Darlene Love: Wikis

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Darlene Love (née Wright; born July 26, 1941) is an American popular music singer.

Contents

Biography

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Early career

Darlene Wright began singing with her local church choir in Hawthorne, California. While still in high school (1959) she was invited to join a little-known girl group called The Blossoms, who in 1962 began working with producer Phil Spector. With her powerful voice she was soon a highly sought-after vocalist, and managed to work with many of the legends of 1950s and 1960s rock and soul, including Sam Cooke, Dionne Warwick, The Beach Boys, Elvis Presley, Tom Jones and Sonny and Cher; Darlene and the Blossoms sang back-up vocals on Shelley Fabares's hit, "Johnny Angel" as well as John Phillips' solo album John, Wolfking of L.A. recorded in 1969. They also appeared on Johnny Rivers' hits including "Poor Side of Town" and Motown covers "Baby I Need Your Loving" and "The Tracks of My Tears." (The Blossoms recorded singles, usually with little success, on Capitol 1957-58 [pre-Darlene Love], Challenge 1961-62, OKeh 1963, Reprise 1966-67, Ode 1967, MGM 1968, Bell 1969-70, and Lion 1972.)

With The Blossoms she also sang backing vocals on many of the biggest hits of the 1960s, including Spector's own "Da Doo Ron Ron" (allegedly recorded with her lead, which was later erased by Spector and re-recorded using Crystals' lead Dolores "LaLa" Brooks). Though credited by Spector as singles recorded by The Crystals, "He's A Rebel" and "He's Sure The Boy I Love" actually featured Love singing lead, backed by The Blossoms. "Today I Met The Boy I'm Gonna Marry" was released as a single by Spector, and featured Love's name as the artist. She says that Spector offered her rights to the song or $3,000. And though he said it was going to be a hit, she took the money. But, in spite of that decision, she said that she has continued to have a career because people have loved hearing her sing her songs. She was also part of a trio called Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans, who recorded a song in 1962, with their rendition of "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" from the Walt Disney film, Song of the South, which got into the top ten in 1963. The Blossoms landed a weekly part on Shindig!, one of the top music shows of the era. They were part of the highly acclaimed Elvis Presley's '68 Comeback Special, which aired on NBC.

Career break

Into the 1970s Love continued to work as a back-up singer, before taking a break in order to raise a family. In 1973, she recorded vocals as a cheerleader along with Michelle Phillips, for the Cheech & Chong single "Basketball Jones," which peaked at No.15 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

1980s return

Love returned to music in the early 1980s and to an appreciative audience she thought might have long since forgotten her. She had been performing at venues like the Roxy in LA, and it was through a conversation with Steven Van Zandt that greased the wheels for her to come to New York and begin performing there in 1982, at places like The Bottom Line. In addition to singing the songs that made her famous, she has re-explored her gospel roots on several recordings.

In the mid-1980s she portrayed herself in the Tony Award-nominated jukebox musical Leader of the Pack, which featured the iconic rock and roll songs written by Ellie Greenwich, many of them for the young Love. The showstopping number of that show, "River Deep - Mountain High" had been recorded for Phil Spector by Ike & Tina Turner and had been less than the success they had expected. Leader of the Pack commenced as a revue at the Greenwich Village nightclub the Bottom Line, as did the later show about Love's life, Portrait of a Singer, which never made the move uptown. Portrait included covers of "The Change Is Going to Come" and "Don't Make Me Over" as well as "River Deep, Mountain High" and original music written by some of the instrumental writers of early rock and roll, including Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. Love contributed a cover of The Hollywood Argyles song "Alley Oop" to the soundtrack of the 1984 film Bachelor Party.

In 1987, Love sang back-up for U2's cover of "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)," while in 1990, Cher invited Love and her sister Edna Wright as her background vocalist for the Heart of Stone Tour. She also released a minor single in 1992 with "All Alone on Christmas", written and composed by Steven Van Zandt, which can be found on the Home Alone 2: Lost In New York soundtrack. Love also contributed vocals to the soundtrack of the film Jingle All the Way. Love released the holiday collection "It's Christmas, Of Course," featuring her versions of classic yuletide tunes from the 1970s/80s, on October 2, 2007.

She continues to do a Christmas show every year in New York City, which is always capped by "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)". She originally recorded the song in 1963 for the album A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector.

Acting roles

In the late 1980s and 1990s, Love also began an acting career, playing Danny Glover's wife in the four Lethal Weapon movies. Love has performed in a number of Broadway productions. She acted and sang in Grease, in the short-lived musical adaptation of Stephen King's Carrie, and starred as Motormouth Maybelle in Broadway's Hairspray from August 2005 till April, 2008.

Television appearances

Love has performed the song "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" every year since 1986 on the last episode before Christmas of Late Night with David Letterman (NBC 1986 - 1992) and the Late Show with David Letterman (CBS 1993 to present). The song is always performed with Paul Shaffer and the show's house band (The World's Most Dangerous Band at NBC, now the CBS Orchestra), with the band being augmented over the years by additional strings and other instruments, as well as a choir. Letterman has stated that the annual performance is his favorite part of Christmas. Due to the 2007 Writers Guild of America strike, Love was unable to perform on the Letterman show in 2007;[1] and a repeat of her 2006 performance was shown instead.

She was a special guest on the December 17, 2005, broadcast of Saturday Night Live, singing "White Christmas" with the SNL band and providing the vocals for a Robert Smigel cartoon, "Christmastime for the Jews". Love was the musical guest on Late Show with David Letterman on May 7, 2007, performing "River Deep-Mountain High". Love performed with Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band in November 2009 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary Concert at Madison Square Garden.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

On September 23, 2009, She was named as one of the 12 finalists for 2010 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

US Singles

Incomplete list of recordings.

Year Album Chart Positions[2]
U.S. Hot 100
1961 "SON-IN-LAW" (The Blossoms) Challenge 9109 79
1961 "HARD TO GET" (The Blossoms) Challenge 9122 -
1962 "THE SEARCH IS OVER" (The Blossoms) Challenge 9138 -
1962 "HE'S A REBEL" (released as The Crystals) Philles 106 1
1962 "ZIP-A-DEE DOO-DAH" (released as Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans) Philles 107 8
1962 "HE'S SURE THE BOY I LOVE" (released as The Crystals) Philles 109 11
1963 "WHY DO LOVERS BREAK EACH OTHERS HEARTS?" (released as Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans) Philles 110 38
1963 "TODAY I MET THE BOY I'M GONNA MARRY" Philles 111 39
1963 "NOT TOO YOUNG TO GET MARRIED" (released as Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans) Philles 113 63
1963 "WAIT 'TIL MY BOBBY GETS HOME" Philles 114 26
1963 "I'M IN LOVE" (The Blossoms) Okeh 7162 -
1963 "A FINE, FINE BOY" Philles 117 53
1963 "CHRISTMAS (BABY PLEASE COME HOME)" Philles 119 -
1964 "STUMBLE AND FALL" Philles 123 -
1964 "CHRISTMAS (BABY PLEASE COME HOME)" Philles 125 -
1965 "GOOD GOOD LOVIN' / THAT'S WHEN THE TEARS START" (The Blossoms) Reprise 0436 -
1966 "LOVER BOY" (The Blossoms) Reprise 0475 -
1966 "LET YOUR LOVE SHINE ON ME" (The Blossoms) Reprise 0522 -
1966 "TOO LATE TO SAY YOU'RE SORRY" Reprise 0534 -
1967 "DEEP INTO MY HEART / GOOD GOOD LOVIN'" (The Blossoms) Reprise 0639 -
1967 "Stoney End" (The Blossoms) Ode 101 -
1968 "Tweedlee Dee" (The Blossoms) MGM 13964 -
1968 "CRY LIKE A BABY" (The Blossoms) Ode 106 -
1969 "STONEY END" - reissued (The Blossoms) Lion 125 -
1969 "YOU'VE LOST THAT LOVIN' FEELIN'" (The Blossoms) Bell 780 -
1969 "(YOU'RE MY) SOUL AND INSPIRATION" (The Blossoms) Bell 797 -
1970 "I AIN'T GOT TO LOVE NOBODY ELSE" (The Blossoms) Bell 857 -
1970 "ONE STEP AWAY" (The Blossoms) Bell 937 -
1972 "TOUCHDOWN" (The Blossoms) Lion 108 -
1972 "GRANDMA'S HANDS" (The Blossoms) Lion 125 -
1974 "CHRISTMAS (BABY PLEASE COME HOME)" Warner/Spector 0401 -
1975 "LORD, IF YOU'RE A WOMAN" Warner/Spector 0410 -
1977 "THERE'S NO GREATER LOVE" (The Blossoms) Epic 50435 -
1988 "HE'S SURE THE MAN I LOVE" Columbia 07984 -
1993 "ALL ALONE ON CHRISTMAS" (from the film HOME ALONE II) Fox 10003 83
2009 "CHRISTMAS FOR THE JEWS" (from the SNL)

Album Releases

  • 1963 - Various Artists "A Christmas Gift For You" (Philles Records #4005)
  • 1963 - Various Artists "Today's Hits" (Philles Records #4004)
  • 1977 - Various Artists "Phil Spector's Greatest Hits" (Warner/Spector Records #9104)
  • 1978 - Various Artists "Lakeshore Music presents Rock and Roll Forever" (Warner Special Products #2508) (same as above release)
  • 1985 - "Leader Of the Pack" Original Broadway Cast (Elektra Records 60420)
  • 1985 - "Darlene Love Live!" (Rhino Records RNLP 855)
  • 1988 - "Paint Another Picture" (Columbia Records #40605)
  • 1990 - Various Artists "Dick Tracy: Music from and inspired by the film" (Sire/Reprise Records #26236)
  • 1991 - Various Artists "Back To Mono 1958-1969" (Abkco Records 7118) (boxed set)
  • 1992 - Various Artists "A Very Special Christmas 2" (A&M Records #450003)
  • 1992 - "The Best Of Darlene Love" (The Philles Recordings) (Abkco Records 7213)
  • 1992 - "Bringing It Home" (with Lani Groves) (Shanachie Records #9003)
  • 1998 - Various Artists "Grease Is the Word" (Rhino Records)
  • 2007 - "It's Christmas Of Course" (Shout Factory Records #10569)

References

External links


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