The Weather Girls
|The Weather Girls|
|Also known as||Two Tons O' Fun, and later The Two Tons|
|Origin||San Francisco, California, U.S.|
|Years active||1977–1985, 1999–present|
The Weather Girls, also known as Two Tons o' Fun (especially during the early portion of their career), is an American musical duo formed in San Francisco, California in 1977, originally composed of singers Izora Armstead and Martha Wash. The duo charted several dance hits over the course of its career, with its peak in popularity having occurred in 1982, when the group released the hit song "It's Raining Men."
The rights to the name "The Weather Girls" are currently held by Dynelle Rhodes, the daughter of founding Weather Girl, Izora Armstead, and the band consists of Rhodes and Ingrid Arthur.
The original members of the group were Martha Wash and Izora Rhodes (later known by her married name, Izora Armstead). Though the mainstream pop market considers the team a one-hit wonder for "It's Raining Men" (though the song did not make the Top 40 in the US, peaking at #46 on the Billboard Hot 100), they recorded three songs which peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart under the "Two Tons o' Fun" name: "Earth Can Be Just Like Heaven" (1980); "Just Us" (1980 and also made #29 on the US R&B chart); and the Hi-NRG song "I Got the Feeling" in 1981. They were brought together by Sylvester as his backing group (from 1977 to 1981), who also gave them the name 'Two Tons O' Fun.' They are best known for their 1982 #1 club and pop hit, "It's Raining Men", the recording of which music producer Paul Jabara supervised and from which the name "The Weather Girls" was derived. After the success of "It's Raining Men", other hits by the original line-up (which adopted the Weather Girls moniker permanently after the hit) included "Dear Santa (Bring Me a Man this Christmas)", for which, as with "It's Raining Men", an accompanying music video was made, and "No One Can Love You More Than Me." In total, Wash and Rhodes released 5 albums overall, 2 albums recorded as Two Tons (1980's Two Tons O' Fun and 1981's Backatcha) and a further 3 albums as The Weather Girls (the 1982 album Success, 1985's Big Girls Don't Cry and 1988's The Weather Girls.)
The group disbanded in 1988 following the release of their self-titled album, while Wash moved on to a solo career that continues into the present day. Wash sang uncredited lead vocals on the songs "Everybody, Everybody", "Strike It Up", "I Don't Know Anybody Else" and "Fantasy" for the group Black Box, and recorded with C+C Music Factory at the peak of that band's popularity in the early 1990s, including uncredited vocals on their #1 hit "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now!)". Martha Wash successfully sued the record labels behind Black Box and C+C Music Factory for the unlawful use of her voice, which was mimed in videos and "live" appearances by model Katrin Quinol and singer Zelma Davis respectively. Her legal action led to new legislation that requires all vocals contributions to be credited, while Wash released a self-titled solo album on MCA records in 1992 as part of that legal settlement, which included the club hits "Carry On" and "Give It To You". Wash also returned to C+C Music Factory for their 1994 album "Anything Goes", sharing credited vocals on the track (and video) "Do You Wanna Get Funky?" with Zelma Davis, as well as the tracks "Takin' Over", "Bounce To The Beat (Can U Dig It)" and the single-only b-side "I Found Love (C+C Club Mix)". A string of solo club singles also followed, including the 1996 single "Keep On Jumpin'" recorded with vocalist Jocelyn Brown and producer Todd Terry, and the singles "Catch The Light", "Come" and a re-make of "It's Raining Men" (featuring RuPaul) for her 1998 greatest hits album, "The Collection".
With Martha Wash pursuing a solo career, Izora Armstead moved to Germany in the early 1990s where she and her daughter Dynelle Rhodes re-formed The Weather Girls, releasing 3 albums - "Double Tons of Fun" (1993, featuring the singles "Party" and "We Shall All Be Free"), "Think Big!" (1995) and "Puttin' On The Hits" (1998), and touring extensively throughout Europe. In 2002, they joined the "Disco Brothers" for a participation in the German National Final for the Eurovision Song Contest, with their song "Get Up". In the end, the group only managed a 13th place out of 15. Their final single, the non-album track "Big Brown Girl", was released in 2004.
Izora Armstead died of heart failure in September 2004, at age 62. The Weather Girls (now composed of Dynelle Rhodes and her cousin Ingrid Arthur) released a new album, "Totally Wild", in late 2005. It scored an underground club hit with the single "Wild Thang." Like the original Weather Girls, the current duo has proven successful with its gay male core audience.
In 2008, The Weather Girls were featured artists on the song "Break You" by Ralph Falcon of the bands Murk and Funky Green Dogs. This song spent one week at No. 1 on the American dance chart in May 2008.
|1980||Two Tons of Fun|
|1980||Backatcha (as The Two Tons)|
|1985||Big Girls Don't Cry|
|1985||Megatonnage, The best of The Two Tons (Aka The Weather Girls)|
|1999||Puttin' On The Hits|
Partial singles chart success
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album|
|1980||"Earth Can Be Just Like Heaven"||—||2||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"I Got the Feeling" / "Just Us"||—||2||—||29||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1982||"It's Raining Men"||46||1||46||34||43||46||8||13||95||2||Success|
|1985||"No One Can Love You More Than Me"||—||26||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1993||"Can You Feel It"||—||2||—||—||75||—||—||—||—||—|
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
- A ^ Airplay
Other singles by the Weather Girls
- "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair"
- "Dear Santa (Bring Me a Man This Christmas)"
- "Big Girls Don't Cry"
- "Love You Like a Train"
- "Land of the Believer"
- "Laughter in the Rain"
- "Sounds of Sex"
- "Wild Thang"
- "Girl You And Me"
- "We Shall All Be Free"
- "Star (feat. Jimmy Somerville)"
- List of number-one dance hits (United States)
- List of artists who reached number one on the US Dance chart
- Perrone, Pierre (September 27, 2004). "Izora Rhodes-Armstead". The Independent. Retrieved August 8, 2016.
- Sisario, Ben (September 28, 2004). "Izora Armstead, a Singer in the Weather Girls Duo, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved August 8, 2016.
- Wynn, Ron. "The Weather Girls - Big Girls Don't Cry". AllMusic. Retrieved August 8, 2016.
- "Images for Two Tons Of Fun". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
- "The Weather Girls". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media.
- Hung, Steffen. "Discographie The Weather Girls". German Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung).
- Hung, Steffen. "Discografie The Weather Girls". Dutch Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung).
- Hung, Steffen. "Discography The Weather Girls". Norwegian Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung).
- Hung, Steffen. "Discography The Weather Girls". New Zealand Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung).
- Hung, Steffen. "Discographie The Weather Girls". Swiss Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung).
- "UK Charts > The Weather Girls". Official Charts Company.