Today in Music History (February 8): Skyy gets its revenge with a #1 song

February 8, 1990 - Skyy hits #1 with "Real Love"

Virtually the definition of an "Unsung" act, Skyy lit up the soul and dance charts from the late 70s until the early 90s with a string of hits, often accompanied by surprisingly long gaps in between. The Brooklyn funk/soul group was formed by guitarist Soloman Roberts and Brass Construction leader Randy Muller in the late 70s with the vision of creating a self-contained band that could bridge the line between dance and funk.

With Muller in the background, writing some of the material and performing keyboards on the albums, the group boasted a talented set of musicians, including guitarist Roberts, keyboardist Larry Greenberg, bassist Gerald Lebon, guitarist Anthony Sierra and drummer Tommy McConnell, laying the foundation under the beautiful vocal tones of sisters Bonny, Delores and Denise Dunning.

February 8, 1990 - Skyy hits #1 with "Real Love"

Virtually the definition of an "Unsung" act, Skyy lit up the soul and dance charts from the late 70s until the early 90s with a string of hits, often accompanied by surprisingly long gaps in between. The Brooklyn funk/soul group was formed by guitarist Soloman Roberts and Brass Construction leader Randy Muller in the late 70s with the vision of creating a self-contained band that could bridge the line between dance and funk.

With Muller in the background, writing some of the material and performing keyboards on the albums, the group boasted a talented set of musicians, including guitarist Roberts, keyboardist Larry Greenberg, bassist Gerald Lebon, guitarist Anthony Sierra and drummer Tommy McConnell, laying the foundation under the beautiful vocal tones of sisters Bonny, Delores and Denise Dunning.

Skyy first hit the charts in 1979 on Salsoul Records with the aptly titled "First Time Around" but had their biggest crossover smash three years later with the funky #1 hit "Call Me." However, with the sudden end of the disco era, the Skyy gang found themselves a hitmaking band in limbo. After a half dozen albums, Skyy was sputtering when Salsoul shut its doors. Unfortunately, while Skyy had a lot of great music ahead, the group never really again had a label then went "all in" on them. Capitol signed Skyy in 1986 and immediately scored a top ten hit with "Givin' It (To You)," but lack of promotion torpedoed the album, and Skyy was again without a contract.

Many in the music world may have written off Skyy at that point, but the group had much more to say. It took three more years before Skyy emerged again, then with Atlantic Records. Determined to get back to their rightful place, Skyy issued the excellent album Start of a Romance. The group’s instincts were right, as the title track shot to the top of the R&B charts. Perhaps even more surprising was that they weren’t done yet. And on this day in 1990, Skyy landed a second chart topper from their comeback album, the now-classic slow jam, "Real Love."

Atlantic didn't know what it had with Skyy, and unsuccessfully retooled the Skyy sound for 1992’s Nearer to You album, prematurely ending the group's sterling recording career. But on this day in 1990, the members of Skyy cemented their deserved place in R&B music history with their third and final #1 song, “Real Love.”

By Chris Rizik

 
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