Main | Thursday, October 08, 2009

80's Flashback

The Weather Girls, It's Raining Men, 1982. On Tuesday, David Letterman's band leader Paul Shaffer took an unusual turn as Dave's guest to promote his new book, recounting an amusing chapter which highlights his co-writing of the gay disco anthem It's Raining Men with the late (and brilliant) Paul Jabara, who died of AIDS in 1992. Jabara had won an Oscar and a Grammy for writing Last Dance for Donna Summer and intended It's Raining Men for her. However, the newly reborn Summer objected to the "amen" and "hallelujah" bits of the lyrics, leading Jabara to eventually enlist Sylvester's backup singers Martha Wash and Izora Rhodes Armstead, who were then recording as Two Tons Of Fun.

Rechristened as the Weather Girls, the duo took the track to #1 in much of Europe, #2 in the UK, but only #46 here, although it topped the dance chart. Selling an eventual six million copies, the song went on to become a common sitcom device used when gay themes are introduced. Izora died of heart failure in 2004, but her daughters Dynell and Ingrid now record and perform as the Weather Girls. It's Raining Men has been covered several times, most notably by former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, who took it to #1 in the UK in 2001, her most successful single to date. For the record, I never cared for It's Raining Men, although I appreciate its place as (arguably) the most famous gay anthem this side of Over The Rainbow.

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