d. 31st January 1983.
Lorraine Ellison’s full name is Marybelle Luraine Ellison Gonzalez-Keys (she was married twice) and was born and raised in Philadelphia.
Lorraine recorded with two gospel groups, the Ellison Singers and the Golden Chords, but left the latter in 1964 to pursue a solo career in R & B music.
She also sang with a group called the Sylvania Singers before forming the Ellison Singers.
‘I Dig You Baby’ (number 22 R & B) in 1965 was her first chart entry.
Lorraine signed with the Loma imprint, and had a fortunate break when Frank Sinatra cancelled a studio recording, leaving an orchestra with nothing to do.
She stood in at the last minute and recorded the Soul Classic, ‘Stay With Me’.
‘Stay With Me’ (number 11 R & B, number 64 pop) in 1966 was the song that really took her to another level.
‘Stay With Me’ was written and produced by Jerry Ragovoy and really helped establish and imbed Soul Music within the music industry.
‘Heart Be Still’ (number 43 R & B, number 89 pop), followed in 1967.
Lorraine never charted again, however, she released ‘Try Just A Little Bit Harder’ in 1968, which rock singer Janis Joplin later remade with great success.
Her compositions, on which she often collaborated with her manager, Sam Bell (of Garnet Mimms And The Enchanters fame), were recorded by Howard Tate and Garnet Mimms.
Lorraine has a surviving daughter named Tonya A. Ellison-Veal.
There are 2 remaining members of the original Ellison singers still getting on with day to day things, (Pauline Ellison-King & Jean Ellison-Dennison).
Lorraine gave up the music business in order to take care of her ailing mother, singing mostly in the Beth-el Baptist and Christlike Baptist Church before her death in 1983 of ovarian cancer.
Edited by StephenhWilson on 26 Oct 2007, 18:25
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