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Barry White
Birth name Barrence Eugene Carter
Born September 12, 1944(1944-09-12)
Galveston, Texas, U.S.
Died July 4, 2003 (aged 58)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres Soul
Funk
Disco
Occupations Singer-songwriter
Record producer
Arranger
Instruments Piano
Keyboards
Vocals
Drums
Years active 1972–2001
Labels
Uni/MCA Records
20th Century Records
Casablanca/PolyGram Records
Mercury/PolyGram Records
A&M/PolyGram Records
Private Music/BMG Records
Eagle Records
Associated acts Love Unlimited
The Love Unlimited Orchestra
Isaac Hayes
Gerald LeVert,Marvin Gaye,Michael Jackson

Barry White (September 12, 1944(1944-09-12) – July 4, 2003) was an American record producer and singer-songwriter.

A five-time Grammy Award-winner known for his rich bass voice and romantic image, White's greatest success came in the 1970s as a solo singer and with his Love Unlimited Orchestra, crafting many enduring hit soul funk, and disco songs. Worldwide, White had many gold and platinum albums and singles, with combined sales of over 100 million, according to critics Ed Hogan and Wade Kergan.[1]

Contents

Biography

Early life and career

White was born Barrence Eugene Carter in Galveston, Texas[2] and grew up in the high-crime areas of South Central Los Angeles. At 17, he was jailed for four months for stealing $30,000 worth of Cadillac tires.[3]

Elvis Presley singing "It's Now or Never" on the radio, an experience he later credited with changing the course of his life.[4] After his release, he left gang life and began a musical career at the dawn of the 1960s in singing groups before going out on his own in the middle of the decade.

The marginal success he had to that point was as a songwriter; his songs were recorded by rock singer Bobby Fuller and TV bubblegum act The Banana Splits. He was also responsible in 1963 for arranging "Harlem Shuffle" for Bob & Earl, which became a hit in the UK in 1969. He discovered disco artists, Viola Wills and Felice Taylor in 1965 and signed them to Mustang/Bronco Records, for which he was working as A&R manager. In addition, at age 11, he played piano on Jesse Belvin's big hit Goodnight My Love.[5]

Success

In 1972, he got his big break producing a girl group he had discovered called Love Unlimited. His best friend, music industry businessman Larry Nunes helped to finance this major start to his recording career. He made Barry his protégé, forming a production company with White and guiding him to fame. Formed in imitation of the legendary Motown girl group The Supremes, the group members had gradually honed their talents with White for two years until they signed contracts with Uni Records.

White produced, wrote and arranged the classic soul ballad, "Walking in the Rain (With The One I Love)", which climbed to #14 in the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart and #6 on the R&B chart. After the first album, White switched his production deal and the group to 20th Century Records where they recorded several other hits throughout the 1970s. These included "I Belong To You" which spent over five months on the R&B chart in 1974 including a week at #1. White married the lead singer of the group, Glodean James, on 4 July 1974.

While working on a few demos for a male singer, White was persuaded to release the songs on himself although he was initially reluctant to step out in front of the microphone. His first solo chart hit, 1973's "I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby", rose to #1 R&B and #3 Pop. Then the Love Unlimited Orchestra's recording of White's composition "Love's Theme" reached #1 Pop in 1974, one of only a handful of instrumental recordings ever to do so. Some regard "Love's Theme" as the first disco hit ever, although Nino Tempo's "Sister James" had already reached the Hot 100 a few months before.

Other chart hits by White include "Never, Never Gonna Give You Up" (#2 R&B, #7 Pop in 1973), "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe" (# 1 Pop and R&B in 1974), "You're the First, the Last, My Everything" (#1 R&B, #2 Pop in 1974), "What Am I Gonna Do with You" (#1 R&B, #8 Pop in 1975), "Let the Music Play" (#4 R&B in 1976), "It's Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next to Me" (#1 R&B, #4 Pop in 1977) and "Your Sweetness is My Weakness" (#2 R&B in 1978). White also had a strong following in the UK where he scored five Top 10 hits and one Number 1 ("You're The First").

White left 20th Century in 1979 to launch his own label, Unlimited Gold with the major, CBS/Columbia. Despite several albums over the next three years, he failed to repeat his earlier success with no single managing to reach the Hot 100 and only one, "Change" in 1982 climbing into the R&B Top 20 (#12). His label venture cost White dearly and he concentrated on touring before finally signing a recording deal with A&M in 1987. It was several more years before he returned to the top of the charts with "Put Me In Your Mix" (#2 R&B) in 1991 and "Practice What You Preach" (#1 R&B, #18 Pop) in 1994. He also took part in a Quincy Jones' record, "The Secret Garden" which topped the R&B chart in 1990.

Considered handsome and deeply romantic by his many female fans and admired for the unique blend of soul and classical orchestral musical elements he created, White was often affectionately referred to as the "Maestro" or "The Man with the Velvet Voice". His portly physical stature led some in the popular press to make condescending jokes about his weight by referring to White as the "Walrus of Love," a moniker considered disrespectful by many fans. Barry White was also referred to as "The Sultan of Smooth Soul," but it was his role as brainchild of the funk-fueled, deep soul band, the Love Unlimited Orchestra, in which he was widely branded on several early albums as the group's Maestro, earning him the only documented nickname for which he and his musical colleagues were responsible.

Comebacks

Although White's success on the pop charts slowed down as the disco era came to an end, he maintained a loyal following throughout his career. In the 1990s, he mounted an effective comeback with several albums including The Icon Is Love (1994), which had the hit, "Practice What You Preach". In 1996, White recorded "In Your Wildest Dreams" with rock icon Tina Turner. Staying Power (1999) won two Grammy Awards. In addition, his music was often featured on the sitcom Ally McBeal and he appeared on the show twice.

Death

White had been ill with chronically high blood pressure for some time, which resulted in kidney failure in the autumn of 2002. He suffered a stroke in May 2003, after which he was forced to retire from public life. On July 4, 2003, he died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after suffering from renal failure.[6] White was cremated, and his ashes were scattered by his family off the California coast.[7]

On September 20 2004, he was posthumously inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame at a ceremony held in New York.[8]

Musical style

White's recordings featured a distinctive sound that combined symphonic orchestral instrumentation (string section, woodwinds, horns, harpsichords, etc.) with a steady drumbeat and as many as five electric guitars. His arrangements were influential to the emerging sound of disco music in the early 1970s.

A distinctive feature of White's music were the steamy spoken introductions and interludes that appeared in many of his songs. Perhaps the most notorious of these appeared in the track "Love Serenade (Part 1)," from his 1975 album Just Another Way to Say I Love You which included:

Take it off. . . Baby, take it all off . . . I want you the way you came into the world . . . I don't wanna feel no clothes . . . I don't wanna see no panties . . . and take off that brassiere, my dear . . . Everybody's gone . . . we're gonna take the receiver off the phone . . . because, baby, you and me—heh . . . this night, we're gonna get it on . . . .to Love's Serenade"

Acting

Over the course of his career White occasionally did work as a voice actor. He voiced the character Bear in the 1975 film Coonskin (and also played the character Sampson in the movie's live-action segments). He was featured in three episodes of The Simpsons Which were "Whacking Day" in which he used his deep bass voice played through speakers placed on the ground to attract snakes, a cameo appearance in "Krusty Gets Kancelled", and "Moaning Lisa" where he plays jazz music with Lisa. He played the role of a bus driver for a Prodigy commercial in 1995. He also did the voice of a rabbit in a Good Seasons salad dressing mix commercial, singing a song called "You Can't Bottle Love." In addition, he did some car commercials, most famously for Oldsmobile, and later on, Jeep. He made guest appearances in the show Ally McBeal.

Discography

References

  1. ^ allmusic ((( Barry White > Biography )))
  2. ^ Barry White
  3. ^ "Obituary: Barry White". BBC News. 4 July 2003. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/2386227.stm. Retrieved 1 August 2009.  
  4. ^ Page 22Love Unlimited, Barry White with Marc Eliot, Broadway Books, New York, 1999
  5. ^ The ultimate soul music trivia book: 501 questions and answers about Motown, Rhythm & Blues, and More / Bobby Bennett and Sarah Smith. Secaucus, NJ: Carol Pub. Group, c1998.
  6. ^ "Singer Barry White dies", BBC, 5 July 2003.
  7. ^ http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=7654675
  8. ^ http://www.discomusic.com/101-more/2197_0_7_0_C/

External links


Simple English

Barry White
File:Barry
Background information
Birth name Barry Eugene Carter
Born September 12, 1944(1944-09-12)
Galveston, Texas, U.S.
Died July 4, 2003 (aged 58)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres Soul
Funk
Disco
Occupations Singer-songwriter
Record producer
Arranger
Instruments Piano
Keyboards
Vocals
Drums
Years active 1972–2003
Labels 20th Century Records
Unlimited Gold Records
Casablanca
A&M
Eagle Records
Associated acts Love Unlimited
The Love Unlimited Orchestra
Isaac Hayes
Gerald LeVert, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson

Barry Eugene White (born September 12, 1944 – died July 4, 2003) was an American soul singer/songwriter. White was known for his rich bass voice and won five grammy awards.

He died on July 4, 2003 of renal failure and was cremated, his ashes were scattered by the California coast.

Albums

Barry White released 19 studio albums during his career:

Year Album
1973 I've Got So Much to Give
1973 Stone Gon'
1974 Can't Get Enough
1975 Just Another Way to Say I Love You
1976 Let the Music Play
1976 Is This Whatcha Wont?
1977 Barry White Sings for Someone You Love
1978 The Man
1979 The Message Is Love
1979 I Love to Sing the Songs I Sing
1980 Sheet Music
1981 Beware!
1982 Change
1983 Dedicated
1987 The Right Night & Barry White
1989 The Man Is Back!
1991 Put Me in Your Mix
1994 The Icon Is Love
1999 Staying Power







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