Isn’t it weird how few female artists you hear on urban radio these days?
Besides Rihanna babbling like a 12 month old, a Nicki Minaj guest verse that Stans celebrate like it’s Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” or some random Beyonce song, the pickings are pretty slim these days.
We didn’t know how good we had it in the ‘80s.
It’s been nearly 30 years (!!!) since The Good Girls dropped their debut album, yet the trio is still one of the most requested groups we’ve had for a “What Ever Happened to…” retrospective. Clearly, y’all never forget them.
Let’s hop in the time machine and travel to the late 80s, when the clothes were colorful, girl groups were plentiful and you didn’t need a Rihanna Rosetta Stone to decipher what these children are singing about.
The Good Girls were a stroke of genius.
In the late 80s and early 90s, the New Jack Swing ruled the airwaves. Guy, New Edition, Tony! Toni! Toné! and nearly a dozen others found success from the sound.
Including this guy:
Y’all knew I was gonna name drop. Don’t act surprised.
Anyway, despite a couple of solo female acts here and there, there were no female groups that capitalized on the New Jack sound.
The Good Girls were ready to bring some sweetness to this sausage party.
Motown Records packaged Joyce Tolbert, DeMonica Santiago and Shireen Crutchfield as new-age Supremes, finally allowing a female group to add their voices to the New Jack phenomenon.
Their debut, All for Your Love, dropped in 1989, featuring an impossibly angelic album cover.
Playa please. Ain’t nobody THAT sweet.
Speaking of sweetness, their first single “Your Sweetness” caught fire, peaking at No. 6 on the R&B charts. This was the elementary school anthem back in 1989 – girls sang that song EVERYWHERE.
They followed that success with “Love Is Like an Itching in My Heart” – not surprisingly a cover of The Supremes’ hit. It’s been nearly three decades and that song title still bothers me – sounds like you have bedbugs in your arteries or something. The single reached No. 10 on the charts so clearly I was the only person bothered. “I Need Your Love” was a minor hit as well.
After a couple of tours with Motown labelmates and New Kids on the Block, The Good Girls dropped their second effort, Just Call Me. They didn’t really change their style this time around – and that may have been their downfall. New Jack was on the downswing, yet their sound hadn’t really evolved.
Both the title track and the follow up “It Must Be Love” were moderate hits but couldn’t touch the success of “Your Sweetness.” It’s too bad, “It Must Be Love” is probably my favorite single and LAWD that video is pretty steamy for 1993. It’s basically a Victoria’s Secret ad.
Not that I’m complaining.
If Instagram was around in the 90s, every rapper on the planet would have tried to slide in those DMs.
After the tepid response to those singles the group went their separate ways.
So, what have they been doing with their lives since the Clinton Administration?
Joyce landed a few acting gigs in the mid ’00s and worked as a costume designer. DeMonica for a time was married to Glenn Plummer (aka Pernell from Menace II Society) but now runs a music licensing company. I ain’t making it up, she talks about it in this video.
Shireen has been the most active, modeling and landing a bunch of random guest appearances on your favorite 2000-era WB shows, like The Jamie Foxx Show and The Steve Harvey Show. She’s active on IG too and clearly has not aged one single day.
That woman is 45 years old and STILL looks 30 years younger than your favorite rapper.
Miss Celie’s Blues.
Should They Come Back?: Well, I guess it doesn’t matter what I think, according to DeMonica’s video above, a comeback is already in the works. The group is currently recording in hopes of finding a fresh sound. Assuming that their voices have held up over the years I’m not opposed to a comeback — the group clearly still has name recognition (judging by all the emails I got asking for this recap) and since their body of work is relatively small, longtime fans likely won’t be offended by an evolution of their sound.
Besides, the more female artists in the game, the better.