He linked me with Jonah Ellis—God rest his soul. I didn't particularly feel it was a good fit, but a lot of people like "Uh Oh, I Made a Mistake" and "Dangerous." I didn't feel like they were quite up to par for that time, because I think New Jack Swing was trying to edge its way in a little bit through The Gap Band.
"Dangerous" was very successful in dance clubs and on urban radio in many regions. Listening to the new CD reissue of Pennye, it's interesting how different the single remix is from the album version.
You mean that stuttering effect? All that was just coming out, and people were going crazy. I would've used it in a more musical way, as opposed to Lonnie—who just happened to own a piece of equipment and was just playing it. The Gap Band had that "Beep a Freak" song with the beeper going through the whole song. With "Dangerous," I think that Jonah was just too far into the old style of music to really understand how to properly put those jumbled-up, chaotic synthesizers into the song. I like them more now, but I had to take it away from being about me, and think of it as being about the listener. I had my own ideas, but I really didn't have a lot of control. With songs like Jonah's, it shows you what I know, because years later with Snap!, "The Power" would've never come out had it been up to me!
I was spending a whole lot of time trying to get out of doing those songs. My vocal on "Uh Oh" wasn't finished. I cringe sometimes when I hear it, because there were so many flats and sharps. They were real. We didn't have the tuners we have now. I was a perfectionist on vocals, and my friends are all consummate musicians. I didn't want them to hear me singing those notes.
You had one ballad on the album entitled "Never Let You Go," produced by Yarbrough & Peoples. What do you remember about recording that one?
That was special. Lois Peoples and I were the only two females on the label. We were surrounded by a whole bunch of crazy guys, but they protected us. It was great to be able to work with them. I remember Lois being able to produce the vocal, which was a milestone—because they never let the girls do anything.
Why did you leave Total Experience after only one album, from which you had significant success?
I think we all peeled off, plus no one was getting paid. There was a lot of shady stuff going on. There would be cars bought supposedly for us with our money. Then we'd look and see that our name wasn't on the registration. We had records out, but we were still pulling our money together to get pizza. I was one of the first people to leave. Everybody else was scared, because Lonnie had everybody thinking this whole gangster thing, like we would be killed. I just took the attitude, "You're just gonna have to kill me!"