Friday, March 11, 2016

For the eagle-eyed amongst us

As promised here is the Gloria Lynne 45 that the eagle-eyed Ravel spotted in the pictures in my last post that featured my most recent little 45 haul.

Gloria Mia Wilson was born in Harlem in 1929. Her NY Times obituary tells us she took a male friend's name, who would become her husband – Alleyne – as a stage name in the Fifties, but soon shortened it to Lynne, after so many presenters had trouble pronouncing Alleyne.

Gloria initially sung in groups including the Dell Tones, The Enchanters, and The Dorsey Sisters. Her solo career started sometime around 1958. At least one single was released under her birth name, on Dawn records, but her career really took off under the name Gloria Lynne when she was signed to Everest Records. Between 1958 and 1970 – her most active period – she then had numerous 45 and album releases, and toured with the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, and Billy Eckstine, Although typically labelled a Jazz vocalist her repertoire extended to Jazz, R&B, Soul and lush Pop arrangements, and her songs were often difficult to categorise. She had a fine voice and didn't really get the full recognition, or lasting recording breaks she deserved. The NY Times obit recounts unscrupulous management, and this coupled with changing musical tastes meant the Seventies would prove a low point for her. Later her career would revive and she moved into more pure Jazz circles and toured and performed with Jazz luminaries such as Quincy Jones.

It seems that Gloria Lynne had at least two 45 releases on the Seeco label, which were in the middle of her run of Everest releases. I'm not sure what the story is behind these Seeco 45s (incidentally Dawn, where Gloria made one of early 45 outings, it seems was a subsidiary label of Seeco), they do seem to be fairly obscure, possibly recorded prior to her Everest hook up and released in an attempt to cash in on her growing reputation.

I'm not sure which is the A side here, all I know is I'm Not Afraid Anymore is a great jump blues / R&B number and the stronger side to my mind. I have seen Is There Someone For Me listed as the A side though, which is quite possible, it is a much more pop slanted ballad and might have had more chart potential at the time, Gloria certainly lifts it above the average.


charity chic said...

Two down twelve to go Darcy!
Excellent finds so far

Ravel said...

I'm a bit late to thank you for this ! I come here once a week... These are really 2 sides of Lynne ! She came to my attention with a song named «Speaking of Happiness» and since then, I adore her. I feel she didn't record anything bad. You wrote: «She had a fine voice and didn't really get the full recognition, or lasting recording breaks she deserved.» I agree: her voice is really special.
Thanks again ! Cool find !

cookingupaquietstorm said...

No mention of the gem 'Tower Of Strength'? An all time favourite in this here kitchen.