Summer of '83: Rufus & Chaka Khan Release "Stompin' at the Savoy"

Rufus, Chaka Khan
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Gilles Petard/Redferns

This week on My Classic Soul podcast, Soulmusic.com founder and host David Nathan brings back longtime colleague Michael Lewis to discuss how Stompin' At The Savoy represented the end of an era for groundbreaking group Rufus with the iconic Chaka Khan. Tune in below as they chat abut the band's dynamic energy, Chaka's fiery vocals and the timeless anthem, "Ain't Nobody." 

ON HOW THEY DISCOVERED RUFUS & CHAKA KHAN: 

LEWIS: "The first album I remember hearing was "Whoever's Thrilling You (Is Killing Me." I was kinda young then, I think I probably plugged in more around the time of the Sweet Thing album, as far as my own personal... of course I went back and listened to everything else before that."

"Again, I was kind of young to be able to see them live. So I saw them once live, in the late 70s, but, um, So, of course, when this record came out, it was really nice to be able to get a live Rufus performance recorded, you know, because, you know, in the 70s, we had an Earth, Wind & Fire live album, Marvin Gaye's live album, the Commodores did a live album, but Rufus didn't do it until this one. Sadly this was their last album together. But, I was really happy that it happened that way."

ON THE FIRST TIME THEY HEARD THEM:

LEWIS: "Absolutely, it was great. Just to hear that the energy was great. The band, the extra side players that were there, the horn section included, the great singers. It was just an exciting performance, you know, and it was good that have that documented and recorded. You know, I was really happy."

ON THE MUSICIANSHIP OF STOMPIN' AT THE SAVOY:

LEWIS: "Just that. The very tight, the funkiness. Tony's an amazing guitarist. What he does is unbounded. He can do anything. And as a singer, you know, he'd do duets with Chaka Khan on a couple of songs, on "Stop On By." Aso they do, "Ain't That Peculiar?" which is really a lot of fun when they do that song together on the live recording, you know. Once again, Kevin [Murphy] and [David] Hawk [Wolinski]  - keyboard players, when you listen to what's going on in this and this live recording is so full, so much happening and it's just a really intense performance that they got on record.
 Listen to the rest of the podcast here

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