Fri. Feb. 23, 2018

Gwen Guthrie – Ain’t Nothing Goin On But The Rent

Gwen Guthrie – Ain’t Nothing Goin On But The Rent (12 inch Club Mix) (Polydor)

A prolific songwriter and backing singer, Gwen Guthrie started makin’ a name for herself with producers Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare. Meanwhile putting out cuts such as ‘Peek-A-Boo’ and the memorable ‘It Should Have Been You’ back in 1982. And soon after becoming dubbed as “The First Lady Of The Paradise Garage”. With Larry Levan turning them into anthems at the club.

She would nevertheless have to wait another 5 years before scoring her biggest success. This while givin’ birth to the memorable ‘Ain’t Nothing Goin On But The Rent’. A cut co-produced by David Pic Conley of the Surface fame. Levan givin’ it a remix soon after.

‘Ain’t Nothing Goin On But The Rent’ pretty much received bad critics as a matter of fact. Most likely because of its lyrics which many people saw as materialistic. Even though Guthrie‘s intend was different.

Foxy Brown eventually sampled it 12 years after on ‘JOB’ featuring Mya.

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Overview
A native of Okemah, OK, Gwen Guthrie was raised in Newark, NJ. She studied Classical Music at school. With her dad givin’ her piano lessons when she was 8. Working as an elementary school teacher in the 70’s, she eventually joined local groups such as The Ebonettes and The Matchmakers. Meanwhile, she also worked as a singer to deliver commercial jingles. But also as a songwriter settin’ up a partnership with Patrick Grant with whom she wrote the sought after ‘Supernatural Thing’ for Ben E. King.

Meanwhile, as a backing singer, she would collaborate with countless luminaries. From Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway (‘Back Together Again’) to Mango Santamaria (‘Watermelon Man’). Not to mention Stevie Wonder. But also Madonna on her debut-album and Aretha Franklin. And she also joined Dutch act The Limit on ‘Say Yeah’ back in 1983.

As an artist on her own right, Gwen Guthrie released a total of 7 albums between 1982 and 1990. She would get her first successes while teamin’ up with producers Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare. This resulting in gems such as ‘Peek-A-Boo’ and ‘It Should Have Been You’ back in 1981. Eventually toppin’ the US R&B charts 5 years later with ‘Ain’t Nothing Going On But The Rent’. The latter standing as her biggest success ever with remix work courtesy of Larry Levan.

Gwen Guthrie sadly died of uterine cancer on Feb. 03, 1999, aged 48…

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