Forever No. 1 is a newsnucongo.orgseries that pays unique tribute come the freshly deceased artists who completed the highest possible honor our charts have to offer --a hot 100 No. 1 solitary -- by taking an extended look ago at the chart-topping songs the made them component of this to exclude, club. Here, us honor the late James Ingram v a dive right into his an initial Hot 100-topper, the slow-and-low Patti Austin duet "Baby come to Me."

James Ingram sounds choose the ’80s.

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The Akron, Ohio-born singer and also songwriter, who passed away Tuesday (Jan. 29) at the age of 66, come from the Quincy Jones college of music, and made his debut top top the master’s solo album, The Dude, in 1981. A showcase the quiet storm R&B for Jones’s label, Qwest, the record featured jazz vocalist (and previous in-demand advertising jingles performer) Patti Austin and also Ingram, that sang the tender Grammy-winning jam “One hundred Ways” and the potent ballad “Just Once.”

Inviting and soothing, Ingram’s tenor was an ideal match because that the sleek R&B that his heyday, together exemplified by artists choose Luther Vandross and Anita Baker, as well asproducers choose Kashif and, the course, Jones himself. To supply a line choose “If that violins she loves, permit them play” without the monitor melting right into liquid cheese, you require a supple but strong voice. Ingram had actually that: hear to how he rasps the “all” in the very first “all night long” in the opened minute the “One hundreds Ways.” the sudden, yet not rather inappropriate, roar speak you the this is a male who knows around control -- maintaining and relinquishing the both. It is sexy.

“Just Once” and “One hundreds Ways” charted well, both reaching the height 20 that the hot 100, however his best hit that the decade came as a duet through Austin, climate his Qwest labelmate. “Baby, involved Me,” composed by Quincy’s right-hand guy Rod Temperton, is slow-burning bedroom music. White candles, satin sheets, a pinky ring twisted off prior to things acquire serious -- you acquire the photo from the opening etc line and a small crystalline keyboard activity lower in the mix.

Austin strolls in an initial with a wistful verse around realizing you have to hold on to love once you’ve uncovered it, and then Ingram joins she for the chorus. The drums choose up while their voices intertwine, enacting the scene they’re describing: “Let me placed my arms around you, this was supposed to be.” friend don’t desire those voices come unbraid: “Baby always stay, "cause ns can"t go earlier to livin" there is no you.” during his very own verse, Ingram leans hard into the very first syllable that “spendin’ every dime,” letting you know just exactly how much he is straining his pockets to store her “talkin’ ~ above the line.” yes sir a real brawniness to his vocals the is just hinted in ~ on The Dude -- Austin’s pass it the end of him.

The duet showed up on Austin’s Qwest debut, Every home Should have One, exit the very same year as The Dude. After a middling single performance top top its original release in 1982 -- that peaked at No. 73 thatApril -- ”Baby, concerned Me” began climbing the charts in earnest later on in the year,once it found its true home: as a love theme on General Hospital, the many widely watched soap in the ‘80s. Luke Spencer, among the many adored personalities in the history of daytime TV, was briefly separated from his true love, Laura Webber, and also during this vacancy of the heart, that encountered a brand-new character, Holly Sutton. There’s most likely some an important context absent here, yet this is a clip-- likewise embedded listed below -- that Luke wincing his way through the woods, his foot in a brace, to the mellow sounds of “Baby, concerned Me.” as you can see, he’s intrigued through the scent left ~ above a handkerchief the discovers while resting versus a tree -- a handkerchief that Holly has actually just supplied to wipe sweat and also canteen water from her lips. (Later, they satisfy for real, while Holly is skinny-dipping. Instant fireworks.)

As Fred Bronson reports in The book of Number 1 Hits, quickly after the song started airing ~ above the show, phones at alphabet lit up and also the letters come in questioning for much more information about this beguiling number. (It wasn’t a unique occurence: Herb Alpert’s “Rise” critical climbed come No. 1 in 1979 after being gassed increase by a General Hospital sync.) as it rotate out, Jill Phelps, that was the music director for the soap, had a daughter that attended the same school as the daughter that Howard Rosen, who did PR in ~ Warner Brothers. This connection alerted Rosen come the unforeseen opportunity and also in October 1982 he arranged because that the re-release that “Baby, concerned Me,” finish with new single catalogue number. Eighteen weeks later on the track bumped "Africa" by Toto the end of the No. 1 point out to peak the warm 100 top top the chart dated because that the week of February 19, 1983.


Quincy Jones’s love because that Ingram and Ingram’s wide compatibility as a duet partner led to a series of high-water marks throughout his career. In 1982, that co-wrote Michael Jackson’s smash “P.Y.T.” with Jones. (Jackson’s “Billie Jean” to be the tune that deposed “Baby, pertained to Me” after ~ its two weeks at No. 1.) three years later, he winner his 2nd Grammy for “Yah Mo B There,” a spirited cooperation with among the majesties of blue-eyed soul, Michael McDonald. In 1987, he come one spot far from topping the warm 100 a second time when he and Linda Ronstadt acquired to No. 2 with"Somewhere the end There," indigenous the animated An American Tail. And “The work I autumn in Love,” his Dolly Parton teamup from household comedyBeethoven"s 2nd, earned Ingram his an initial Oscar nomination for best original song in 1994.

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Play Ingram’s greatest hits today and there’s no question as soon as they came from. The electric piano sounds favor pink neon and Ingram’s voice, his phrasing precise and vivid, is lacquered come a high sheen. In 1999, Ingram reached a generation the hip-hop heads many thanks to MF DOOM’s jubilantly clever underground standard “Rhymes favor Dimes,” which flips “One hundred Ways” and even pipeline a little bit of Ingram’s vocals because that the outro. Doom hopscotches from referral to reference, at one allude landing on a line the feels particularly poignant now: “When it"s his time, ns hope his soul go to heaven.” Now, we’re all prefer the lover in “Baby, pertained to Me”, wondering just how to go back living there is no Ingram.