4 December 1924
12 February 1999 (aged 74)
Toni Fisher (born 1931 - February 12, 1999, in Los Angeles, California) was an American pop singer.
Fisher is best remembered for her 1959 song, "The Big Hurt" written by her husband Wayne Shanklin. The song went to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 music chart in the U.S. "The Big Hurt" is notable because it featured phasing effects; indeed, it is claimed to be the first song to do so. DJ Dick Biondi on WKBW would introduce the record as "Toni Fisher's weird one."
According to an unconfirmed source the recording session was conducted in an airplane hangar, which is suggested by the sounds of aircraft in the background. Actually the song was recorded in the famous Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles and engineered by Stan Ross and Dave Gold.
Disc jockey Wink Martindale commented that the record label bills the singer as "Miss Toni Fisher" because of her powerful voice, which is consistently audible over the phasing, the instruments, and the background noise; to confirm to the listener that this is indeed a woman singing.
In 1962 she had another Top 40 hit with "West Of The Wall" (#37), a song about the sadness of lovers separated by the 1961 erection of the Berlin Wall.
"The Big Hurt" was later covered by Del Shannon, Susan Rafey, Susan Farrar, Scott Walker, Nick Cave, BearEssence, and Nessie & Her Beard.
She died of a heart attack on February 12th, 1999.
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