By 1982 standards, Jackie Stoudemire was patently hip, hanging with High School of Music & Art classmates Dana Dane and Slick Rick’s Kangol Crew. In Tap Records impresario Jeremiah Yisrael’s eyes, she combined the perfect trait set: mature talent and work ethic with youth and impressionability. Within a few months, she was in-studio with Gene Redd and Yisrael, where she would spend the lion’s share of 1982. Jeremiah plunged significant dollars into the recordings, using dozens of musicians for every session (purportedly Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra), sometimes spending weeks perfecting the backing tracks. He upgraded studios, recording primarily at Right Track and Power Station, neither of them known for their affordability.
Ten songs were recorded over the course of the year, including a remake of Arnie Love’s “Invisible Wind,” with crisper strings and a simpler arrangement. Jackie’s voice was cool and sure, not a hint of her age coming through the mix. The real nugget was “Guilty,” one of the last songs Gene Redd would ever pen and some of the finest production work in a career that spanned four decades. They logged eight to ten hour days in the studio, culminating at the beginning of 1983 when her 12” was given a limited issue on the Tap label. Lack of distribution and promotion killed the pressing, but Jackie still felt good about it. For a woman of any age, it was an accomplished piece of work.
Soon after, Jeremiah severed his business relationship with Jackie Stoudemire. He arrogantly explained to her parents that she was “afraid of success.” Stoudemire graduated from high school in 1983 and went immediately to performing arts college, after which she spent years as a somewhat successful stage player. Her hit finally came in 1994 when she signed to the Eightball label and blew up the club charts with “Appreciate.”
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