TIR 124: Wanda Hutchinson Tells How Emotions Gave Us the Best of Their Love


Wanda Hutchinson pictured center, with Emotions sisters Jeanette and Sheila.


Brought to you by FUNKNSTUFF.NET and hosted by Scott Goldfine — musicologist and author of “Everything Is on THE ONE: The First Guide of Funk” ― “TRUTH IN RHYTHM” is the interview show that gets DEEP into the pocket with contemporary music’s foremost masters of the groove.

Featured in TIR Episode 124 (2 parts): A founding member of one of the greatest and most influential female vocal groups of all time — Wanda Hutchinson of the dynamic soul-R&B trio The Emotions. Along with her sisters Jeanette and Sheila, the Emotions started their professional recording career as teens in the 1960s. Signed by Stax Records and working closely with, among others, Isaac Hayes, they released some two dozen singles through the mid-1970s. During that career phase, the young ladies notched eight top 40 R&B hits in the U.S., topped by “So I Can Love You” in 1969, which reached No. 3 on the R&B chart and cracked the pop top 40.

However, Wanda and her sisters achieved a whole new level of fame and success after their one-of-a-kind sound and harmonies inspired Earth, Wind and Fire’s Charles Stepney and Maurice White to sign them on as part of EWF’s production deal with Columbia Records. From the back half of the 1970s through the first half of the 1980s, the Emotions sent nine more hits, dance floor anthems and ballads alike, into the U.S. R&B top 40. Those included classics like “Flowers,” “I Don’t Want to Lose Your Love,” the chart-topping crossover smash “Best of My Love,” “Don’t Ask My Neighbors,” “Smile” and teaming with EWF on “Boogie Wonderland.”

The Hutchinson siblings scored three platinum and gold albums, and performed around the world in support of superstar acts like EWF, The Commodores and The Brothers Johnson. Among their accolades were American Music and Grammy Awards. Although they stopped releasing their own albums, during the 1990s the Emotions contributed to music made by Nancy Wilson, LL Cool J, George Duke, Smokey Robinson, Snoop Dogg and their old friends, EWF.

Here, Wanda Hutchinson takes us back to the group’s childhood origins through the Stax and Columbia years all the way to a present-day in which she is continuing to perform and mentoring her own three singing daughters, one of whom, Wendi, is heard off camera in this interview. It’s time to rejoice with the effervescent Wanda Hutchinson — who even sings a bit during the interview!



Scott Goldfine

As a fervid lifelong music & film enthusiast / student, I grew up in and around the Los Angeles entertainment industry. I have worked and held many positions in various media realms, since 1998 serving as Editor-in-Chief and now Associate Publisher for Security Sales & Integration, a trade publication serving the electronic security industry. I love several genres of music & film. The former includes funk (Parliament-Funkadelic, Prince, Ohio Players, etc.); blues (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Eric Gales, etc.); rock (Jack White, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, etc.); hard rock (AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, etc.); jazz (Herbie Hancock, Bob James, Crusaders, etc.); R&B (Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Gil Scott-Heron, etc.); and more. I was a club disc jockey and ran a mobile DJ company (Musical Moods) for more than 15 years, which is where the name Dr. GX originates (Doctor Good Times). Fave film genres include horror (Dawn of the Dead, Evil Dead, Nightmare on Elm Street, etc.); science fiction (Aliens, Terminator, 2001, etc.); action (Warriors, Road Warrior, Die Hard); westerns (Outlaw Josey Wales, Showdown at OK Corral; Wild Bunch, etc.); suspense (Jaws, Inception, Silence of the Lambs, etc.); drama (Apocalypse Now, Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction, etc.); and comedies (Life of Brian, Superbad, Ruthless People, etc.). I have attended many hundreds of concerts and movies (in theaters or screenings). I may as well also throw in a few favorite TV shows to give an even broader taste of my sensibilities. A handful would be Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Lost, Justified, Fargo, Seinfeld, Sopranos, South Park, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Key & Peele, Monty Python, Inside Amy Schumer, Louie, Modern Family, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Last Man on Earth, Bob Newhart Show, All in the Family and The Office. Fave authors are Stephen King, Clive Barker and Michael Crichton. I am also a big sports fan and lifelong supporter of the Dallas Cowboys (NFL), Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) and Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB). Also enjoy my family of course, electronics/computers/AV gear, and animals, nature and outdoor activities. Graduate of Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica College and California State University Northridge (Radio-TV-Film, Psychology minor). Also studied at UCLA for kinesiology/psychology and earned post-grad Certificate in Accounting from Santa Monica College. Present main occupation is as Associate Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Security Sales & Integration (SSI), which I joined in 1998. I am responsible for overseeing all editorial content in print. online, electronic, in-person and any other media or products for the electronic security industry's leading business-to-business trade publication. SSI is part of Framingham, Mass.-based Emerald Expositions.