Cheryl Lynn ~ Got To Be Real 1978 Disco Purrfection Version



The Voice, American Idol and a host of other competitive reality TV shows can trace their history back to June 14, 1976. On that day, the #1 pop song was Wings’ “Silly Love Songs”, and at #1 on the R&B charts was The Brothers Johnson “I’ll Be Good To You”. The country was in the middle of the celebration of a lifetime, the summer of the American Bicentennial. A little known program called “The Gong Show” debuted on NBC’s daytime programming. Here producer and creator Chuck Barris held auditions for all the world to see, and contestants were brought out on stage in front of celebrity judges. The judges were to listen to each participant, and then hit the gong once they decided that the contestant was not star material. Two individuals appeared on the show went on to further success. First was Andrea McArdle, who ended up taking the lead role in the Broadway musical “Annie”, and Cheryl Lynn. Cheryl began singing in the church choir, and her shyness prevented her from being a featured soloist. Her boyfriend convinced her to try out for the Gong Show in June of 1976. Her segment finally aired in September, and she nearly missed the telecast as she was performing in the Broadway musical, “The Wiz”. Label executives nearly fell over each other trying to sign her. She finally chose to sign with CBS, and producer Bruce Johnston. He introduced her to David and Marty Paich, then first string session players and the trio began jamming and Cheryl began vocalizing. Out of this creative atmosphere, “Got To Be Real” was born. Comitted to vinyl and released in early December of 1978, the song was the highest new debut on the pop chart, and rose 66-55-44-40-36-23-17-15-14-12 where is stayed for two weeks and then was off the chart three weeks later. It fared much better on the R&B chart where it went all the way and became her first #1 R&B hit on January 6, 1979.

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