Klymaxx Now Klymaxx Then
original Klymaxx Line-up
The 1980s were a fabulous year for music. Many bands had breakout careers and hit songs during this decade leaving behind an indelible mark on music history. One such band was way ahead of its hand taking it a step further by following in the footsteps of female musicians like Sister Rosetta Thorpe. The all-female band I am speaking of is Klymaxx. Yes, The Maxx is back and I am so proud and excitedly happy about that. Original member guitarist Cheryl Cooley has a brand new line-up of the iconic group. The members are as follows: Lead Vocalist Christie Malone, Vocalist Tiffany Payne, Drummer and Vocalist Tramisha Vaughn, Bassist April Fletcher, Keyboardist Maggie Daniec and the awesome lady of Klymaxx Cheryl Cooley. I have to admit I loved all of the artists I have written about thus far, in fact, some of these musicians and I have developed quite the friendships and I love and adore them all for what they do and for the people they are. This interview with Cheryl Cooley is the most important and the one that I am deeply honored to bring to you because when Klymaxx came out all we saw women do was play to the camera and get their sexy on. Some were talented but you could tell that some of these women made it by sleeping their way to fame and fortune. The same can be said today in a way it’s all about image and who you can disrespect on record or at an awards show. I could name a couple of people off the top but you guys know that is not how I roll. Seeing a woman work hard and hold her own in the male-dominated field of music entertainment was very rare or taken as a novelty. Some women had to undergo being accused of being gay or weird just because they wanted to focus their energy on being the best musician they could be. The point I am making is that being a female musician is not an easy task to do because of imaging and other trials and tribulations that a woman must face. She always has to prove herself and break the mold of what we view as a musician. In the 1980s men were dominate in what we perceived as great musicians in all genres. We fell for the image of the sexy front man or guitar hero tantalizingly teasing the women in the audience as they performed their music so expertly. The 1980s brought about real musical change and Klymaxx the first all-female R&B, Pop and Funk band flipped the script on everyone. It was during this time that Cheryl Cooley who was spotted rehearsing in a studio by these innovative women who dared to be different and give us a new image of what a band, as well as a strong musician, should look like. This is why Klymaxx is my musical heroes because of this dare to be not only sexy, clever, smart, but talented gifted musicians and vocalist. They were a well-oiled music making sisterhood and they made me as well as other young women and girls feel important and empowered. The original seven-member band at their first signing with Solar records were Percussionist Bonnie Thompson, Bassist Denise Walk, Guitarist Ann Williams, and Drummer Bernadette Cooper. What these ladies saw in Cheryl that day watching her play her guitar was awe inspiring and became the beginning of the legendary band we all have come to know and love. The women began to embark on their musical destiny but they needed a keyboard player so they placed an ad in the newspaper and Keyboardist Lynn Malsby, their Lead Vocalist Lorena Porter (Stewart) she audition to be in the group Rose Royce but her vocals were too strong for what they were looking for so they sent her to Klymaxx. Joyce Irby did not become part of the band until 1981 after they signed with Solar records. Then came keyboardist Robbin Grider and percussionist Judy Takeuchi. Bonnie was excused from the group during the first signing due to a personal issue with another member of the band. In 1981 Klymaxx recorded their first album called Never Underestimate The Power Of A Woman. Their first single was the title track. More personnel changes took place and the band we became familiar with consisted of Bernadette Cooper, Robbin Grider, Lynn Malsby, Cheryl Cooley, Lorena Porter and Joyce Irby in the 1990s the band changed again and became a trio with Cheryl Cooley, Lorena Shelby, Robbin Grider. Joyce Irby reunited with Lorena Shelby and Cheryl Cooley for the album titled One Day; the album was released on Irby’s 1869 EP Wreckudz label, and featuring the single “All I Think About Is You,” written by Babyface. Replacing Bernadette Cooper on drums was Terri Lyne Carrington. I am hoping this is right ….. Whew.
In 1982 they recorded Girls Will Be Girls this and well as the first album and the album Girls in the Band recorded in 1983 under the first signing with Solar Records (which was never released due to label change), In 1984 under the Constellation label which is still Solar it all has to do with distribution Meeting in the Ladies Room came out and it went Platinum, Then Klymaxx came out in 1986. Then in 1990 they went to MCA and recorded The Maxx is Back (technically Klymaxx was still with Constellation distributed by MCA) and in 1994 they went to Valley Vue and recorded One Day. Here is a little history fact about Klymaxx Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis produced several songs for them and the song Meeting in The Ladies Room was inspired by a real life situation that involved one of the writers of the song. The writers of the song were three members of MidnightStar Reggie Calloway, Vincent Calloway, and Boaz Watson. The song I Miss You sung by Klymaxx Member Joyce Irby caused the band to be in the top three charting on the 1986 Billboard end of the year best artist chart. The Men All Pause was written by Bernadette Cooper and Joyce Irby and who could forget the tag line Don’t Slap Me Cause I’m Not In The Mood.
Klymaxx was truly a fierce force to reckon with. The saga continues with the current line up of the band their song called 4 Woman is a song that not only empowers us as women but it encourages sisterly love among one another no matter the race or background we may have. We truly need more anthems like this one. It is also a sure sign that not only is the Maxx back no matter the changes in life or professionally, it shows us the resilience and passion that one woman has for music. Cheryl Cooley did not want the legacy of Klymaxx to fade away because she knows the power that name has in music history and how it has caused many young women to pick up her guitar and let the world know she is for real. I am looking forward to seeing more of what this dynamic band will be sharing with us now and forever more. The saga not only continues it is kicking doors down and taking the music industry by storm.
You can find out the latest and greatest information about our dynamic group of sisters by clicking on their website
Here is their latest video that encourages sisterly love and support. We really need to support each other no matter our race or background. This song is very empowering to me.It’s called 4 Woman enjoy!!!!!!!
Please enjoy the classic Jam Meeting In The Ladies Room