|Birth name||Jennifer Jean Warnes|
March 3, 1947 |
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
|Origin||Anaheim, California, U.S.|
|Genres||Country rock, pop|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, arranger, record producer|
|Labels||Arista, CISCO, Impex, Shout Factory, Reprise, Parrot|
|Associated acts||Bill Medley, Joe Cocker, Leonard Cohen, Randy Newman|
Jennifer Jean Warnes (born March 3, 1947) is an American singer, songwriter, arranger and record producer. Famous for her compositions, interpretations, and her extensive repertoire as a vocalist on movie soundtracks, she was also a close friend and collaborator of Canadian singer-songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen.
Warnes was born in Seattle, Washington, and raised in Anaheim, California. Her desire and ability to sing came early; at age seven she was offered her first recording contract, which her father turned down. She sang in church and local pageants until age 17 when Warnes was offered an opera scholarship to Immaculate Heart College. She chose to sing folk music as it became popularized by Joan Baez in the mid-1960s. In 1968, after a few years with musical theatre and clubs, she signed with Parrot Records (a London Records subsidiary) and recorded her first LP. That year, she joined the cast of the television show The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Early in her career, industry advisors suggested she change her name to "Warren", but then realized that there was already an actress named Jennifer Warren, so she performed briefly as simply, "Jennifer". Soon, however, she returned to her birth name. In November 1968, Warnes (as "Jennifer Warren") portrayed the female lead in the Los Angeles, California production of the stage musical Hair. She had a related UK single release as "Jennifer" on London HLU 10278 in June 1969 with "Let The Sunshine In" and "Easy to Be Hard", licensed from the US Parrot label.
In 1971, she met Canadian songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen, and the two remained lifelong friends. She toured Europe with Cohen's band in 1972 and 1979—first as a back-up singer and then as a vocal arranger and guest singer on Cohen's albums Live Songs (1973), Recent Songs (1979), Various Positions (1985), I'm Your Man (1988), The Future (1992), Field Commander Cohen: Tour of 1979 (2001), and Old Ideas (2012). Warnes later (1987) recorded a critically acclaimed audiophile album of Cohen songs, Famous Blue Raincoat.
In 1972, she released her third album, Jennifer, which was produced by John Cale and was completely unavailable after the LP was deleted until it was finally reissued in Japan in 2013 (Reprise WPCR-14865). In 1976 Warnes released the album Jennifer Warnes (Arista 4062), which contained her breakthrough single, "Right Time of the Night", which hit number 1 on Billboard's Easy Listening (Adult Contemporary) chart in April 1977 and number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in May 1977.
Warnes recorded the song "It Goes Like It Goes" for the 1979 motion picture Norma Rae. The song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Her 1979 single "I Know A Heartache When I See One" was a Top 10 Country hit and reached the Top 20 on both the Pop and Adult Contemporary charts.
Warnes teamed up with Joe Cocker to record "Up Where We Belong" for the 1982 motion picture An Officer and a Gentleman. Written by Buffy Sainte-Marie, Will Jennings and Jack Nitzsche, the song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, as well as a Golden Globe Award. The song also won Warnes and Cocker the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. It was released as a single and hit No. 1 (for three weeks running) on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It stands as Warnes' biggest selling disc, being certified platinum for over two million sales in the United States. The same year, she recorded a moving performance of James Taylor's "Millworker" for the American Playhouse PBS production of Working.
In 1985, she recorded a duet version with B. J. Thomas of the song "As Long As We've Got Each Other", the theme for the TV show Growing Pains. It was used as the opening theme for the second and third seasons. For the fourth season, the song was once again re-recorded with Thomas and Dusty Springfield. However, the Warnes version made its return for the fifth season and the seventh (final) season of the show.
In 1985, she recorded vocals for Leonard Cohen's record Various Positions, getting equal vocals credits with Cohen in the inside booklet. After releasing a praised tribute LP of Leonard Cohen's songs in 1987, Famous Blue Raincoat, to which Cohen contributed two new compositions, "First We Take Manhattan", which featured Stevie Ray Vaughan on guitar, and "Ain't No Cure for Love", she contributed vocals to Cohen's 1988 hit LP I'm Your Man, most notably to "Take This Waltz" and "Tower of Song".
Warnes teamed with Bill Medley to record "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" for the 1987 motion picture Dirty Dancing. This marked the third song performed by Warnes to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song and second for the Golden Globe Award in the same category. The song also won Warnes and Medley the Grammy Award for Duo or Group with Vocal. It reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent four consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
Warnes released her 7th studio album 'The Hunter' in June 1992, the LP featured the AC #13 single 'Rock You Gently'. She recorded the track 'Cold Enough To Snow' for the 1993 film 'Life With Mikey'.
She appeared on albums by (to name a few) John Prine, Jackson Browne, Linda Thompson & Chris Hillman in the 1990's.
Warnes recorded two tracks for the 'Barney's Great Adventure' soundtrack in 1998. In 2001, Warnes released 'The Well'
She appeared on more of Leonard Cohen's albums in the 2000's.
In August 2007, the Shout Factory Records label re-released the 20th anniversary edition of Famous Blue Raincoat, with a 24-page booklet and four additional songs. The Hunter was re-released in 2009, and The Well was re-released in September 2010.
All remasters were issued on high quality vinyl and 24K gold discs. Famous Blue Raincoat was released with four bonus tracks. The Hunter was released without bonus material. The re-released The Well, however, contains a total of 14 tracks. These include two previously unreleased recordings from the original session: "La Luna Brilla", "A Fool for the Look (in Your Eyes)", and one extra bonus selection, "Show Me the Light" (a second duet with Bill Medley, which was originally featured on the 1998 movie soundtrack Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer-The Movie).
As of 2017, Warnes has been recording a new studio release, her first since 2001.
|Year||Album||Peak chart positions||Label|
|1968||I Can Remember Everything||—||—||—||—||Parrot|
|1969||See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me, Heal Me||—||—||—||—|
|1979||Shot Through The Heart||94||13||—||—|
|1987||Famous Blue Raincoat||72||—||8||33||Cypress|
|1992||The Hunter||—||—||76||—||Private Music|
|2001||The Well||—||—||—||—||Music Force/Cisco|
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Album|
|US AC||US Country||CAN||CAN AC||CAN Country||UK|
|1969||"Easy to Be Hard"||128||—||—||—||—||—||—||See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me, Heal Me|
|1976||"Right Time of the Night"||6||1||17||3||1||18||—||Jennifer Warnes|
|1979||"I Know a Heartache When I See One"||19||14||10||46||—||12||—||Shot Through the Heart|
|"Don't Make Me Over"||67||36||84||—||—||—||—|
|1980||"When the Feeling Comes Around"||45||15||—||—||—||—||—|
|1981||"Could It Be Love"||47||13||57||—||—||—||—||The Best of Jennifer Warnes|
|1982||"Come to Me"||107||40||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Up Where We Belong" (duet with Joe Cocker)||1||3||—||1||2||—||7||An Officer and a Gentleman|
|1983||"Nights Are Forever"||105||8||—||—||—||—||—||Twilight Zone|
|"All the Right Moves" (duet with Chris Thompson)||85||19||—||—||5||—||—||All the Right Moves (soundtrack)|
|"Simply Meant To Be" (duet with Gary Morris)||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Blind Date|
|1987||"Ain't No Cure for Love"||—||—||86||23||1||17||—||Famous Blue Raincoat|
|"First We Take Manhattan"||—||29||—||43||6||—||74|
|"Bird on the Wire"||—||—||—||—||16||—||—|
|"(I've Had) The Time of My Life" (duet with Bill Medley)||1||1||—||1||3||—||6||Dirty Dancing|
|1992||"Rock You Gently"||—||13||—||50||7||—||—||The Hunter|
|1993||"The Whole of the Moon"||—||49||—||—||—||—||—|
- Best of Jennifer Warnes – Arista, 1982 – US #47
- Just Jennifer – Deram (Germany), 1992
- Best: First We Take Manhattan – unauthorized (Germany), 2000
- Platinum and Gold Collection – with errors in actual tracks, not Warnes singing, 2004 (recalled)
- Love Lifts Us Up: A Collection 1968-83 – Raven (Australia), 2004
|Year||Song / Album|
|1979||"Lost the Good Thing We Had", Steve Gillette, A Little Warmth. #76 on Billboard Country Chart in 1980.|
|1982||Bert Jansch, Heartbreak|
|1988||Roy Orbison and Friends, A Black and White Night|
|1994||"Up Where We Belong" (live version with Joe Cocker) – Grammy's Greatest Moments Volume III|
|1989||When the Winter's Gone (Song for a Stranger)/Urban Daydreams (David Benoit) Written with David Pack and David Benoit|
Awards and nominations
|1983||Grammy Award||Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals||"Up Where We Belong"
with Joe Crocker
|1988||"(I've Had) The Time of My Life"
with Bill Medley
- "Biography". JenniferWarnes.com. Porch Light LLC. Retrieved December 20, 2009.
- Death of a Ladies' Man (1979) [CD booklet]. New York: CBS Records Inc. The liner notes for the album note that Warnes performed all harmony vocals on the album, including the duet.
- "Discography". JenniferWarnes.com. Porch Light LLC. Retrieved November 27, 2009.
- "Jennifer Warnes > Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved November 27, 2009.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 591. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Whitburn, Joel (2011). Top Pop Singles 1955–2010. Record Research, Inc. p. 954. ISBN 0-89820-188-8.
- "Steve Gillette & Jennifer Warnes Top Songs". www.musicvf.com/. Retrieved 2016-04-24.
- "Grammy's Greatest Moments, Volume III: Various Artists". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2011-11-23.