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Lorraine Ellison
Birth name Marybelle Luraine Ellison
Born March 17, 1931(1931-03-17)
Philadelphia, U.S.
Died January 31, 1983 (aged 51)[1]
Genres soul, R&B
Occupations singer, songwriter
Instruments vocals
Years active 1964-1970s
Labels Mercury Records
Warner Bros. Records
Loma Records

Lorraine Ellison (17 March 1931 – 31 January 1983[1]) was an American soul singer, best known for her recording of the song "Stay with Me"[2] (sometimes known as "Stay With Me Baby") in 1966.


Life and career

Born Marybelle Luraine Ellison[3], in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Ellison originally sang with two gospel groups, the Ellison Singers (who recorded for Sharp/Savoy in 1962) and the Golden Chords (who recorded for CBS in 1963), before moving to R&B in 1964. Her first chart entry was "I Dig You Baby" in 1965[4] on Mercury Records which reached #22 on the U.S. Billboard R&B chart chart.

She signed with Warner Bros. Records, and in 1966 recorded the soul classic "Stay with Me" at a last minute booking, following a studio cancellation by Frank Sinatra.[5] "Stay with Me" reached number 11 in the U.S. Billboard R&B chart and number 64 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was written and produced by Jerry Ragovoy. Later releases were on the subsidiary soul music record label, Loma.[6] Her follow-up single was "Heart Be Still" a minor hit in 1967.[7] Ellison also recorded "Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)", a song later covered to more success by Janis Joplin.[6]

Twice-married and using the surname Gonzalez-Keys, Lorraine Ellison gave up the music business in order to take care of her mother, before her death in January 1983 from ovarian cancer at the age of 51.[8]

Cover versions

The song "Stay with Me" (sometimes entitled "Stay With Me Baby") has been covered by numerous musicians, including The Walker Brothers, David Essex, Cher, Janis Joplin, Terry Reid, Genya Ravan, Ruby Turner, Natalie Cole, Bette Midler, Rebecca Wheatley and in 2009 for the soundtrack of "The Boat that Rocked" by Duffy.

Ellison also composed many of her own songs (solo and with manager Sam Bell) and had her own compositions recorded by several other artists including Jerry Butler, Garnet Mimms, Howard Tate and Dee Dee Warwick.

Album discography

  • Heart and Soul - 1966 - Warner
  • Stay with Me - 1969
  • Lorraine Ellison - 1974
  • The Best of Philadelphia's Queen - 1976 - Compilation album
  • Stay with Me: The Best of Lorraine Ellison - 1995 - Compilation album
  • Sister Love: The Warner Bros. Recordings - 2006 - Compilation album


  1. ^ a b The Dead Rock Stars Club - The 1980's Note: These dates are disputed - other sources give her year of birth as 1935 or 1943, and year of death as 1985 - see talk page.
  2. ^ Joel Whitburn, Top Pop Singles 1955-2002, 2003, ISBN 0-89820-155-1
  3. ^
  4. ^ Lorraine Ellison at Allmusic
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b Loma Records discography
  7. ^
  8. ^

External links



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