Episode 10: Heatwave

In the mid to late 70s the British record label GTO records was most famous for middle-of-the-road music and in particular The Dooleys. At that time, newly released records were handed out to radio stations with the hope that people like me would promote play them on our stations. In late ’76 the GTO record rep handed me a copy of an album by Heatwave, Too Hot To Handle, casually saying, “Tell me what you think of this.” I was aware of a band that had been on tour called Johnnie Wilder’s Chicago Heatwave and was told that it was them but with a new line-up. That night at home I gave the LP a Iisten and was blown away. Next day, I rang the rep and said that not only was I most impressed but it would be Radio Nottingham’s next ‘Album of the Week’ which guaranteed a play every day. He was so delighted he promised to bring band members to the studio that week. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances they failed to turn up, but promised that the next time they were in the area, they’d pop in. So on the afternoon before their gig at Hucknall and Linby Miners’ Welfare, I got to meet Johnnie Wilder and group member and, most importantly, songwriter, Rod Temperton. Little did I realise that Rod was to become such a huge talent, not only in Britain, but in the USA. After leaving his home town, Cleethorpes, he went on to write for many artists, such as Michael Jackson including Thriller, Rufus and Chaka Khan, George Benson including Give Me The Night, Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock and Donna Summer and Mica Paris. He even penned Oprah Winfrey’s theme tune with Quincy Jones. BUT not before writing a jingle for me!