For some of us, dancing is like taking a daily vitamin - it's part of your routine.
The Disco phenomenon was a combination of dance and music. A symbiotic relationship - both components were vital for success. In the late 70's and 80's one of the driving forces for the dance sound were the "Raes." Originally from Ontario, Cherrill and her husband burst onto the scene and had us dancing up a storm. Together, Cherrill and Robbie, had their own variety television show in Canada.
"The Raes Variety Hour" had celebrity guests including the wild Grace Jones and rocker Pat Benetar. The show would open with the Raes singing but focused on the dancers and how they interpreted the music. "We loved to watch the dancers, the dancing was wonderful" remembers Cherrill. When they released their single "A little Lovin," the radio station programers wouldn't play it (in Canada). Frustrated it was shipped to the USA where it hit the top ten on WKTU FM. In a quandary, the Raes chose to not renew their television contract permitting them to tour and promote their music.
As a child, Cherrill loved to sing. She admired Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin and the Motown sound. It was now her time, to take the act on the road to promote the release of their new music. They traveled and performed with ABBA, Peaches & Herb, Chic, The Village People, and the Police, (featuring Sting). They sang on all the top television shows: Merv Griffin, Dance Fever, Soap Factory, The Tonight show, The Midnight Special with Wolfman Jack, Soul Train, Dick Clarks American Bandstand, Mike Douglas.
The hits kept coming, "A Little Lovin" was followed up by (I Only Wanna) "Get Up and Dance" then "Don't Turn Around" and "Two Hearts."
"My goal was not to be a big star, but to get as much out of my singing as possible" explains Cherrill. "Connecting with the music, the audience and the band - this is what I was born to do."
As the disco era cooled off, so did the Raes relationship. But to complicate matters, Cherrill lost her magnificent voice. She took time off, but the situation was worse then she imagined. She had a cyst on her vocal cord. With surgery and a positive attitude she was able to rebound.
As a long time fan of Cher, Cherrill found her inspiring. "She always gives 100%." Cherrill hopes to reap the same success that Cher has achieved with her come back albums. "Look At Me Now" is the title of her new CD. Recorded at Philadelphia's Sigma Sound Studios, the album includes a remake of "I'll be Around." Now sung as an upbeat dance version (I'll be around originally was recorded by The Spinners) with legendary artist Major Harris, it gives this former classic a new life. The entire CD has the Philly sound. It combines ballads, dance tracks, some funk and a HOTT Latin single "Guitar man" which has a Santana feel. The new CD was produced by Butch Ingram and includes vocals by all the Ingram brothers.
Now residing in Florida, Cherrill Rae is planing a return to Philadelphia's Sigma Sound to remix dance tracks for "No Matter" and possibly "A little Lovin."
Cherrill's music made the dance floor irresistible.
She still has that magic.