Various Artists

Tom Joyner Presents: Old School Mix

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Around 1994, urban contemporary DJ Tom Joyner hired Steve "Silk" Hurley to provide "old school mixes" for his popular Tom Joyner Morning Show; and by old school, he meant the classic soul, funk, and disco of the late '70s and early '80s. To be sure, Hurley was perfect for the job; he had played an indispensable role in house music, and his credentials as a mixmaster were undeniable. The type of mixing that Hurley has done on his show is what he does for Old School Mix, which spans 1976-1982 and boasts a non-stop mix of 18 major hits from that period. One gem segues right into another; just as Gwen McCrae's "Funky Sensation" is starting to fade out, Hurley comes right in with One Way's "Cutie Pie." And just as Peter Brown's "Dance With Me" is starting to end, Anita Ward's "Ring My Bell" makes its presence felt. The CD is full of gems that defined the disco era, such as Chic's "Le Freak," Sister Sledge's "He's the Greatest Dancer," and Foxy's "Get Off." But Joyner's mix has as much to do with hardcore funk and soul as it does with disco; Funkadelic's "One Nation Under a Groove," Slave's "Slide," and Zapp's "More Bounce to the Ounce" soared to number one or two on the R&B charts, but didn't fare nearly as well on the pop charts. In fact, Old School Mix is pretty much the type of soul/funk/disco blend you could have expected to hear on the mix shows that graced black radio in the late '70s and early '80s. Even if you're not familiar with Joyner's show and Hurley's contributions to it, this is a CD to savor.

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