On this day in music history: March 14, 1987 -…

On this day in music history: March 14, 1987 – “Let’s Wait Awhile” by Janet Jackson hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 1 week, also peaking at #2 on the Hot 100 on March 21, 1987. Written by James Harris III, Terry Lewis, Janet Jackson and Melanie Andrews, it is the fourth R&B chart topper for the youngest member of the Jackson family. “Let’s Wait Awhile” is one of the first songs completed for Janet’s third album “Control”. Jam & Lewis come up with the chord changes, while Janet comes up with the melody and most of the lyrics. Jackson’s close friend Melanie Andrews, who accompanies her to Minneapolis for the sessions also helps with the lyrics and sings background vocals on the track. The songs lyrics about a young girl feeling pressure from her boyfriend to have sex too soon, and her urging them not to rush into it, strikes a nerve in the public’s conscious. Its message of precaution and abstinence is particularly timely, as it is the height of the worldwide AIDS pandemic in the late 1980’s. Released on January 6, 1987 right on the heels of the title track, “Let’s Wait Awhile” becomes the fifth consecutive top five pop and R&B single from the “Control” album. The song is accompanied by a black & white video directed by long time collaborator Dominic Sena, and features actor and martial artist Taimak Guarriello (“The Last Dragon”). Jackson has performed the song live on every tour since the “Rhythm Nation Tour” in 1990, through the “Unbreakable Tour” in 2015-16. The song has been covered by several artists over the years including Paul Jackson, Jr., Norman Brown, Nelson Rangell, and Booker T. & The M.G.’s.