Shirley Brown

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Shirley Brown
Birth name Shirley Brown
Born (1947-01-06) January 6, 1947 (age 67)
Origin West Memphis, Arkansas, United States
Genres R&B
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1974–present
Labels Abet, Stax, Arista

Shirley Brown (born January 6, 1947, West Memphis, Arkansas) is an American soul singer, best known for her million-selling single "Woman to Woman" which was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1975.

Woman to Woman[edit]

Brown was born in West Memphis, but was raised in Madison, Illinois, where she started singing in church when she was nine years old. Early experience singing gospel gave her a powerful but expressive voice likened to Aretha Franklin.[1] Albert King discovered her at age 14, singing in the Harlem Club in Brooklyn, Illinois. Young Shirley went on the road with King for nine years. While King made sure she had a tutor, Brown often cut her classes to work with the band.[1][2][3]

By 1972, Shirley was living in East St. Louis, Illinois, where she made her first record for the Abet label called, "I Ain't Gonna Tell" and "Love Built on a Strong Foundation".[3][4] Bandleader Oliver Sain produced the record; Sain worked with King on his first hit record ten years earlier.[1] By 1974, King recommended Brown to Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee, where he had been one of the label's stars for some time.[1]

Her 1974 hit, "Woman to Woman" spent two weeks at #1 in the Billboard R&B chart[5] and climbed to #22 in the Billboard Hot 100. It sold over one million copies by December 1974, and was awarded a gold disc.[6] It was to prove to be Stax's final major hit record,[5] (the song was later covered by Barbara Mandrell in 1978 and became a top-five country hit).

A successful debut album, Woman to Woman, was released by Stax on their Truth label,[7] but by 1975, the company was struggling financially and also facing litigation. A follow-up single, "It Ain't No Fun" was only a moderate success, and Stax closed soon afterwards.[5][8]

Her signing to Arista Records in 1977 resulted in the album Shirley Brown, produced by the former Stax owner Jim Stewart and writer-producer Bettye Crutcher, who provided most of the songs. These included "Blessed Is The Woman" which reached #14 R&B (#102 pop).[5][9][10]

Brown continued to record for several labels since then, including Fantasy, on the re-formed Stax label, and Sound Town.[10] She has been with the Mississippi based blues and soul label, Malaco Records since 1989.[11] She remains a popular live performer, mainly in southern states of the US, without having found the recording success of her earlier years.[5][12]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Title United States R&B US Pop
1975 Woman to Woman 11 98
1979 For the Real Feeling - -
1984 Intimate Storm - -
1989 Fire & Ice 66 -
1991 Timeless 63 -
1995 Diva of Soul 67 -
2009 Unleashed -

Singles[edit]

Year Title United States R&B US Pop Album
1974 "Woman to Woman" 1 22 Woman to Woman
1975 "It Ain't No Fun" 32 94
1979 "After a Night Like This" 73 - For The Real Feeling
1989 "Ain't Nothin' Like The Lovin' We Got" 46 - Fire & Ice
1995 "You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take My Man)" 80 - Diva of Soul

Grammy Award history[edit]

  • Grammy Award
    • 1975, Best Song of The Year: "Woman to Woman" (Nominated)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Shirley Brown". Reno Tahoe Blues Fest. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  2. ^ "Shirley Brown". BlastFromthe Past. 7 May 2009. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Shirley Brown-Part 1". Soul Express. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  4. ^ "I Ain't Gonna Tell / Love Is Built On A Strong Foundation". Discogs.com. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Shirley Brown". Artist Direct. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  6. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 343. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  7. ^ "Woman to Woman". Discogs. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  8. ^ "Stax History". Soulville USA. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  9. ^ "Shirley Brown". Discogs. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  10. ^ a b "Shirley Brown-Part 2". Soul Express. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  11. ^ Pollak, Bill (1998). "Shirley Brown". MusicHound R&B: The Essential Album Guide. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  12. ^ "Shirley Brown-Part 3". Soul Express. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 

External links[edit]