Billboard #1s for the Week Ending December 15, 1984

This week’s Time Capsule!

Chart Title Act Weeks
Hot 100 Out of Touch Daryl Hall & John Oates 2
R & B Solid Ashford & Simpson 3
Country Nobody Loves Me Like You Do Anne Murray with Dave Loggins 1
Adult Contemporary Sea of Love The Honeydrippers 1
Rock The Boys of Summer Don Henley 1
Album Purple Rain Prince and the Revolution 20

TeenaMarieLovergirlThis week sees the multitalented “Ivory Queen of Soul” enter the Hot 100 with her biggest hit. Teena Marie was born Mary Christine Brockert in Santa Monica in 1956. She took piano lessons as a child and taught herself guitar, bass, and congas. She developed a fondness for the music of Motown and an urge to perform. She did some acting and dancing while also providing  vocals for a band she assembled and led. Brockert came to the attention of Motown producer Hal Davis, who signed her to Gordy records without the band. Label mate Rick James was impressed with her musical talents and dropped a chance to produce Diana Ross to work with the woman who became known as Teena Marie, derived from her childhood nickname (Tina) and her first name.

Her first single, I’m A Sucker For Your Love, went to #8 on the R&B charts while bubbling under the Hot 100. Since the disc was issued without a sleeve picture — as was her first album — her soulful singing and distinctively funky sound led many DJs to assume she was African American. She was the first white woman to sing a lead part on Soul Train and eventually appeared eight times, more than any other white act. She racked up a dozen R&B hits, including the #3 Square Biz, but only nudged the Top 40 once, with I Need Your Lovin’ [#37, #9 R&B, 1980]. She moved to Epic records in 1983.

This week her Lovergirl, a high energy funk dance tune written (as were most of her hits) by the singer, entered the Hot 100 at #79. It eased up the charts, eventually spending one week at #4 at the end of March 1985. Ironically, it was less successful on the R&B charts, making it to #9. She continued to chart R&B hits over the next decade, including her lone #1, 1988’s Ooo La La La. Marie died unexpectedly of indeterminate natural causes in 2010 at the age of 54.

As an interesting side note, Lovergirl shared most of its chart run with an unintended companion song. Billy Ocean, fresh from the success of Caribbean Queen, was blasting up the charts with Loverboy, which moved from #40 to #35 this week. It eventually peaked at #2 (behind Wham’s Careless Whisper). Despite its higher peak, Ocean’s hit had a faster rise and fall on the chart. When Billboard released its Hot 100 for the year of 1985, Lovergirl was #29, right behind Loverboy at #28.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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