VIEWS: Five Decades of Judy Cheeks

Celebrating forty five years of music from Judy Cheeks!

by Christopher Smith

Judy Cheeks, a great friend of talkaboutpopmusic.com, had a pretty good start in the music industry. Her father was the Rev. Julius Cheeks, a gospel singer with the group The Sensational Nightingales and later The Sunset Travellers. Her godfather was the legendary Sam Cooke, whose hits include “You Send Me”, “Twistin’ The Night Away” and “Wonderful World”. Aged 18, Judy released her self-titled debut album in 1973, which included the singles “Endlessly”, “Rockin’ Blues” and “Crazy ‘Bout You Baby”.

Judy hit paydirt with her second album and single, both titled “Mellow Lovin'” in 1977, both of which stormed the charts the world over. She worked with Austrian composer Udo Jürgens on the songs “On The Day You leave”, “The Little Girl In Me” and “Einmal Wenn Du Gehst” (“Once When You Go”). The album was retitled “Please Give Me This Night” in Europe, but that didn’t stop it from being a huge hit.

Judy’s love of funk/soul continued with her third album, the sassy “Disco Cheeks” in 1979, which included the singles “Mercy”, “Starting Again (On A New Love Affair)” and “Don’t Wanna Love You Again”. The album was reissued in 2011 under the title “Cheeky Beginnings – Her First Recordings”.

Her now accepted style and genre followed with her 1983 album “Hard On The Heels Of Love” and with the lead single “Fascination”. Her 1988 album “No Outsiders” saw a more pop influence feed into the ingredients and the singles “You’ll Never Be Alone” and “I Still Love You”, brought Judy’s music to a much wider audience and fanbase.

Judy returned triumphantly in 1995 with her next album “Respect”, this time as a bonafide dance diva, working with British dance label Positiva. The album yealded four massive club and dance chart hits with “So In Love (The Real Deal)”, “Reach”, “This Time” and “As Long As You’re Good To Me”, all of which crossed over to the commercial sales chart with enormous success all across Europe. Judy racked up five UK top 40 hits from 1993 to 1996 when “Reach” was remixed and reissued that year by The Dancing Divaz, becoming a massive hit all over again, two years after it’s original release!

After a good break, Judy returned in fine style in 2013 with “True Love Is Free” and the singles “Happy” and “Without Love, We’re Lost”. The album embraces her love of gospel and soul but with twenty first century electronic production. The album is written by Judy and her producer Michael B. Sutton, who was discovered by Stevie Wonder and has written songs for Smokey Robinson, Thelma Houston and Jermaine Jackson to name but a few!

And so we come full circle with Judy’s 2018 release “Danger Zone” and the lead single “Crying In The Rain”. We profiled the album last year and got exclusive access to Judy herself to discuss everything from her roots to the very personal and heartfelt songs that made “Danger Zone” happen.

And it didn’t take Judy long to spoil us again with new material – she released “A Deeper Love” earlier this year, another great collection of R’N’B/funk numbers together with some beautiful soul ballads. Highlights include “Is This The Way To Do It?”, “Security” and “Dance With A Stranger”, once again showcasing the diversity and ability of Judy as a songwriter and as a singer.

You don’t remain in ‘the business’ forty five years without a little something special. Judy Cheeks is a survivor, making music for the people who want to hear it and enjoying every minute of it.

Stay in touch with Judy through her WEBSITE and her FACEBOOK page

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Written by aylshamchris

i L O V E music
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