Twenty-one years ago, I visited Minneapolis to report on the music scene there. Met a popular nightclub singer named Cynthia Johnson. She gave a great interview.
Ms. Johnson had been the lead singer of a local funk band called Flyte Tyme... which used to compete directly with Prince’s local funk band, Grand Central.
Flyte Tyme included “Jimmy Jam” Harris, Terry Lewis and Jellybean Johnson, while Grand Central included Morris Day and the artist soon to be known as André Cymone. (How’s that for a couple of high-school bands?)
Look at the photo above. That’s Cynthia Johnson fronting Flyte Tyme... with Terry, Jellybean and Sue Ann Carwell in the background. (Remember Sue Ann?)
Irony of the story is... in 1980, Cynthia Johnson was a bigger deal in the music business than Jimmy & Terry, Morris Day and André Cymone put together. Because she was the voice on the international smash-hit disco record “Funkytown” by Lipps, Inc.