On this day in music history: May 30, 1977 - “Too Hot To Handle”, the debut album by Heatwave is released. Produced by Barry Blue, it is recorded at Audio International Studios in London from Early - Mid 1976. Formed by lead vocalist Johnnie Wilder, Jr., an American Army serviceman stationed in Germany, he relocates to England in 1975 after being discharged. Having sung in various bands, Wilder decides to put together a new band. Taking out an ad in music trade paper the Melody Maker, one of the first people to respond is a keyboardist and songwriter named Rod Temperton, from the seaport town of Grimsby in Lincolnshire. Drawn to his affable personality and sense of humor, it is when Wilder hears some of the original songs Temperton has written that he is hired. Johnnie also calls on his brother Keith to join and share vocal duties. In their search for other members, they find Swiss born Spaniard Mario Mantese (bass), Czech Ernest “Bilbo” Berger (drums), American and Jamaican born Jesse Whitten and Eric Johns (guitars). Jelling quickly, the band originally calling themselves Chicago’s Heatwave, make a splash on the London club circuit. They meet GTO Records staff producer Barry Blue who is impressed by the band’s polished R&B/Funk sound, offers to sign them. Amending their name to Heatwave, they prepare to work on their debut album. However, before going into the studio, tragedy strikes when Whitten is stabbed to death while back home in Chicago. Though shaken by the the loss, they move forward and record the album. Issued in the UK in September of 1976, the first two singles “Ain’t No Half Steppin’” and “Super Soul Sister” both flop. Their fortunes turn around with “Boogie Nights” (#2 UK, #2 Pop, #5 R&B) in January of 1977. An instant classic and regarded as one of the definitive songs of the disco era, it becomes the catalyst for Heatwave’s transatlantic crossover. CBS distributed Epic Records in the US options “Too Hot To Handle” for American release. By late Summer of 1977, “Boogie” is also a smash in the US, whirling off dance floors and straight on to the radio. The Platinum selling single is followed by the lush “Always And Forever” (#2 R&B, #18 Pop), also written by Temperton, becoming a basement party and wedding staple, and another Platinum minted hit. Those back to back successes establish Heatwave as one of the preeminent R&B bands of the era. Though not issued as a A-side in the US, “Ain’t No Half Steppin’” becomes a favorite, and is later widely sampled in Hip Hop, most notably by Big Daddy Kane, Doug E. Fresh, De La Soul and Jurassic 5. Originally released on CD in the late 80’s, it is remastered and reissued in Japan in 2010 (with one bonus track), and in 2015 by Big Break Records, including eight additional bonus tracks. “Too Hot To Handle” peaks at number five on the Billboard R&B album chart, number eleven on the Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
*Really reserved in public. He’s an old-fashioned guy.
*Cuddling master. Perfect temperature. Very soft. He’ll even read to you.
*His voice is amazing. Deep and smooth. Occasionally you can hear him singing little songs while cooking.
*Oh yes. He cooks all the time. And it is amazing. Anything you want. He’ll make it. He especially loves for you to help him cook.
*Finds it extremely cute if you wear his glasses. He gets really flustered.
*Secretly owns a motorcycle.
*Always calm and collected. Unless you sneak-hug him when he’s working. *fire alarms sound in the distance*