Martha Wash On Covering ‘Dream On,’ Recording ‘It’s Raining Men’

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Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

In 1982, when The Weather Girls struck chart gold with their hit “It’s Raining Men,” it would have been hard to imagine one of the members of the duo covering Aerosmith decades later.  But – surprise! – Martha Wash has a new solo album out, and it features one rather unexpected song: Aerosmith‘s “Dream On.” 

Wash told Radio.com that she was surprised when her manager suggested she record the classic. “He told me that I needed to do a cover. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that. But he came up with ‘Dream On.’ I’d always liked the song. I said, ‘OK, that can work!’ It’s a very well known song. But my thinking is, as long as you can do it as well as the original artist – or better – then, cool!  The way I did it was slightly different from the way Steven Tyler sings it, but I wanted to do my own interpretation. I knew people would be surprised that I was doing it.”

The rest of the album has more uplifting songs, including “Alright,” “I’m Not Coming Down” and the title track. “I tried to find songs that would be inspiring.  I want people to feel good.  If they’re down and they listen to my songs, I want them to say ‘It’s a bad day, but I know I can make it through.’ I just want people to feel good about themselves.” 

Of course for most people, Wash and her group The Weather Girls are synonymous with their biggest hit, “It’s Raining Men.” Written by Paul Shaffer with a songwriter named Paul Jabara, it was Jabara who convinced the Weather Girls – who were called Two Tons O’Fun at the time – to record it. 

As Wash tells it, Jabara practically begged her and bandmate Izora Armstead to cut the track. “He said, ‘I need you to record this song. It’s almost my last hope of getting it recorded.’ He told us Diana Ross turned it down, Barbra Streisand turned it down and Donna Summer turned it down.” 

“We went in and recorded the song…  We went into the studio and recorded it in about 90 minutes.”  

Jabara’s enthusiasm for the song didn’t end with its recording session. After it was cut, Wash says that he took the record to clubs and ask the DJs to play it.  She notes, “It became a huge hit in the clubs long before mainstream radio picked up on it.”  Watch Wash discuss “It’s Raining Men” below. 

Right now, Wash is getting ready to hit the road.  “I’m going out this year to promote, promote, promote.” So expect to catch her performing everything from “It’s Raining Men” to “Dream On” at a club near you in 2013. 

Brian Ives, Radio.com 

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