Wednesday, February 5, 2020

When A Star, Long Forgotten, Shines Again

Image result for lisa lisa and the cult jam

 Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam -- & A Memo to Authors

While attending a bat mitzvah of my wife’s cousin’s kid, a surprise entertainer showed up:  Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam. It was fun to see a group that I heard during the 80s, my teens and early 20’s decade, perform just a few feet from me, but it made me realize a few things that authors can learn from.

But before I go any further, I should note that Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam was only on the music scene from ’84-’91.  Though they don’t come to mind when naming great 80’s bands and singers, for one thinks of Madonna, Prince, Michael Jackson, Boy George, U2 and probably 50 others, and yet when you look them up you see they had several No. 1 hits and at least one of their albums went platinum. So, in the scheme of things, they were more successful than 98% of any group that’s ever performed in our lifetime.

That boggles my mind.

A group that many don’t think about and one that people are not so familiar with, especially if they are under 30, was at one point, fairly successful in a field crowded with great talent, famous groups, and relentless competition. How does that happen, going from having more than one hit song, to virtual obscurity?  Or is that just the natural progression of things, where few creative artists, including authors, may make their mark, but their legacy doesn’t go beyond a generation?

On the other hand, it was cool to see a room full of 200 people treat them like royalty, for how often do you get to stand within a few feet of someone who sold out concerts, appeared on MTV, and had some No. 1 hits?  How cool is it that 35 years after their debut, some people still remembered the words to their songs? It’s been a while since I thought about songs like  All Cried Out, Head to Toe, Lost in Emotion and Can You Feel the Beat?

Their genres include pop, R&B, and Latin freestyle.  They were one of the first freestyle music groups to emerge from New York City. They even had songs played in a movie, including Caddyshack II.

Here’s what the Los Angles Times wrote in 1986:

“Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam’s” Wonder if I Take You Home,” a tale about a woman’s fear of being considered “a one -nightstand,” became one of last year’s biggest hit singles – and not just because of its captivating dance beat. Singer Lisa Lisa (That’s my complete and real name – I don’t know why nobody believes me”) thinks that the song’s message struck a nerve with its listeners.”

All that, and my kids, almost 12 and 15, asked: “Who is that?” 

Fame is fleeting. It’s hard to acquire; even harder to hold on to. But some people remember a one-time star and for one afternoon at a Jersey bat mitzvah in a club, some got to see a star shine bright again.

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2020. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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