Lois Wilson Top Ten
Celebrating my Top 10 Barbaras.
1) Barbara Lynn You’ll Lose A Good Thing Jamie, 1962
A trailblazer, Barbara Lynn Ozen, born in 1942, in Beaumont, Texas, wrote, sung, played and co-produced her own material. She started out singing and playing piano in her local Our Mother Of Mercy Catholic Church choir from an early age then from 16 in Bobbie Lynn and her Idols, an all female R&B group made up of school friends. At 19 she began recording, at 20 she hit Number 1 in the US R&B chart with her second 45, the awesome self authored You’ll Lose A Good Thing.
2) Barbara Lewis Baby I’m Yours Atlantic, 1965
An extraordinary talent, singer/ songwriter Barbara Lewis recorded a series of unimpeachable solo singles, future classics like Hello Stranger and Baby I’m Yours, sophisticated uptown soul numbers that interweave girl group innocence with torch balladry. The second named penned by Van McCoy and recorded with Bert Berns in New York was a million seller.
3) Barbara Randolph Can I Get A Witness Soul, 1968
A footnote in Motown’s history, the one time lead singer of The Platters could and should have been much more. But having got the thumbs down from Diana Ross when she auditioned for a place with the post-Florence Ballard Supremes, Barbara Randolph released just two singles for Berry Gordy’s stable – covers of the The Four Tops’ I Got A Feeling and Marvin Gaye’s Can I Get A Witness, both proving perfect vehicles for a delectable vocal that meshed the bolshy self-assurance of Martha Reeves with the vulnerable femininity of Tammi Terrell (whom she later stood in for singing live with Marvin Gaye).
4) Barbara Mercer Nobody Loves You Like Me Golden World, 1965
Barbara Mercer had first sung in the Styletts, but on going solo she really should have made it; sounding as sweet as Diana Ross’ Supremes and with Popcorn Wylie and Ronnie Savoy as her own Holland-Dozier-Holland on this second of three singles for Golden World.
5) Barbara George I Know (You Don’t Love Me No More) AFO, 1961
It was Jessie Hill of Ooh Poo Pah Doo fame who first championed Barbara George, born Barbara Smith in 1942, introducing her to Harold Baptiste, resulting in the US R&B Number 1 I Know (You Don’t Love Me No More) for Baptiste’s All For One label.
6) Barbara Stephens Wait A Minute Stax, 1962
Barbara Stephens plied her trade in The Gardenias and The Deltones before recording four solo singles for Satellite and Stax over two years. 1962’s Wait A Minute is the cream; the Atlanta, Georgia singer’s potent scream and shout pinned to churchy backing vocals and a drum pattern to rival one of JB’s sticksmen.
7) Barbara Mason Yes I’m Ready Arctic, 1965
As an 18 year old in 1965 Barbara Mason captured the exhilaration of a teenage crush on Yes I’m Ready, a US Number 3 R&B hit, which is widely acknowledged as the beginnings of the Philly sound, with its use of sweet, sweeping strings and musicians who would go on to form the nucleus of the Philadelphia International label’s house band, MFSB.
8) Barbara And The Browns Big Party Wil-Mo, 1963
Memphis soul singer Barbara Brown never got her due. Yet her uninhibited vocal delivery trained in church, made her one of the great conveyors of deep emotion. Initially she set out to record gospel and with her sisters Roberta, Betty and Maurice under the banner Barbara and the Browns, she auditioned for Chip Moman. Impressed, he introduced her to a secular audience with 1963’s Big Party, which issued on his own Wil-Mo label and nationally distributed on Stax captured her boisterous R&B shout and made the US Billboard Top Pop 100.
9) Barbara Jones Come & Get Yourself Some If You Want It Typhoon, 1974
She was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1952 and dubbed ‘the leading lady of song’, she launched her career with Sad Movies (Make Me Cry) in 1972. The Alvin Ranglin produced Come & Get Yourself Some If You Want It is near perfection and her version of Angel Of The Morning is ace too.
10) Barbara Acklin Just Ain’t No Love Brunswick, 1968
Born in Oakland in 1943 and raised in Chicago from 1948, Barbara Acklin honed her craft at the New Zion Baptist Church as a teenager, before hitting with stupendous Love Makes A Woman, Just Ain’t No Love and Am I The Same Girl and writing much of the 70s Chicago soul songbook with Brunswick label mate Eugene Record.
Thank you so much Lois! Loved it!
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