VARIOUS ARTISTS / “Calling You Mixtape”

MP3 03 Calling You Mixtape.mp3 (51.30 MB)

This is Jevetta Steele’s song. Jevetta Bob Telson (see comment below) wrote it and but after she recorded "Calling You," everyone else references Jevetta’s version even when they reconfigure the song.
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Jevetta Steele is a Gary, Indiana born (November 11, 1963) resident of Minneapolis, Minnesota where she first moved to pursue a career as a lawyer but music was literally her calling. She is an acclaimed member of the famiy gospel ensemble The Steeles.

Her distinct voice is recognized worldwide but her composing skills are arguably even more distinctive. She has been featured as both a vocalist and composer on numerous films and theatrical productions. “Calling You,” from the movie Bagdad Café is undoubtedly Ms. Steele's most famous song.

There is something haunting about all the long tones and the lyrics full of sharp details and mystery about who “you” is. Is the speaker literally talking to someone or is the speaker thinking about someone, or… the ambiguities allow each of us to fill in the blanks both factually and emotionally.

From a technical standpoint it’s the kind of song that someone with a wide range and prodigious technique can really work, and at the same time a more limited singer can also get into the song because within this context low moans are just as effective as crystal-shattering high notes.

We are now past the five year mark with BoL, so it is no surprise that we are covering some songs we’ve featured previously but as with last week’s What’s Going On feature, when we revisit a song, we bring something new to the table. You can go here and read what we did previously. We’ve doubled the number of artists and five of the ten make the list for the first time.

While I will not argue that anyone tops Jevetta Steele, I do believe that you will find at least one or two versions equally enchanting. Enjoy.

—Kalamu ya Salaam

Calling You Mixtape Playlist

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01 Bagdad Café Soundtrack - Jevetta Steele

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02 Ask A Woman Who Knows - Natalie Cole

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03 My Corner of the Sky - Cæcilie Norby

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04 Step 7 - Gary Meek

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05 Until We Love - Gabrielle Goodman

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06 Overload - Pop Goes Jazz

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07 Calling You - Rigmor Gustafsson

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08 All The Way - Etta James

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09 Ghostsongs - Ian Shaw

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10 Calling You - Imani

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 at 4:09 am and is filed under Cover. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “VARIOUS ARTISTS / “Calling You Mixtape””

dee es Says:
September 28th, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Oh, I like that Etta James version a lot. I was surprised by that album as a whole. Surprised by some of the song choices, I guess, but I should’ve known she’d get them right. Thanks for sharing these. I wasn’t a reader last time you covered this song, so this all new ground to me.

Gregory Ford Says:
September 30th, 2010 at 8:27 pm

Hey. I love this song. Saw the movie and loved it ever since. And Jevetta Steele’s version is definitive. But didn’t Bob Telson (Gospel at Colonus) write the song?

      kalamu sez:        

Gregory, you are 100% correct and I am wrong. Bob Telson wrote "Calling You."  If I had bothered to double check my Jevetta Steele CD I would have known better and not made this mistake. 

Thank you, thank you for correcting me. 

BoL gets mucho daily hits but also all of the posts are still active. The archives will remain active as long as BoL exists. People continue to reference BoL, so when we make a mistake, it is important that we correct the mistake as soon as possible. No excuses, no long-ass explanations for why we got it wrong. Nah! Admit the mistake. Correct the mistake. And continue to work to make BoL a definitive website.


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