Who You Gonna Be??

Submitted by Lisa Rios July 13th, 2010
Certifikitsch Winner

O.k. so the video itself is not much. Just a pan of Allee’s 1974 album Childstar. The song is pure 70’s, with Allee’s distinct vocals. Not sure if Allee would consider it kitsch but I imagine there are many here that have never heard her early work. Having sold used collectible vinyl for a decade in Los Angeles, I’ve heard this album in it’s entirety. Very enjoyable, as I love Allee’s soulful voice. This is the beginning of some very big stuff for the Queen of Kitsch!


4 Responses to “Who You Gonna Be??”

  1. Allee Willis

    Thanks you very much! I stumbled on this on Youtube a couple of months ago myself. I have no idea who put it there. This was one of the first 10 songs I ever wrote, all of which are on my first and only album, “Childstar”, that came out in 1974 on Epic Records. I hadn’t heard the album in about 20 years but when I started writing The Color Purple, my musical I cowrote with Brenda Russell, Stephen BraArey and Marsha Norman, I kept thinking that some of the music we were writing reminded me of my earliest songs. So in 2004, after selling 50 million records, I listened to it. I was absolutely shocked by how good some of the songs were. It’s a stone cold child of the 70s and a great cross of pop and soul, which were the only two kinds of music I grew up listening to.

    aEveryone who was part of this album had the same kind of mix in their background. The producer, Jerry Ragavoy, wrote songs like ‚ÄúPiece of My Heart‚Äù and ‚ÄúTime Is on My Side”. The bass player, Bob Babbitt, was in the legendary Motown band The Funk Brothers and was the bass player on one of my all time favorite records, ” Midnight Train to Georgia‚Äù, which was a hit while I was recording this album.

    The background vocals on the whole LP also slayed me – I remain a background freak to this day – with only one exception. There’s one song that makes me cringe on that album because I got so attached to all the different parts that I wrote and couldn’t make a decision as to which to eliminate so they all stayed in. The song, ‚ÄúInto Feeling Lonely”, became the poster child for one of my cardinal rules of songwriting: editing is cool. For more on that concept: https://www.alleewillis.com/music/editingiscool/index.html

    I would give anything to buy the masters back one day.

    • Lisa Rios

      Wow! I didn’t remember that Bob Babbitt was on this album. It’s amazing that your first time out you’re playing with the big boys. If there is anyone left in the universe that hasn’t seen Standing In the Shadows of Motown…. please do yourself a favor, and witness the magic.

      I will assume the cover drawing is Allee’s. I don’t recall. Allee?

      I also thought it would be fun to post a link to the ad for Childstar:

      Pre-bi-level haircut photos are pretty scarce.

      I’ll say a small prayer for the return of the master recordings.

  2. windupkitty

    This is honestly one o m favorite albums EVER. And not because I’m a fan of the divine Allee (which I am) but I had this record and LOVED it long before I knew who the QoK is or how cool she is! This is an amazing album!! I have even geeked out fan-tyle and begged for album signatures from the QoK, which she has politely indulged (something for which I am eternally grateful)…..

    How cool it must be to look back on something that you did and realize, “holy crap! I kicked ass!!!” I bought this album about 23+? years ago because i LOVED the cover and instantly fell in love with the songs. Seriously, I made a tape of it this record and it was ALWAYS in my dinosaur-sized walkman!

    This remains one of my favorite albums and I will stand by my claim that my wild/rescued cats will come sit under the living room windows when this vinyl is spinning…I think Allee’s voice is soothing to them or maybe it’s just that they are all just from the streets and have good groove (they also like when the piano is being played,get very playful with surf and soul music and would love to spray me with machine gun fire when i get out the accordion)…

    I can’t say enough about this album, but yeah, seriously, thanks for making it! the world will be ok now……