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Barbara Mason wrote this song, which captured the innocent stirrings of adolescence, at the age of 18.
Mason told Mojo magazine October 2008 that this was inspired by the sounds coming out of Chicago, particularly Curtis Mayfleld. She explained: "I was a huge Curtis Mayfield fan, and I heard a record he had produced; Major Lance's 'The Monkey Time' and he sings, 'Are you ready?' and I just thought, there's my record. It only took me 10 minutes to write, and then we recorded it live in one take."
With its use of sweet, sweeping strings and musicians who would go on to form the nucleus of the Philadelphia record label's house band MFSB, this song is considered by many to be the first record to have the Philadelphia sound. The Philadelphia soul sound was popular throughout the 1970s and laid the foundations for other genres such as urban contemporary music later on. Check out "TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)
" by MFSB featuring The Three Degrees, "If You Don't Know Me By Now
" by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, "Back Stabbers
" by The O'Jays and "You Make Me Feel Brand New
by the Stylistics for examples of Philly soul.
This was Barbara Mason's first and biggest hit. The Philadelphia born singer went on to record a string of other R&B chart entries all based on the same formula of this song. Mason had four Top 40 entries in the US pop charts in total and has been dubbed The First Lady of Philly Soul. She is still recording and released an album Feeling Blue in 2007.
In 1979 Teri DeSario, a singer from Miami, recorded this as a duet with KC., the leader of KC & the Sunshine Band. Their cover peaked at #2 on the Billboard singles chart. Other artists to record this include Gladys Knight & the Pips and Maureen McGovern.
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