In MKE Music Rewind we revisit notable Milwaukee music that was released before Milwaukee Record became a thing in April 2014. This week: Keedy’s “Save Some Love” from 1991.

The broad strokes of music history tell us that on September 24, 1991, everything changed. That’s the day Nirvana’s Nevermind was released, obliterating any non-grunge music that came immediately before or after it. It’s an incredibly simplistic tale, of course—established pop stars like Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Mariah Carey didn’t disappear overnight (or at all)–but Nevermind‘s impact was indeed significant. Good luck to any up-and-coming pop stars looking to establish themselves anywhere near Nevermind‘s wake.

Enter Keedy‘s Chase The Clouds, which was released on Arista Records on March 12, 1991. The debut record from Texas-born and Milwaukee-raised Kelly Ann Keedy had two singles that landed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart: “Save Some Love” peaked at No. 15, while “Wishing On The Same Star” peaked at No. 86. The future looked bright…until the flannel-clad grunge wave washed away Keedy’s brand of early-’90s high-polished dance-pop. Chase The Clouds would be the singer’s one and only major label album.

Which is a shame, because Chase The Clouds is a fantastic example of early-’90s high-polished dance-pop. Here’s “Save Some Love,” complete with strong Madonna vibes and a video bursting with glorious ’90s fashion (as well as nods to Fellini’s La Strada for some reason):

Prior to Chase The Clouds, Keedy was a well-known musician in Milwaukee. She had been a member of popular synth-rock act Gerard—named after brothers Greg and Bill Gerard—which at one point counted Eric Benét among its ranks. Around this time, Keedy and then-husband Greg Gerard made a play for mainstream success. Here’s Keedy in a 2007 interview with website Milk Carton Pop Stars:

“‘Save Some Love’ was written by Greg Gerard during a time when I was in the Milwaukee based band Gerard. Greg and his brother Bill Gerard had been recording songs with a number of different singers in the band and the idea was if one of us could get a foot in the door we could help the rest of the gang. ‘Save Some Love’ and ‘Lazy Day’ were the songs that caught the ears of record industry people. ‘Save Some Love’ was written about two members in the band that had an on-again off-again relationship. I always loved the solo and the bridge section in that song and to this day it still makes me happy to hear it.”

“Save Some Love” was followed by “Wishing On The Same Star.” Written by hit-making machine Diane Warren, it’s a song custom-made for junior-high slow dances, slotted somewhere between “Eternal Flame” and “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You.”

The singles did well, but then came that grungy wave. Keedy and Gerard valiantly tried to sell a followup to Chase The Clouds, but it never happened. Here’s Keedy again, in 2007:

“Greg and I then moved to Los Angeles and wrote and demoed over 100 songs for the follow up to Chase The Clouds. Arista had to accept six songs before they would start recording the second record. They would like four and then say you need three more like this one and so on and so on. Then we found out that there was a shift in management at Arista and we were lost in the shuffle. My new A&R guy didn’t believe in what we were doing and hip-hop was taking off as was Nirvana and grunge. After trying to get the second record off the ground for several years it was apparent that I needed to be released from any dealings with Arista. It was a liberating feeling and the end of that chapter of my life.”

Keedy returned to Wisconsin in the ’90s, playing with local groups like The Orphans and The LuvByrds; these days, she’s Kelly Keedy Ladwig.

If you take a quick scroll through the YouTube comments on the video for “Save Some Love,” you’ll find a common theme:

“This song never got the recognition it deserved.”

“Shame on Arista and Keedy’s management for not putting this single where everyone in the world knows instantly where it should have gone.”

“Beautiful performance by Keedy: one of the best pop songs ever. It would have deserved more support from the radio and probably also from the Arista record company.”

“She should have never been a one hit wonder if you can get your hands on this album get it besides this song it’s filled with other good ones as well its such a shame she never got the fame she deserved.”

Oh, and you’ll find a comment from the artist herself:

“Thanks for all the great comments. It was an amazing time. Lots love. Keedy.”

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.