In Chicago she began recording for small soul labels and worked with soon-to-be big name producers Ike Turner and Curtis Mayfield until 1963, when she was picked up by short-lived Vee-Jay Records. While recording for Vee-Jay, she released several minor hits including “You’re No Good” (written by Clint Ballard, Jr. and later a #1 hit for Linda Ronstadt) and the catchy “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss)” which was her biggest solo hit. It peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and made #1 on the Cashbox R&B chart.
Her other hits included “I Can’t Hear You” (covered by numerous artists including Dusty Springfield and Helen Reddy), “Getting Mighty Crowded” (covered by Elvis Costello in 1980), and several duets with Jerry Butler, including “Let It Be Me” which made the US Top 5 in 1964 and was another Cashbox R&B number 1. After Vee-Jay folded in 1966, she recorded for several other labels including Uni, Fantasy, and ABC.
She had another major success in 1969 with “There’ll Come A Time”, which rose to #2 in the Billboard R&B listing (#26 on the Hot 100) and topped the Cashbox chart. While most of her later work could not match the success she had with Vee-Jay, there were other R&B hits with “It’s Been A Long Time” and “I Got To Tell Somebody” in 1970. Her final recording came out in 1980. Her awards include the BMI Pop Award (both for 1964 and 1991) and the BMI R&B Award (for 1964).
Edited by loothor on 10 Jun 2011, 07:03
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