Discover New Music

Last.fm is a music discovery service that gives you personalised recommendations based on the music you play.

Start your Last.fm profile Close window

Marlena Shaw

Tags

Everyone’s tags

More tags

Biography

Marlena Shaw (born Marlina Burgess, September 22, 1942, New Rochelle, New York, United States) is an American singer. Shaw began her singing career in the 1960s and is still singing today. Her music has often been sampled in hip hop music, and used in television commercials

Shaw is a true original with a sound that is soulful, swinging and versatile. Whether she’s delivering a down-home or a passionate ballad that’s smooth as silk, Shaw’s voice translates each song into a very personal statement.

Born in Valhalla, NY, Shaw’s first musical influences were her uncle and grandmother, who loved to sing and play music on the family’s “hi-fi” record player. As a girl, Marlena was also involved with numerous gospel singing groups. Her first experience singing before a large audience was with her uncle, who played trumpet and exposed her to the music of greats like Dizzy Gillespie. At only 10 years old, Shaw performed with her uncle at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, and they were asked to return for the next week’s show. As Shaw recalls, her uncle got booked elsewhere on the same night, and young Marlena had to take the stage solo at the Apollo for the second show.

Shaw’s professional aspirations were rejuvenated after she was married and living on an Air Force base near Springfield, MA. Encouraged by friends, she auditioned and got some gigs near the base, then made a demo tape in the garage of Charlie Parent, a local drummer. The tape eventually landed her a regular gig at the Concord, a resort hotel in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York.

Videos

Top Albums

Listening Trend

227,702listeners all time
1,430,334scrobbles all time
Recent listeners trend:

Start scrobbling and track your listening history

Last.fm users scrobble the music they play in iTunes, Spotify, Rdio and over 200 other music players.

Create a Last.fm profile

Shoutbox

Leave a comment. Log in to Last.fm or sign up.

Listening Now

Top Listeners