Wednesday, 2 September 2009

D.J. Rogers ”Trust Me”

D.J. Rogers

Trust Me
( LP ARC/Columbia Records, 1979 )
Catalog # 36002

1 Trust Me, Pt. 1 & 2 (7:47)
2 Will You Remember Me? (4:38)
3 In Love Again, Standing on the Edge of Paradise (3:49)
4 Never Had a Reason to Dance Till Now! (5:00)
5 You Can Have It for a Song (3:58)
6 You Are My Joy (3:10)
7 Your Love Keeps Me Satisfied (6:00)
8 Haven’t You (5:42)

Edgar Lustgarten Strings
Michael McGloiry Guitar
Nils Oliver Strings
Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson Horn
Jerome Reisler Strings
Linda Rose Strings
Jay Rosen Strings
Art Royal Strings
Julia Tillman Waters Vocals (Background)
Aldyn St. John Piano, ?, Vocals (Background)
Lya Stern Strings
Barbara Thomason Strings
Marcia Van Dyke Strings
Dino Vice Vocals (Background)
Dorothy Wade Strings
Cheryl Walker Vocals (Background)
Maxine Willard Waters Vocals (Background)
Geri White Vocals (Background)
Charlie Wilson Vocals (Background)
John Wittenberg Strings
Shari Zippert Strings
Ronnie Wilson Vocals (Background)
Paul Smith Organ, Moog Synthesizer
Marilyn Baker Strings
D.J. Rogers Piano, Piano (Electric), Main Performer, Clavinet, Vocals, Horn
Israel Baker Strings
Arnold Belnick Strings
Benorce Blackmon Guitar
Harry Bluestone Strings
Arthur H. Brown Strings
Denyse Buffum Strings
Keni Burke Bass, Vocals (Background)
Charles Bynum Synthesizer, Guitar, Vocals (Background), Moog Synthesizer
Ronald Clark Strings
Rollice Dale Strings
Bonnie Douglas Strings
James Gadson Drums, Vocals (Background)
Kathy Garnett Vocals (Background)
Sharon Garnett Vocals (Background)
Marlo Henderson Guitar
Paula Hochhalter Strings
Selene Hurford Strings
Bernard Kundell Strings
Linda Lipsett Strings
Robert Lipsett Strings
Dorothy Ashby Harp

D.J. Rogers is best known for the tender acoustic piano-based ballad “Say You Love Me,” a charting single from his 1976 debut RCA album It’s Good to Be Alive. Natalie Cole’s cover of the song was the first single from her album Snowfall in the Sahara, released by WEA/Elektra Entertainment in June 1999. Like most soul singers, DeWayne Julius Rogers began singing and playing piano in church in his native Los Angeles. He later worked with Rev. James Cleveland when he was the director of the Watts Community Choir and a member of the Los Angeles Community Choir. The gospel influence was very evident in Rogers’ later secular releases, with many of his songs filled with inspirational messages. After signing with RCA Records, Rogers’ debut album It’s Good to Be Alive was released. Initially gaining radio airplay as an album track, the single “Say You Love Me” peaked at number 51 RB on ~Billboard’s charts in spring 1976. The 45 was a “turntable hit,” meaning that it received a substantial amount of radio play, but for whatever reasons the exposure didn’t translate into the single being a big seller. The lackluster chart success of “Say You Love Me” (and his other RCA releases) lead to Rogers’ angry tirades in an article in the premier ~Soul Magazine, as he attributed the label’s seemingly slothful attitude towards his music as a result of the record division’s main purpose as being that of a “tax write-off.” After listening to “Say You Love Me,” one would have to wonder why the record wasn’t a bigger hit. Besides the aforementioned Cole and others, Jennifer Holliday covered the song; her version can be found on Best of Jennifer Holliday, UNI/Geffen. Another track from It’s Good to Be Alive that received radio play was the poignant tale of “Bula Jean,” a girl that had beauty that “the world” couldn’t see. On “Bula Jean,” Rogers’ gospel-born fervor was at its peak. On his next album, Rogers began his collaboration with composer/keyboardist/arranger/producer Jerry Peters (co-wrote “Going in Circles” with Anita Poree, a 1969 gold single for the Friends of Distinction and a number two RB hit for the Gap Band in 1986). Beginning with a swirling strings intro, “Let Your Life Shine” was Rogers’ jubilant single that charted at number 78 RB, fall 1976. It was included on the 1976 On the Road Again LP. Rogers signed with Lonnie Simmons’ Total Experience Records (the Gap Band, Yarbrough and Peoples) and the LP Love, Music Life was issued in 1977. Rogers’ first single for the RCA-distributed label, “Love Is All I Need,” featured multi-tracked vocals by Deniece Williams (”Free,” “Let’s Hear It for the Boy,” “Too Little Too Late” with Johnny Mathis). The second single was the passionate “Saved by Love.” Other highlights were “She Has Eyes for Me,” “You Against You,” and the pumping “Love Will Make It Better.” Signing with Columbia Records, the singer/songwriter finally enjoyed some upper chart success. His highest charting single was “Love Brought Me Back,” maybe Rogers’ most biographical song. In it, the singer seems to “testify” to his music industry travails. Record buyers heard him, taking the track to number 20 RB during summer 1978. The follow-up, the playful “All My Love (Part 1)” made it to number 87 RB, late 1978. Rogers was on Earth, Wind Fire leader Maurice White’s Columbia-distributed label ARC when one of his most enduring tracks, the percolating steppers’ favorite “Trust in Me (Part 1)” mid-charted at number 68 RB, spring 1979. The track has a “shucking” string arrangement by Coleridge Taylor Perkinson. The follow-up, “Love Cycles,” went to number 44 RB, spring 1980. Rogers dueted with singer/keyboardist Patrice Rushen on “Givin’ It up Is Givin’ Up” from her 1980 Elektra LP Pizzaazz. Released as a single, it peaked at number 47 RB, summer 1980. The album also yielded her number seven RB hit “Haven’t You Heard.” Both tracks are on the 1996 Rhino greatest-hits set Haven’t You Heard-The Best of Patrice Rushen. Rogers’ last charting single was a cover of Kenny Rogers number five pop hit “She Believes in Me” which charted number 66 RB. During the mid- and late ’80s, he recorded gospel albums. He co-wrote “My Faith in Jesus” with John Black for gospel artist Keith Pringle (”Call Him Up”) and wrote and performed a duet with Pringle on “One More Day.” Rogers appeared as a choir member on the 1997 UPN-TV sitcom Good News. Another gospel-influenced singer/keyboardist, Billy Preston, was in the cast too. Some of Rogers’ RCA/Columbia sides can be found on Collectables Records’ 1996 set D.J. Rogers: Golden Classics.
By Ed Hogan (AMG)

By Pier

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