Tuesday, June 2, 2009

BACK TO THE 80's: The Jets

The Jets
They are a family band from Minneapolis, Minnesota, comprised of brother and sisters who specialize in pop, R&B and dance music.

They officially formed in 1985, with the original lineup fizzling out by 1990. Several members of the family stayed on throughout the 1990s, unofficially reviving the group in the mid to late 1990s as a gospel outfit with most of the original members present.

Various record companies have released collections of songs from the group's popular period, while the modern incarnation of the group continues to perform at various small venues, primarily casinos, and private corporate functions.

Background
The original band consisted of the eight oldest children of Maikeli "Mike" and Vaké Wolfgramm - LeRoy, Eddie, Eugene, Haini, Rudy, Kathi, Elizabeth and Moana.

Mike and Vaké, who have 17 children in total, are originally from the South Pacific island kingdom of Tonga. The family is of Tongan and German ancestry.

Successes

The original members of The Jets had a number of Billboard Hot 100 hits in the mid- to late-1980s, including five top 10 singles on the Hot 100 chart: "Crush on You", "You Got It All", "Cross My Broken Heart", "Rocket 2 U" and "Make It Real". "Sendin' All My Love", which peaked at #88 on the Hot 100, reached #1 on the Billboard dance chart; "You Got It All" and "Make It Real", both ballads featuring lead vocals by Elizabeth Wolfgramm, were #1 hits on the Billboard adult contemporary chart. The band was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1988 for the song "Rocket 2 U".

Spin-Off
In 1988, Eugene Wolfgramm (under the alias "Gene Hunt") and Joe Pasquale formed the duo Boys Club on the MCA Records label. They released the song "I Remember Holding You", which reached #8 on the Hot 100, their most popular song. Eugene later reunited for the album The Best of The Jets (1990), but he and other siblings (Eddie, Elizabeth, Kathi) eventually left the band in succession. The band also performed the theme song for the 1989 Disney cartoon series Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, and were featured in the soundtrack for Beverly Hills Cop II (1987) ("Cross My Broken Heart") and The Karate Kid, Part III ("Under Any Moon") and The Family Man (2000) ("La La Means I Love You").

Musical Changes
Throughout the 1990s, the band introduced other members of the family to the band and turned more toward religious music, increasing their following among fellow Mormons. The current lineup includes founding member Haini, and younger siblings Donnie, Natalia, Kelela, and Tiare. Though The Jets themselves rarely perform together, some members are still busy in the music business. With the older sisters' group "My Sisters", to Haini's group "I'Kona", to the younger sibilings' (Mika, Donnie, Kelela, and Tiare) called "Against the Season", the family continues to make music in its various forms.

In 2007, Kathi, Elizabeth and Moana, along with sisters Jennifer and Hinalei, released a gospel-themed album entitled My Sisters.

Appreciation
American pop singer Britney Spears recorded a cover version of "You Got It All" which appears on international editions of her 2000 hit album Oops!... I Did It Again. Also, musical artists Arnee Hidalgo, Pinay and MYMP (Make Your Momma Proud) have covered the same song. Pop singer Aaron Carter covered their song "Crush on You" on his first album, which became a top 10 single in Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom in 1997. Singer Nayobe recorded a version of the song "Make It Real" which became a hit in Latin America. Furthermore, Exposé recorded a version of the song "The Same Love" for their self-titled 1992 album Exposé.

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