Judy Cheeks

VIEWS: Five Decades of Judy Cheeks

Celebrating forty five years of music from Judy Cheeks!

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 Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!
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