Throwback:Martha Wash-Carry On

Martha Wash’s staunch gospel originated vocals have been an important flow to dance music’s bloodstream for thirty years. The San Francisco born Wash started out as a singer with the gospel group News Of The World with future fellow Two Tons’ Of Fun and Weather Girl comrade Izora Rhodes Armstead. In the ’70’s they sang back-up for disco leader Sylvester most noticeably on his dance hit “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real).” The ladies joined the Fantasy label and released two albums that delivered a handful of soul/disco standouts “Earth Can Be Just Like Heaven,” “Taking Away Your Space,” “Just Us,” “I Got The Feeling” and the overlooked “Do You Wanna Boogie Huh.” They moved to Columbia records in 1982 and changed their name to The Weather Girls. ‘It’s Raining Men” became their biggest single and they had two more minor hits with “Dear Santa *Bring Me A Man This Christmas” and “No One Can Love You More Than Me.” When the original line-up disbanded Wash sang lead on Black Box’s house music classics “Everybody Everybody,” “Strike It Up,” “I Don’t Know Anybody Else” and C+C Music Factory’s “Gonna Make You Sweat.” Her association boths band was interesting because in the videos for each song a model was used because Wash was told that her full-figured Black woman image was not marketable. The singer sued both groups and RCA records for not receiving credit for performing on the songs and she won royalties in a case that made it a law to give proper recognition to vocalists on CDs and in videos. RCA gave her a recording contract which generated her first solo album and three new dance smashes “Carry On,” “Give It To You” and “Runaround.” The ’90s produced more house essentials like “Leave A Light On,” “Keep On Jumpin'” with Jocelyn Brown. Last year’s “Keep Your Body Working” with Tony Moran was her most recent recording and she continues to perform regularly on the international club circuit.