas re-started the group Ruffneck as Yavahn and released the house jam “Everybody Be Somebody.” Thomas passed away from colon cancer in 2003 and Renee Washington and Cheri Williams retired from music.