Inner Soul Spotlight: Happy Birthday Gerald Levert

Inner Soul Spotlight: Remembering Gerald Levert On His 44th Birthday (1966-2006)

Gerald Levert (1966-2006)

There are certain instances in life when you can recall vividly exactly what you were doing and where you were at that precise moment. When the rumor mill came to life nearly four years ago with the news of Gerald’s passing, I looked at the first text message and wondered who could be so vicious. Shaking my head, I realized that the sender of the text was an entrusted industry friend who was connected to some of the biggest, brightest and best! I was just getting out of my car, heading into DSW (a massive shoe store…dreading that trip because I ‘hate’ shopping ~ weird for a female, right?! Well…) and I froze. It was as though my feet had become blocks of cement right then and there in the parking lot. I heard a car creeping up behind me, but I couldn’t muster the strength to move my feet. So many thoughts ran through my mind. First and foremost, how was I going to break the news to my sister? Gerald Levert was a chocolate God to her and she held out hope to one day have him wrap those luscious arms around her and just rock to one of his sensuous melodies. Guess I should quit now because if she ever reads this, I’ll probably be called everything but the child of God that I am (smile).

Today I cannot remember why I needed to go into DSW, but that’s not important. Nonetheless, I was eventually able to walk back to my car, turn the radio on and listen as one of the on-air jocks confirmed the news. That was when reality struck and I learned that this was more than a mere untruth. No more than two seconds later, silent tears found their way down my cheeks. Gerald, the burly teddy bear that we (my sister, myself and two girlfriends) saw just a few short months earlier in concert was forever silenced. Thinking back on that concert…it definitely is one that I will never forget. Bobby Brown ~ in the throes of intoxication unexpectedly joined both Gerald and Brian McKnight onstage and had to be escorted from the arena by security. That, later made the news. But, the other thing about that night is me wanting to choke my sister. Gerald brought out about ten teddy bears and invited the ladies to come down. We were close enough THIS time for her to hustle to the stage to get one. Guess who punked out?! (*still rolling my eyes*)

THE MUSIC

Gerald’s music spanned dance crazes: most memorable for me was the late 80s ~ the wop was alive and ‘Casanova’ dominated the airwaves. No need for me to rehash Gerald’s musical legacy. We all remember Levert, the group comprised of Gerald, his brother, Sean and their friend, Marc. We also remember his stellar collaborations with the sistas: Miki Howard, Kelly Price, Teena Marie and the televised performances with Patti Labelle and former Floetry lead, Marsha. Never slighting his work with the brothers: Gerald, Keith Sweat and Johnny Gill made up the the sexy trio, LSG. I saw them perform live as well (thanks to my sister’s insistence :)) Witnessing Gerald sing with his father was an absolute treasure. The love and deep friendship they shared was so apparent when they were onstage together. (I saw that too … yep, my sister! ;))

This past Mothers Day, I surprised my mom and sister with tickets to see Eddie Levert, Dennis Edwards, Keith Sweat and Johnny Gill in what was billed as ‘Timeless Voices w/a Tribute to Gerald Levert’ (*this time, I took the lead* smile).

The finale was a medley that included: Baby Hold On to Me, My Body and Casanova. Hearing Eddie sing Gerald’s parts made you feel that his spirit was in the building and totally at ease with his dad carrying even the notes he admittedly had forgotten. Watching Johnny become totally overwhelmed with emotion led me to wipe those silent tears away yet again.

Gerald Levert: Gone But Never Forgotten (1966-2006)

In memory of the chocolate teddy bear, I’ve put a podcast together with some of my favorite songs from Gerald Levert. Here’s the download link and if you just want to listen, (1 hr 19 min worth of uptempos and soul searing, signature GL love grooves) click on the play button and enjoy.

The Playlist

  • Casanova
  • Pop, Pop, Pop Goes My Mind
  • Can’t Help Myself
  • Written All Over Your Face
  • Baby, I’m Ready
  • Made to Love Ya
  • Baby Hold On to Me
  • Private Line
  • U Got That Love
  • Baby U Are
  • Thinkin Bout It
  • A Rose By Any Other Name
  • DJ Don’t
  • Funny
  • Wind Beneath My Wings
  • Advertisements

    ~ by theinnersoul10 on July 14, 2010.

    4 Responses to “Inner Soul Spotlight: Happy Birthday Gerald Levert”

    1. Nice, Trel. I was getting my hair done when your text came to me and I was in total disbelief.

      I don’t know how you do it, you are so amazing!

    2. You are absolutely amazing! And yes I still love me some him. I was not a punk that evening I was in total awe! I still have all of those memories in my mind. Happy Birthday Gerald…gotten but never forgotten nor loved any less….Your ultimate fan Dereth

      • See you’re trying to get me to the point to let go of more ‘silent tears’ and I ain’t! *lol* Listening to the mix made me really miss his music. I forgot to blend in that snippet from the Timeless Voices show with Johnny & Eddie ad libbing…man! Oh well. Thanks for the encouragement lil sis 😉

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