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Maxine Brown

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Maxine Ella Brown (born 18 August 1939, in Kingstree, South Carolina) is an American soul singer.

She began singing as a child, performing with two New York based gospel groups when she was a teenager. In 1960, she signed with the small Nomar record label, who released the smooth soul ballad “All in My Mind” late in the year. The single became a hit, climbing to number two on the R&B charts (number 19 pop), and it was quickly followed by “Funny”, which peaked at number three. Brown was poised to become a star, and she moved to ABC-Paramount in 1962, but left the label within a year and signed to the New York based, uptown soul label, Wand, in 1963.

Brown recorded her best work at Wand, having a string of moderate hits for the label over the next three years. Among these were the Carole King / Gerry Goffin song “Oh No Not My Baby”, which reached number 24 on the pop charts; “It’s Gonna Be Alright”; and several duets with Chuck Jackson. However, the label focused much of their attention on Dionne Warwick, leaving Maxine Brown to toil in semi-obscurity.

In 1969, she left Wand and signed first with Commonwealth United and then Avco Records, but her later recordings met with little commercial success. Despite her lack of hits, Brown is acknowledged as one of the finest R&B vocalists of her time, capable of delivering soul, jazz, and pop with equal aplomb.

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