Cheryl Lynn

Got to Be Real

Composed by Cheryl Lynn / David Foster / David Paich

Song Review by

Very rarely do winning contestants on a TV talent show have a successful career. Cheryl Lynn proved to be the phenomenal exception. The Los Angeles native won top honors after singing the Billy Preston/Bruce Fisher ballad "You Are So Beautiful" on Chuck Barris' The Gong Show, which aired afternoons on NBC. The appearance was taped in June but didn't air until September. By then, Lynn had forgotten about it and was performing in the play The Wiz on a San Francisco stage. Barris' prediction of Lynn's stardom became a prophesy as after the segment aired, Lynn began receiving phone calls from top music biz execs Ahmet Ertegun, Bob Krasnow, Walter Yetnikoff, Jerry Greenberg, and Bruce Lundvall. The singer who started singing in church didn't know who they were. Persuaded by Lundvall and Yetnikoff, Lynn signed with CBS Records. Executive producer Bruce Johnston paired Lynn with songwriters/producers David Paich and Marty Paich.Lynn and the Paich brothers freely bounced ideas off of each other.

One song co-written by them and David Foster, "Got to Be Real," was chosen as Lynn's debut single. The recording session for the song included guitarist Ray Parker Jr., drummer James Gadson, bassist David Shields, and David Paich on keyboards. The track crackled with the live energy of the session as Lynn and the musicians "bounced off" each other. The million-selling "Got to Be Real" went to number one R&B and number 12 pop in early 1979. Her Columbia debut album, Cheryl Lynn, went gold, going to number five R&B and number 23 pop and yielding the number 16 R&B/number 62 pop single "Star Love." Lynn's next chart-topper would be 1983's "Encore," produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Cheryl Lynn 1978 Soul Music
No Image 1990
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 3:45
The Disco Years, Vol. 2: On the Beat 1990
Various Artists
Rhino 3:45
Carlito's Way [Music from the Motion Picture] 1993
Original Soundtrack
Epic / Sbme Special Mkts. 5:07
Double Knit Dance Hits 1993
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution
Disco Fever [K-Tel] 1994
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 5:07
Old School Jams, Vol. 1 1994
Various Artists
SPG 3:46
Sounds of the Seventies: More AM Nuggets 1994
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:45
No Image 1995
Various Artists
Life Times & Music 5:06
No Image 1995
Various Artists
Priority Records
Dancin' 'n' Disco 1995
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 5:06
Mighty Real Dance Classics 1995
Various Artists
Capitol 5:05
No Image 1995
Various Artists
Cold Front Records 5:03
Disco Nights, Vol. 1: Divas of Dance 1995
Various Artists
Rebound Records 5:08
Soul Hits of the 70s: Didn't It Blow Your Mind!, Vol. 20 1995
Various Artists
Rhino 5:08
The Soul of Seduction 1996
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 5:06
Dance Floor Divas: The 70s 1996
Various Artists
Rhino 3:45
Club Ladies Night 1996
Various Artists
Zomba 3:44
Old School, Vols. 1-5 1996
Various Artists
Thump Records 5:06
The Real Thing 1996 Sony Music Distribution 5:09
Good Time Disco Dance Hits 1997
Various Artists
Critique Records
Mega Hits: Disco Explosion, Vol. 4 1997
Various Artists
Priority Records 5:10
GoDisco: Dance Trip from NY to LA 1997
Various Artists
Irma Records 5:08
Dance Hits Supermix Collectors Edition 1997
Various Artists
Critique Records
No Image 1997
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:45
DJ Mix: 25 Years of Dance 1998
Various Artists
Simitar Distribution
Last Days of Disco 1998
Original Soundtrack
Sbme Special Mkts. 3:45
Nights in Heaven 1998
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 5:07
All Time Greatest Movie Songs [UK] 1998
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:45
Free Soul Party 1998
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 5:05
Disco Box 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 3:43
Tom Joyner Presents: Old School Mix 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 3:35
Instant Party Disc: Extra Strength 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 3:42
Collector's Edition: Disco 1999
Various Artists
A M W Music 3:43
Essential Soundtracks 1999
Various Artists
Telstar TV Records 3:45
Old School Jams: The History Lesson 1999
Various Artists
SPG 3:46
Jock Jams, Vol. 5 1999
Various Artists
Tommy Boy 3:50
Funkdamentals 1999
Various Artists
The Right Stuff / Capitol 3:44
Soul Train: The Dance Years 1979 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 3:44
Sony Music 100 Years: Soundtrack for a Century 1999
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:42
Millennium Dance Party Mix 1999
Various Artists
Webster Hall Records 3:40
Millennium Disco Party 2000
Various Artists
Rhino 3:45
No Image 2000
Various Artists
Webster Hall Records
Soul Hits of the 70's [Sony] 2000
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:48
Platinum R&B Party 2000
Various Artists
Sbme Special Mkts.
Keeping the Faith 2000
Original Soundtrack
Hollywood 3:16
New Millennium Party 2000
Various Artists
Rhino 3:45
Film 2000 2000
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:43
Bains Douches, Vol. 2 2000
Various Artists
Universal International 4:37
Soul Grooves [Platinum Disc #1] 2000
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 3:44
Spirit of Disco [Wagram] 2001
Various Artists
Spirit Of (UK) / Wagram Records 3:25
Real Disco 2001
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:25
No Image 2001
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:44
No Image 2001
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 5:07
70's Pop Hits 2001
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:45
Disco Fever, Vol. 2 [Polygram International] 2001
Various Artists
Polygram 3:44
The Ultimate Jukebox Hits of the '70s, Vol. 2 2001
Various Artists
Collectables 3:48
Solid Gold Funk 2002
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:44
Jukebox Hits of the '70s [Collectables] 2002
Various Artists
Collectables 3:48
40 Years of Jukebox Hits: The 50's, 60's, 70's & 80's 2002
Various Artists
Collectables 3:48
Undercover Brother 2002
Original Soundtrack
Hollywood 5:06
Hed Kandi: Back to Love, Vol. 4 2002
Various Artists
Hed Kandi 5:08
Soul Hits of the '70s [Sony Box Set] 2002
Various Artists
Immediate 3:53
Disco Inferno [Warner Import] 2002
Various Artists
Warner Music 3:43
Pure Groove: The Classics 2003
Various Artists
Telstar TV 3:44
Top Hits of the Seventies: Chart Toppers 2003
Various Artists
Collectables 5:08
Best of Soul 70s 2003
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:44
Greatest Songs of the 70's [Sony] 2003
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 5:07
Disco Nights, Vol. 7 [Zyx] 2003
Various Artists
Unidisc
Boogie Nights: Classic Disco Anthems 2003
Various Artists
Party People 3:42
Disco for Dummies 2003
Various Artists
Superb Records 5:07
Fitmix: Running 2003
Various Artists
Alliance Entertainment Special Prod / Medalist Entertainment 5:07
Jazz Funk Explosion 2003
Various Artists
Universal International
No Image 2003
Various Artists
Ex Works
More Soul 2004
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:43
Oldies: Forever Young 2004
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 5:08
Old School Jams [SPG Box Set] 2004
Various Artists
SPG 3:45
No Image 2004
Original TV Soundtrack
Sony Music Distribution 3:50
Will & Grace: Let the Music Out! 2004
Original TV Soundtrack
BMG Heritage 5:05
Get Down Tonight: The Disco Explosion [Box Set] 2004
Various Artists
Shout! Factory / Shout! Factory/My Music/TJL 3:43
Get Up 2005
Original Soundtrack
Sony Music Distribution
Funk Soul Anthems 2005
Various Artists
BMG 3:46
No Image 2005
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution
Old School Soul Party 2005
Various Artists
Shout! Factory/TJL 3:49
Soul Party Sessions 2005
Various Artists
Sessions Records 3:45
Love Love Love 2006
Various Artists
Toshiba EMI
That's So Raven 2006
Original TV Soundtrack
Disney 3:48
Ultimate Soul Collection [Sony] 2006
Various Artists
Sony CMG / Sony Music 3:44
Extended Seventies: The Dawning of the 12 Inch Era 2006
Various Artists
Optimum 5:07
Groove on Down, Vol. 2 2006
Various Artists
Soul Brother 5:08
Party Starter: Disco Mix 2006
Various Artists
Compass Productions
Dance Hits Collection 2007
Various Artists
Flashback Records
Mastercuts Disco 2007
Various Artists
Mastercuts 3:49
Body and Soul: Funky Love 2007
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:45
Disco Fever, Vol. 1-4 2007
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:44
No Image 2007
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 5:06
Vintage Grooves: Funk, Vol. 1 2007
Various Artists
Seamless 5:08
100 Hits: Disco 2007
Various Artists
100 Hits 3:44
The Best Of Disco...Ever! 2007
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 5:06
The Heart of Soul [Circuit City Exclusive] 2008
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:41
100 Anthems: Funky House 2008
Various Artists
100 Anthems / Apace 4:01
Hed Kandi: Back to Love - The Mix 2008
Various Artists
Hed Kandi 5:04
Disco Inferno [Cloud 9] 2008
Various Artists
Various Tunes 3:24
Ministry of Sound: Ultimate Street Dance 2008
Various Artists
Ministry of Sound 2:19
No Image 2008
Various Artists
PTG 3:44
Disco Discharge: Classic Disco 2009
Various Artists
Harmless 5:08
Super Breaks: Return to the Old School 2009
Various Artists
BGP (Beat Goes Public) 5:07
The Best Year of My Life: 1978 2009
Various Artists
Sony Music
Ministry of Sound: 80s Groove -- Old Skool Funk Soul Classics 2010
Various Artists
Ministry of Sound 3:49
Ministry of Sound Anthems: Disco 2010
Various Artists
Ministry of Sound 3:43
No Image 2010
Various Artists
Sony BMG 3:41
Loose Women: Girls' Night Out 2011
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:46
Pure... Divas 2011
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:45
Haynes Ultimate Guide to the 70s 2011
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:43
We Love the Nightlife 2012
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:44
S.O.U.L. 2012 BMG / BMG / Sony Music / Sony Music Entertainment
We Love the Nightlife: Shake Your Booty 2012
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:44
Générations Funk 2013
Various Artists
EMI 3:25
Disco Wonderland 2013
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:44
Now! That's What I Call Disco 2013
Various Artists
Now! 3:43
The Party Mix: Classic Soul 2013
Various Artists
Crimson 3:49
The Box Set Series: '70s Soul 2014
Various Artists
Legacy / Legacy Recordings 3:45
100 Hits: Boogie Nights
Various Artists
Demon / Edsel
100 Hits: Disco [2015]
Various Artists
100 Hits
100 Hits: Supersonic 70s
Various Artists
DMG TV
Club Classics Best of X-Mix
Various Artists
X-Mix
Disco Giants, Vol. 1-10
Various Artists
Masterpiece Classic / PTG 5:07
Funk the Disco
Various Artists
Ministry of Sound
Let's Dance/DJ's Collection of Dance Club Classics
Various Artists
Columbia 5:07
No Image
Various Artists
Ministry of Sound
Pure... Disco/Funk
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:44
That's Disco: 60 All-Time Classics
Various Artists
Polygram TV
No Image
Various Artists
Sony Music
Ultimate... 70s
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:43
Ultimate... Divas
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:43
No Image
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:46
No Image
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:46
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