Marvin Gaye was born on April 2, 1939 , he would have been 75 years old this week. Sadly , it was thirty years ago this week since his father tragically ended Marvin's turbulent life, just one day before his 45th birthday in 1984.
Heavily influenced by Marvin's music and the Motown era growing up, Lisa was asked to be involved on a tribute album to the man himself. In 1995 she recorded her version of "Just To Keep You satisfied" on the compilation album "Inner City Blues: The Music of Marvin Gaye" (also known as Inner City Blues: A Tribute to Marvin Gaye) released on the Motown Records label.
With such classics as ‘I Heard It Through the Grapevine’ , 'Sexual Healing' , 'Mercy Mercy Me', 'Let's Get It On', to name but a few, there's no mistaking that Marvin lives on and his music shows no signs of dating or becoming 'out of vogue'. He will be around as long as music is around. Marvin we salute you!
Used with kind permission of Mike Shaft (Listen to the 4 part interview below)
"This story all began some years earlier when I received a new 12 inch single by a group called BLUEZONE which featured a young singer called Lisa STANSFIELD. It was a fantastic dance track and one which I featured heavily on my Piccadilly Radio Soul Show, 'TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS'.
Lisa's voice was and is truly wonderful and I knew she was local to Manchester so I was delighted to be able to play it on the show.
After winning the Licence to set up SUNSET RADIO in Manchester, I contacted YELLOW 2 studios in Stockport to get our jingle package done. We agreed on the strap line and we had to find a vocalist.
It had to be LISA STANSFIELD. I got in touch with her record company who asked Lisa if she would do it. The message came back a few weeks later and it was no.
I was devastated but accepted that that was it.
A couple of weeks later I was at YELLOW 2 studios working on the music. Suddenly, in walks the secretary from the studio round the corner wanting to borrow a roll of fax paper. After a couple of minutes, she said, "You'll never guess who is in our studio? No we all said in unison."Well LISA STANSFIELD is in our studio".
I could not believe it, this was my chance. I wasn't sure what I was going to say to her but I went over to the other studio and there was LISA, sitting on the couch drinking a cup of tea. I introduced myself and asked her why she had refused to do our jingle package. She said that she had been told that it was a pirate radio station, and she had been advised not to do it.
When I told her it was a legal station and we were going to play SOUL MUSIC on the airwaves of MANCHESTER, she said she would be delighted to sing our jingles. Six weeks later LISA arrived at YELLOW 2 to record the SUNSET jingles. I had been looking forward to this day for months.
Unfortunately, a couple of days before she was due in I came down with Chicken Pox and was not able to attend the recording session.
We did end up with what many believed was the best jingle package ever recorded in this country. Our strap line was 'KEEPING THE DREAM ALIVE'.
In the week that SUNSET went on the air, October 1989, LISA STANSFIELD had her first hit in the UK and she was riding high in the charts with the single 'ALL AROUND THE WORLD'. We were all delighted that LISA'S voice was played all day on SUNSET on our jingle package.
It really could not have been any better had we planned it ourselves.
Some weeks after launching SUNSET, I contacted LISA'S record company to see if she would be available to come in for a live interview with me. The message came back, YES!
We had a LISA STANSFIELD DAY, playing her music all day and she came in and spent a full hour with me. It was a wonderful day and a wonderful interview. It was certainly a day that I would never forget".
#TBT and rewind all the way back to 1992 with Lisa's amazing performance at "The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert".
This concert was a tribute to the life of the late Queen front-man, Freddie Mercury. All proceeds and profits went to AIDS research for AIDS Awareness and was used to launch The Mercury Phoenix Trust AIDS charity organisation. The open-air concert was held on 20th April 1992 at London's Wembley Stadium in front of an audience of 72,000. The concert broadcast live around the world on TV and radio in 76 countries with an audience of up to one billion. It still remains as one of Lisa's personal highlights of her career.
Lisa's performance of "I Want To Break Free" (below) was not shown as frequently as Lisa and George Michaels duet on "These Are the Days Of Our Lives" (which went straight to No.1 in the UK charts) for that very reason we are treating you with this little flashback clip
Most hardcore fans will know that Lisa was in a band called Blue Zone with her then band mate (now husband) the one and only Ian Devaney and their other band mate Andy Morris.
When I first heard a few months back that Lisa was doing a couple of intimate shows in London and Manchester , I couldn't resist booking myself a ticket and getting on a plane from Geneva over to London.
Exclusive live performance of 'BIG THING' performed at XOYO, London October 23rd 2012
Lisa: "This is the first ever live version of this song. It set the ball rolling and made me realise that this was the direction I had to go. Enjoy it. X"