Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ready for the World - Oh Sheila

Ready for the World (RFTW) was an R&B act out of Flint, Michigan who had a string of hits in the mid-1980's.  The group formed in 1982 and soon had a major supporter in The Electrifying Mojo (a famous DJ on Detroit's WJLB).  This eventually led to a recording contract with MCA.

The band's self-titled 1985 debut album  reached #17 on the charts and went platinum.  It also yielded a #1 hit in "Oh Sheila," a pop funk song that sounded a lot like Prince lite, which was not a bad thing in 1985.  RFTW would go on to have seven top 10 hits on the R&B charts and three top 40 hits ("Oh Sheila," "Digital Display" and "Love You Down.")

The group released three more albums through 1991, with each one performing worse than its predecessor.  They broke up in 1991, and lead singer Melvin Riley went out on his own (without much success).  In 2005, RFTW re-formed and I believe that they still play together as of this writing.

Cool trivia fact:  Lead singer Melvin Riley came up with the name Sheila by ... well, he just made it up because it sounded good.  Apparently, the song was almost called "Oh Lisa."


  1. Always Dug This One.
    Speaking of which...
    How about some Jesse Johnson Revue?

  2. Wow, Jesse Johnson -- good call (and definitely in the Prince-Lite camp). Will put him on the list, next to Morris Day, great idea for a future post.