|Born||Flora Yvonne Coleman
21 October 1942
Virginia, United States
|Died||6 March 1994
Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Born as Flora Yvonne Coleman in Richmond, Virginia, Fair got her start as a latter-day member of the re-formulated Chantels and the James Brown Revue. While performing with Brown, she recorded the song "I Found You", which he later re-worked into his own signature hit "I Got You (I Feel Good)".
She signed to Motown Records in the early 1970s as a result of her work with Chuck Jackson and she appeared in a minor role as a chanteuse in the film, Lady Sings the Blues. Fair then joined up with producer Norman Whitfield for a series of singles in a hard funk vein: "Love Ain't No Toy", "Walk Out the Door If You Wanna", and her cover version of "Funky Music Sho' 'Nuff Turns Me On". All these featured on her only album for Motown in 1975 called The Bitch Is Black, which was re-released on CD for the first time more than 30 years later.
Her remake of the Kim Weston/Gladys Knight semi-standard "It Should Have Been Me" dented the lower end of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1976. The track proved a big hit in the UK, where it climbed to number 5 in February 1976, Fair's only UK hit record. In addition, the song featured in a special episode of BBC TV programme The Vicar of Dibley, entitled "The Handsome Stranger", originally broadcast on 25 December 2006.
She was married to Sammy Strain, who was a member of both Little Anthony and the Imperials and The O'Jays.Strain is one of the few artists in music history that is a double Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, having been inducted with the O'Jays in 2005, and The Imperials in 2009.
Yvonne Fair died, aged 51, from undisclosed causes in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 6, 1994.
- The Bitch Is Black (1975); reissued by Reel Music as CD (2009).
Releases on Tamla Motown (UK)
- TMG913 - "Funky Music Sho' 'Nuff Turns Me On" / "Let Your Hair Down"
- TMG1013 - "It Should Have Been Me" / "You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover"
- TMG1025 - "It's Bad for Me to See You" / "Walk Out the Door If You Wanna"