Classics: Crystal Waters – Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless) (Basement Boys Strip To The Bone Mix) (Mercury)
Nothing could predict ‘Gypsy Woman’ was to become Crystal Waters‘s most famous classic ever. Firstly because she had a daily job, working for the US Govt in WDC at the time. Second, because she was only meant to write material for Baltimore production unit The Basement Boys. Then, last but not least, because ‘Gypsy Woman’ was initially thought to be given to Ultra Naté.
It is to say how Crystal Waters getting under the spotlights amlost happened by accident. This, when her producers got to hear her singing the demo of ‘Gypsy Woman’. A song drawing its inspiration from a true story, which she co-wrote with keyboardist Neal Conway. With the rest being, as we say, history.
Followed by ‘Makin’ Happy’ with remix courtesy of Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley, ‘Gypsy Woman’ is most likely Waters‘s signature song, although her biggest success is ‘100% Pure Love’.
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To a big majority of us, Baltimore, MD would probably not be the first place comin’ to mind when speakin’ about House Music. It’s nonetheless one of the cradles of the genre. As pretty much reminded by Karizma in a (video) interview we had with him back in the day. With big ups to former graphic designer Jay Steinhour and former record store manager Teddy Douglas. Two guys who, in the second half of the 80’s, gave birth to The Basement Boys. A collective of talents that came to gather people such as Neal Conway and Kris Klayton aka Karizma. But also Maurice Fulton. Not to mention Thommy Davis and Sean Spencer (DJ Spen) who are at the command of Quantize Recordings nowadays.
The first trace of a release by the likes of The Basement Boys bring us back to 1988 and ‘Love Don’t Live Here No More’. An adaptation of Rose Royce‘s classic ‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore’ on Jonathan Mann‘s Jump Street Records. And even though their discography as The Basement Boys isn’t that big, they most likely helped shapin’ the profiles of many local talents. From Ultra Naté (‘It’s Over Now’, ‘Scandal’) to Mass Order (‘Lift Every Voice’). But also Those Guys (‘Love, Love, Love’) and Jasper Street Co. (‘Solid Ground’) to name a few. Not to mention, although she was hailing from WDC at the time, Crystal Waters with the memorable ‘Gypsy Woman’.
Teddy Douglas adding his name to the list. Be it as a producer with gems such as ‘Love Of My Life’ for Arnold Jarvis. But also ‘God Created Woman’ for Margaret Grace and ‘Nobody’s Fool’ for Rochelle Fleming. Or as a solo artist with the explosive ‘Journey To The Motherland’ and the tribal ‘Check It Out’. In addition to ‘Only A Fool’ featuring Marcell more recently.
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