On this day in music history: October 13, 19…

On this day in music history: October 13, 1978 – “Cheryl Lynn”, the debut album by Cheryl Lynn is released. Produced by David Paich and Marty Paich, it is recorded at Studio 55, Sunset Sound in Hollywood, CA, Western Recorders in Los Angeles, CA and CBS Recording Studios in New York City from Late 1977 – Mid 1978. Born Lynda Cheryl Smith in Los Angeles, CA, Cheryl Lynn grows up singing in church. She gets her first major break in the national touring company of “The Wiz”. Eventually she is promoted to a starring role, portraying Evillene, The Wicked Witch Of The West. Also that year, Lynn appears on the amateur talent program “The Gong Show”. Singing “You Are So Beautiful”, Cheryl Lynn earns a perfect score and wins the top prize. Little does she realize that TV appearance will change her life. After the show airs, she begins receiving phone calls from record executives, including Ahmet Ertegun from Atlantic Records. When Ertegun is unable to meet with the singer, she instead meets with execs from Columbia Records. Lynn is quickly signed by veteran A&R man Bruce Lundvall, who pairs her with David Paich of the band Toto. Paich works on Cheryl’s debut with his famous father, arranger and bandleader Marty Paich. A virtual “A-Team” of musicians are assembled for the sessions, including Ray Parker, Jr., David T. Walker, Steve Lukather (guitar), David Shields, Chuck Rainey (bass), James Gadson, Bernard Purdie (drums), Bobbye Hall, Harvey Mason, Joe Porcaro (percussion), Dick Hyde, Chuck Findley, Ernie Watts, Pete Christlieb, Gary Grant and Steve Madaio (horns). The album is led by the instant classic “Got To Be Real” (#1 R&B, #12 Pop), quickly establishing Lynn as a force to be reckoned with. It spins off two more singles including “Star Love” (#16 R&B, #62 Pop) and “You Saved My Day”. “Star Love” is unique in the fact that it is recorded almost completely live in the studio. Though not a hit at the time, “You Saved My Day” becomes an underground club classic over the years, with Columbia issuing the full unedited version as a promotional only 12" in the US. Over time, the rare single becomes a highly prized and expensive collector’s item, among club DJ’s and fans. “Day” is released as a limited edition 12" for Record Store Day in April of 2018. Originally released on CD in 1987, it is given a long overdue remastering and reissue in 2014 by UK reissue label SoulMusic Records. Produced and annotated by veteran music historian and journalist David Nathan, it features four additional bonus tracks including the shorter initial single release of “Got To Be Real”, also featured on the first pressing of the album, but eventually replaced with the longer “Disco Mix”. It also features the 12" and single edits of “Star Love” and promo 12" mix of “You Saved My Day”. “Cheryl Lynn” peaks at number five on the Billboard R&B album chart, number twenty three on the Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.