Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Hidden Talents of Sherman Helmsley and Chad Everett

Photo from Starztrax.com
The retro world lost two beloved television icons this week: Sherman Helmsley, of the hit 70s sitcom The Jeffersons and later, Amen and Dinosaurs (I'll refrain from making any "movin' on up" jokes) and also Chad Everett, the hunky star of the 70s pre-cursor to Gray's Anatomy, Medical Center

I could go on and on about the impact both stars and their hit shows had on television history, but instead I think I'll highlight their other "hidden" talent, which was...singing!

Sherman Hemsley was well versed as a jazz keyboardist, and recorded a single in 1989 called Ain't That a Kick in the Head (a different song than the one Dean Martin was known for.) He then released an album called Dance in 1992. He performed one of the tracks from that album, Eyes in the Dark, on Soul Train in 1992. Watching the clip, I was thinking how this is no worse than any of today's modern performers and in fact, it just may be more entertaining.

More surprising may be the bit of trivia that Helmsley was a huge fan of 70s rock bands, most notably Yes (he recorded an album with Yes frontman Jon Anderson in 1999 which was never released) and more obscurely, Gentle Giant and Nektar. Helmsley once appeared on Diana Shore's Dinah! dancing to the Gentle Giant song Proclamation. The cat knew how to get down with those tight grooves. 




Chad Everett recorded an album, too, called All Strung Out in 1971. Chad appears in this 1976 television clip singing Leave It to Love. Embedding has been disabled, so you'll have to click the link to view it.


I'll be honest--I'd never heard of Chad Everett or even the show Medical Center until friend and Go Retro reader Apache Doug clued me in. Yep, the shame. It's evident from the comments on YouTube that many ladies crushed on Dr. Joe Gannon during the 70s--the original McDreamy, it seems. I'm also told he was a doctor with sideburns, a mod wardrobe, and a groovy bachelor pad with a ginormous sectional couch. 


Something tells me these two guys will surely be missed.

5 comments:

42N said...

Both guys were great in their own shows. I watched both shows growing up but probably Movin' On Up because it was a comedy. Keep 'em coming Pam.

ApacheDug said...

Wow--awesome post, Pam! I loved Sherman on "The Jeffersons" (and he was the only reason I watched "Amen") but had no idea he had that cool musical background, what a surprise. And thanks for giving props to my favorite 70's doc, Chad will be missed. I didn't keep up with the guy after "Medical Center", but I'll never forget his awesome bachelor digs--or his cool sideburns :)

Luis said...

I had NO idea about Sherman's musical talents so that's one more reason to admire him. And he was a 70's progressive rock fan?? That is just too cool.

Pam@GoRetro said...

Thanks for the comments, guys! Apparently when Sherman appeared on the show Dinah!, Dinah Shore asked him what band that was that he danced to and he gave a five minute speech about Gentle Giant. Now that's some passionate fan. Unfortunately, I don't think anyone has uploaded a clip of it yet as I couldn't find anything...but at least we have the Soul Train performance.

JZ said...

Medical Center was a part of my childhood, my Mom was a nurse and she loved the show. Kind of a precursor to ER later on.

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