The March 2017 Playlist: ’80s R&B

Between 1980 and 1990, I aged from ten to twenty years old. The ’80s were the years I was most keenly tuned into radio and MTV, which was all we had back then. (I didn’t get into the alternative scene until I got to college.)

Much of what I loved in my teens was the R&B dance/pop music coming out then. I was a closet disco queen, which was unusual for a white boy in a very white suburb. And much of the music I was attracted to came from black artists, with some of the music appearing on Top-40 charts while some of it was slightly more esoteric, only to be heard on Cleveland’s “black” station WZAK, which was my favorite at the time. And I was a freak for the stuff coming out of Minneapolis from Prince’s little purple/paisley universe.

This month’s playlist features so many of my favorites from that time. Some were big hits, some not so much. But I assure you that all of these wound up on various mix tapes of mine over the years. I realize this playlist is very specific and might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I needed a lift. Listening to these songs put a big memory lane smile on my face and a much needed spring in my step.

March 2017 Playlist

Click here to see all previous playlists.


  1. If you have a chance, punch up Eclectic Soul on 89.3 WCSB some Sunday afternoon 2-4pm. It’s Cleveland State’s college station (you can also pick it up on TuneIn Radio online or livestream it) and it’s a great show with lot of very obscure R&B/soul/funk, most of which tends to be from the 70’s-90’s.

    Long live the WZAK Fourplay.

  2. 93.1 was the soundtrack of my youth! Thanks for this playlist! This is making more more nostalgic for home.

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