Classics: Jean Carn – Was That All It Was (Philadelphia International Records)
“Was that all it was? A way to pass some time? Momentary thing not worth the memory in the morning…” Who’s the one of us who’s never wondered as to how a broken relationship would have gone in other circumstances. As to what it may have left in the memory of the other. Sounding as the pursuit of romancing to a certain extend. Although most likely around speculations of all sorts at the end.
“Was that all it was?” We’ve all wondered at least once. And I suppose we’ve all played that game ourselves, leavin’ someone behind who might have the same interrogations as far as we’re concerned, as a matter of fact.
“Was that all it was?” Way much more than that regarding this song and a whole period – Disco – it remains one of the definitive anthems of. Meanwhile seeing Jean Carn reachin’ one of her peaks along with Jerry Butler and John Usry, Jr. in charge of the productiion duties.
A Columbus, GA native, Jean Carn started singin’ at an early age with the encouragements of her family. Eventually becoming a member of her church choir. From then, she went on to learn to play the piano, the clarinet, and the bassoon, mastering all three before attending Morris Brown College. She planned furthering studies in NYC when she met and married Jazz pianist Doug Carn. And soon after joined him as a featured singer in his Jazz fusion band. Both of them releasing 3 albums on Black Jazz Records. Coming to the attention of Earth, Wind & Fire, she would contribute to their 2 first albums. Then join Norman Connors along with Michael Henderson on his 1975 ‘Saturday Night Special’ album.
By 1976, Jean Carn signed a record deal with Philadelphia International Records. Releasing her eponymous debut-album the same year and therefore makin’ quite a sensation with ‘Free Love’. Another big classic of hers – ‘Don’t Let It Go To Your Head’ – followed 2 years after, as a part of her ‘Happy To Be With You’ album. Meanwhile a third one – ‘Was That All It Was’ – written by Jerry Butler came up by the end of 1979, closing her ‘When I Find You Love’ album.
1980 saw her delivering another quite sought after gem. Sharing the duties with Al Johnson on the quiet stormy ‘I’m Back For More’. Meanwhile she would switch from PIR to sublabel TSOP the year after. Resuming her liaison with the Philly label with ‘Sweet And Wonderful’, she duetted with Glenn Jones on a cover version of the Spinners‘ ‘Love Don’t Love Nobody’.
Carn then made a quick stop on Motown with her 1982 Norman Connors produced ‘Trust Me’ album. Eventually comin’ up with a cover version of ‘If You Don’t Leave Me By Now’. Signing with Omni Records, she teamed up with Grover Washington, Jr who produced her 1986 ‘Closer Than Close’ album. The title track of which providing her with her only ever #1 in the U.S. R&B charts. 3 extra albums followed including her latest to date – ‘Love Lessons’ – back in 1996 on Moja Entertainment.
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