The Sensations

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In the unappealingly titled "Urine Trouble" episode (05/11/1989) of legal drama TV series L.A. Law, two African-American music groups go head to head in court. Thing is, they're the same group! The first group, old time Motowners, decided to retire and sell their name and act to a batch of new guys to keep the music alive. Trouble is, the new guys changed the songs; having "put in this ka-tonk, ka-konk," whereas the Sensations always stood for smooth, according to original member Malcolm Redding.

New guy Mr. Wiltern ain't having none of it, calling the old stuff "sugary puke!" Now the old guys want to come out of retirement to sing their stuff the way it's supposed to be. The new guys want to slap an injunction on them- they don't want the old guys bleeding off potential revenue.

Naturally, Judge Vance has no choice but to demand a sing-off, in the courtroom! The oldsters in matching powder blue suits, smooth up a storm with the pretty decent motown pastiche, "Walking In the Rain With My Baby." "Notice the soothing nature of the performance" points out their lawyer/music critic (Harry Hamlin). Wow, he must write for Rolling Stone. Then the new guys jump around in eye-hurting pink shirts and purple-sequined suits. They do the same song with a horrible 80s beat box funk beat, featuring scratching and that mid-80s bane of musical goodness: the keytar. Nothing but "Smut! ...Cheap smutty trash!" says Redding. After the performances, the judge shudders to think what the new guys may have done to the song "Bopping All Night With Betty" and finds the two acts too distinct to cause marketplace confusion. Injunction denied!

The Old Sensations were played by real band The Rivingtons: Al Frazier, John "Sunny" Harris, Andrew Butler.

The New Sensations: Simply Raw, Theodore Miller, Ricky Wyrick, Xavier Thomas.