EP111: Tisa Bryant on The Emotions’ “Rejoice” (1977)

Episode 111

Critic and professor Tisa Bryant talks to Oliver and guest co-host Ernest Hardy about the change in sound between the Stax/Volt and Columbia Records years, the role Maurice and Charles Stepney played in the production of this album, and The Emotions’ place in the vast world of girl groups.  

Episode notes

The Emotions started out singing gospel as The Hutchinson Sunbeams, but when they signed a deal with Stax/Volt, they changed their name and switched to soul/R&B. They enjoyed modest success during those years, charting on the Hot 100, but Stax was going bankrupt, and The Emotions were left stranded.

The group moved to Columbia Records and met Maurice White, who helped produce the biggest hits in their careers. “The Best of My Love” rocketed up the charts and reached the top spot on Billboard Pop and R&B and their album Rejoice went Platinum.

Critic and professor Tisa Bryant talks to Oliver and guest co-host Ernest Hardy about the change in sound between the Stax/Volt and Columbia Records years, the role Maurice and Charles Stepney played in the production of this album, and The Emotions’ place in the vast world of girl groups.

More on Tisa

More on The Emotions

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Rejoice unless indicated otherwise):

  • Best of My Love
  • The Emotions: Peace Be Still
  • The Emotions: Flowers
  • A Long Way to Go
  • Bebe and Cece Winans: Heaven
  • Blessed
  • Deniece Williams: Free
  • Blessed
  • Key to My Heart
  • Don’t Ask My Neighbors
  • A Feeling Is
  • Best of My Love
  • Don’t Ask My Neighbors
  • Best of My Love
  • Don’t Ask My Neighbors
  • A Long Way to Go
  • Rejoice
  • The Emotions: Blind Alley
  • The Emotions: Show Me How
  • The Emotions: Peace Be Still (Live at Wattstax)
  • The Emotions: We Go Through Changes
  • Love Unlimited: If You Want Me, Say It

Here is the Spotify playlist of as many songs as we can find there.

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In this episode...

Guests

  • Tisa Bryant

About the show

Hosted by Oliver Wang and Morgan Rhodes, every episode of Heat Rocks invites a special guest to talk about a heat rock – a hot album, a scorching record. These are in-depth conversations about the albums that shape our lives.

Our guests include musicians, writers, and scholars and though we don’t exclusively focus on any one genre, expect to hear about albums from the worlds of soul, hip-hop, funk, jazz, Latin, and more.

New episodes every Thursday on Apple Podcasts or whatever you get your podcasts.

Subscribe to our website updates for exclusive bonus content (including extra interview segments, mini-episodes, etc.)

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