Larry Graham, A One In A Million You, Warner Brothers BSK-3447, 1980
This could be the biggest challenge to my writing skills in the entire 365 days I update this blog. In no way would I ever want to disparage the contributions that Larry Graham made to the music we all enjoy today. From being the bass player in Sly & The Family Stone (“I’m Gonna Add Some Bottom…”) to leading the 70s funk band Graham Central Station, he remains a true pioneer of good Old Skool R&B.
It’s just that as a 7th grader in 1980, this record, led by the title track hit single, seemed like the cheesiest record that ever came along. The outfit he wears on the front and back was almost immediately out of fashion, and 36 years on, people dressing like that would come under suspicion of being a human trafficker. Yes, it was the first time any of my peers had ever heard of this legend of the genre, but to us, oy were we not the target market for this record.
Larry Graham was never what you’d call a lead singer in the R&B tradition of, say, Lou Rawls or David Ruffin, but it really didn’t help his reputation among my peers to slur his speech on a very important syllable. Seeing as my 13 year old budget only allowed me to buy only the most essential records of the day, this one would have never risen to the level of consideration. But the title track of the album was very much discussed for our collective mis-interpretation of the word “you”. The phrasing came across our cheap AM clock radios as “A One In A Million…..Jew”.
Cost: $2, $833 Remaining