Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Carolyn Griffey: The Name ‘Shalamar’ Belongs to Me!!! (EUR Exclusive)

shalamar (howard carolyn jeffrey)
Shalamar: Howard Hewett, Carolyn Griffey, Jeffrey Daniel

*Mention the name “Shalamar” these days and two schools of thought in the music industry seem to prevail about this legendary R&B/dance-pop/post-disco group.

One thought marvels over the Grammy-winning group’s many hit singles in the 1970s, ‘80s, and ‘90s that dominated the top spots of music charts in America, as well as in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and several other international locales.

Some of “Shalamar’s” hits have included, but not limited to, “Friends,” “The Second Time Around,” “Make That Move,” “This is for the Lover in You,” “A Night to Remember,” “I Can Make You Feel Good,” and many more.

The second school of thought these days centers on the dual existence of “Shalamar.”  In other words, there’s two groups performing and recording under the “Shalamar” banner.  There’s “Shalamar,” featuring Howard Hewett, Jeffrey Daniel, and Carolyn Griffey.  Additionally, there’s “Shalamar Reloaded,” featuring Jody Watley, with Nate Allen Smith and Rosero McCoy.

So with two “Shalamars” around, what’s a fan to do?  Thus, a battle over who legally owns the group and its right to record and tour as “Shalamar” is set to give fans a night to really remember.  Yet, when the legal system makes that move, Griffey believes the name “Shalamar” will rightfully be hers – again.

“The point is, the name (Shalamar) was left to me,” said Griffey, who has performed with the group since about 2001.  “I have all the documentations.  I was given the right to continue to use the name by my father.”

dick griffey (b&w screenshot)
Dick Griffey

Griffey’s father is the late Dick Griffey, who in 1975, formed Soul Train Records with Don Cornelius.   “Shalamar” was the centerpiece of the record company that featured two Soul Train dancers:  Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniel.  The third spot was filled by Gary Mumford, followed by Gerald Brown, and ultimately Howard Hewett.  In 1977, Dick Griffey started Sound of Los Angeles Records (SOLAR) and signed songstress Carrie Lucas (Carolyn’s mother), The Whispers, Lakeside, The Deele (with Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and Antonio “L.A.” Reid), and many other artists.

READ RELATED STORY: Exclusive Jody Watley Statement Re: Shalamar Controversy

READ RELATED STORY: Steven Ivory: Dick Griffey–The SOLAR System has Lost its Biggest Star

“Shalamar” took a hit of sorts when Watley and Daniel left to pursue solo careers.  Hewett later exited to establish his own solo career.   However, the thirst and hunger for “Shalamar” never left the hearts of loyal fans, especially those in the UK and other European locales.

Therefore, in the late 1990s, Hewett and Daniel performed under the auspices of “Shalamar” which, according to Carolyn Griffey, had her father’s approval and blessings.  Soon after, Hewett asked Carolyn to join the group for a UK engagement, which she accepted.  She has been a member of the trio since.

Griffey acknowledges that Watley rendered valuable contributions to the visual and musical aspects of “Shalamar”…back in the day.  However, said Griffey, Watley wanted out and never wanted to permanently reunite with Howard and Daniel.   Griffey also said that in 2014, Watley did something that she didn’t like.

“What happened was Jody filed for the trademark rights to ‘Shalamar’ after my father passed, unbeknownst to us.” Griffey recalled.  “We didn’t catch it, or find out about it until after it had gone through.  Now we are in dispute, because I’m challenging it so I can get the name back to where it belongs.”

Griffey continued.

“I believe everybody should be able to capitalize off of their work,” Griffey told EURweb’s Lee Bailey. “But just because you were employed at a company, doesn’t give you the right to leave, come back and claim ownership of the company.”

While legal matters are being sorted out, for “Shalamar,” featuring Griffey, Hewett, and Daniel, the beat goes on.  Griffey said the trio is set to embark on a month-long (April – May) tour that will take them to the United Kingdom, Ireland and Scotland.  The group returns to play KBLX Stone Soul Picnic on May 29 in Concord, Calif.  It will be the group’s first American performance that will include Jeffrey Daniel in a decade.

And just in case there’s some future confusion about which “Shalamar” will be performing for fans at venues around the globe, Griffey said…

“Audiences know exactly what lineup that they are getting,” she said.  “We specify who’s in ‘Shalamar,’ so there’s never any deception with people.  When we go out, we make it clear that it’s ‘Shalamar,’ featuring Howard Hewett, Jeffrey Daniel and Carolyn Griffey.”

shalamar (promo pic)

Griffey also said there’s new music on the way from “Shalamar.”  With veteran producer, songwriter, and former SOLAR stellar, Leon Sylvers, partially in the mix, the group is in great musical hands.  Yet, according to Griffey, there’s a delicate balance between performing the group’s classic songs, along with adding new music.

“What people need to understand is that we are preserving memories and feelings and nostalgia,” she said.   “I’m not saying that people don’t want to hear new music, but they want to capture the feelings and memories of what they had back when these songs came out.  We want to continue in that fashion.”

For more information on “Shalamar” featuring Howard Hewett, Jeffrey Daniel, and Carolyn Griffey, log on to www.shalamar.info.

Be on the lookout for part 2 of our interview with Carolyn Griffey when she talks about growing up in the Griffey household and being surrounded by the SOLAR records galaxy of stars.

 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. An interesting story for sure. A big contradiction though. If Daddy left Carolyn any documents and they were legally and properly filed. Jody Watley would not have been able to acquire the name Shalamar. And if the Trademark office was truly fooled by Watley, where indeed is the proof? Where are the documents? Its been over 2 years and why hasn’t Carolyn or any of her siblings produced them? Did Daddy also leave you the paper work for the trademark to the name Solar Records which is lying fallow with no one owning that too? This is an act of desperation as Carolyn never owned up to using Jody’s likeness for tours in the UK. It wasn’t until Jody got the trademark in 2014 that it stopped. Lots of proof to that. EURweb didn’t fact check either. Such a deadgiveaway……

  2. Jody did not calculate a time set on Dick Griffey to expire to acquire the Trademark but investigated the abandonment of the Trademark when discovering Howard Hewett, Jeffrey Daniel (along with Carolyn Griffey)were working under the diguise of Bait & Switch (using old likeness of Jody, removing Watley’s name from the pictures and adding her own). If Griffey has the legal documents what has taken her this long to present to the courts? Why does Miss Griffey feel any such person that had any connection to Shalamar hasp even the right to capitalize off the name? Does that give her the right to profit off the name though she’s never recorded or contracted to the group? She said a person doesn’t have the right to leave a company, return and clam ownership. Would that statement extend itself to Kenny (Babyface) Edmondson who left the Solar, returned and purchased the Solar building Griffey himself once owned? I’m also greatful that it was mentioned in the interview that Shalamar’s american show in Concord Calif was the group’s first in decades, and though Miss Griffey is attempting to ‘Challenge’ the Trademark part proof in challenges one must prove the Mark has been used within a timely manner of five years time span, and this is their FIRST performance in the USA. In over a decade….Hmn! Audience now know exactly which lineup to be received since they’re now forced by law, but Jody Watley’s Open letter explains all the missing pieces to this story. Happy reading! https://jodywatley.net/2016/09/09/jody-watley-speaks-out-an-open-letter-to-those-it-may-concern/

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