The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Music on Mondays (11-4-13)—Musicianship misrepresentation

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Many readers might remember Milli Vanilli and the music scandal that erupted over their misrepresentation of themselves in 1989-1990. Milli Vanilli—Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus—were lip-sync artists before lip-syncing by musicians became fashionable.

Their debut album, “Girl You Know It’s True,” an international hit and had provided five hit singles, all reaching the Top Five and three reaching #1:

  1. “Girl You Know It’s True” reached #2
  2. “Baby Don’t Forget My Number” reached #1
  3. “Girl I’m Gonna Miss You” reached #1
  4. “Blame It On The Rain” reached #1
  5. “All Or Nothing” reached #4

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Milli Vanilli won the 1990 Grammy Award for Best New Artist, but after the story broke, and was confirmed, that they did none of the singing on the album, the Academy revoked their Grammy Award in November 1990.

I was never a fan of Milli Vanilli, but as soon as their Grammy was revoked, I went out and bought the CD and the vinyl album, believing that they would be a collector’s items some day. I don’t know if that occurred because I sold both as part of a huge CD/vinyl collection in 1993, which provided some of the funds for me to move from Texas to California.

I found the brouhaha interesting, though. As a music scholar hobbyist, I knew it was not the first time that music and musicians was misrepresented. The first song to be misrepresented that I knew about was “He’s A Rebel,” a hit for The Crystals that reached the top of the charts on November 3, 1962.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Crystals did not sing a single note on their hit. Rightful credit for the record belongs to The Blossoms and their lead singer, Darlene Love.

Another group that was not a group is The Archies. They hit the top of the charts on July 26, 1969, with “Sugar, Sugar.” The Archies were many studio musicians who created songs for the hit cartoon television series “The Archies.” There apparently were several vocalists for The Archies, depending on which musicians were available at any given time.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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4 thoughts on “Music on Mondays (11-4-13)—Musicianship misrepresentation

  1. ontheupcyclemom

    I remember afterward the controversy involving C&C music factory when they misrepresented Martha Wash’s vocals in their music video Everybody dance now with a “thinner” model image. Sad now.. A good voice isn’t required at all thanks to auto-tune. The image overshadows the music : (

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    Reply
    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      I forgot about C&C Music Factory!

      I remember, too, when The Beatles released “Revolution” with all those distorted guitars. Many radio stations refused to play it because guitars aren’t distorted like that. It wasn’t real………….

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