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Betty Harris

Biography

Famous in deep soul circles for the disastrous ballad “Weep if you ask me,” singer Betty Harris was created in Orlando, Florida, in 1941 and elevated primarily in Alabama. The kid of preachers, her deep chapel origins conflicted with her wish to sing secular spirit music, with 17 she remaining home to go after a performing profession, briefly apprenticing under R&B celebrity Big Maybelle before ultimately getting in California, slicing the 1960 solitary “Caring for Business” for the Douglas label. Record promoter Babe Chivian suggested that Harris relocate to NEW YORK, guaranteeing her an audition with Brill Building maker and songwriter Bert Berns. There she performed a sluggish, gospel-inspired rendition of “Cry if you ask me,” an uptempo Berns-produced strike for Chivian’s customer Solomon Burke. Berns instantly dispatched Harris towards the documenting studio, and in only three requires she covered “Cry if you ask me,” released on Jubilee in 1963. Following the record became a fresh York radio smash, it broke nationally, breaking the R&B TOP as well as the pop Best 40 along the way of surpassing Burke’s unique. Quickly Harris headlined the famous Apollo Theatre, mounting a nationwide tour after documenting her Jubilee follow-up, “His Kiss.” The solitary stiffed, however, so when “Mo Jo Hannah” fulfilled a similar destiny, Berns opted to cut his deficits. Throughout a 1965 tour, Harris fulfilled New Orleans composer and maker Allen Toussaint, and with the superbly slinky “I’m Bad Tonight” became the very first designer to record for his fledgling Sansu label. With Toussaint in the helm, the bluesy balladry of Harris’ Jubilee edges gave method to a cool, sensual powerful that heralded a fresh period of New Orleans R&B. The 1966 ballad “Sometime” was supported by the outstanding “I Don’t Want to listen to It,” Toussaint’s edgiest & most intense production up to now. The next “12 Crimson Roses” further enhanced the approach, with 1967’s “Nearer for you,” Harris finally came back towards the R&B Best 20, providing another sublimely psychological performance. “Like Plenty of Lovin’,” a duet with fellow Toussaint charge Lee Dorsey, shut out the entire year — Harris prepared to aid the record on tour with Otis Redding, but on Dec 10, the spirit giant dropped his life inside a aircraft crash. Harris forged on, with 1968’s “Mean Guy” providing her grittiest work to date. Supported by a program group that could soon evolve in to the Meters, she after that finished her Sansu tenure using the brutal “Problems with My Enthusiast,” reuniting with Toussaint for just one final cooperation, the 1969 funk cult traditional “There is a Break in the street” (certified towards the SSS International label). With her profession at an impasse, Harris abruptly retired from carrying out in 1970. Following that her tale grew, and gossips pass on that she offered as Wayne Carr’s road supervisor and also drove a tractor-trailer to create ends meet. The truth is, Harris simply centered on increasing her family, even though she shunned the music market she continued performing in her chapel choir — after settling in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1997, she actually began providing vocal lessons. Still, Harris continued to be oblivious to the developing awe afforded her ’60s result by spirit aficionados, respect generated mainly by an extended U.K. reissue from the 1969 anthology Spirit Perfection. After that in 2001, her girl found many Betty Harris lover sites on the net, prompting the vocalist to become listed on a spirit email list to announce her present whereabouts. Her re-emergence triggered a mix in deep spirit circles, and quickly Boston-based guitarist and maker Chris Stovall Dark brown wanted to helm Harris’ 1st documenting program in 35 years. On Apr 17, 2005, she also headlined her initial live appearance in over three years, performing at an advantage on her behalf daughter’s Hartford alma mater. Weeks afterwards, Harris performed at New Orleans’ annual Ponderosa Stomp. In 2007, she released that which was, incredibly, her first proper studio record, the Jon Tiven-produced Intuition. Through the pursuing decade, the Spirit Jazz label reissued her 1965-1969 edges as The Shed Queen of New Orleans Spirit.

Quick Facts


Full Name Betty Harris
Profession Singer
Education Southern University and A&M CollegeClark Atlanta UniversityUniversity of New Mexico
Nationality American
Music Songs Nearer to You, Trouble With My Lover, Mean Man, Ride Your Pony, Break in the Road, Love Lots of Lovin', His Kiss, Can't Last Much Longer, What a Sad Feeling, There's a Break in the Road, Twelve Red Roses, I'm Evil Tonight, All I Want Is You, Take Care of Our Love, I'll Be a Liar, I'm Gonna Git Ya, Lonely Hearts, What'd I Do Wrong, Cry to Me, 12 Red Roses, I Don't Want to Hear It, It's Dark Outside, What Did I Do Wrong, Mo Jo Hannah, I Don't Wanna Hear It, Hook, Line, Sinker, Taking Care of Business, Show It, I'm Gonna Get You, I Can't Stand It Much Longer, Yesterday's Kisses, Hook Line and Sinker
Albums Mo Jo Hannah / Now Is The Hour, It's Dark Outside / His Kiss, The Lost Soul Queen, In the Saddle, Soul Perfection Plus: Complete Jubilee: Sansu: 555 International Masters 1963-1969, The Lost Queen Of New Orleans Soul


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