Linda Clifford

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Linda Clifford
Linda Clifford at San Francisco Pride in 2007
Linda Clifford at San Francisco Pride in 2007
Background information
Born1944 (age 77–78)
New York City, New York, U.S.[1]
OriginUnited States
Occupation(s)Singer, actress
Years active1972–present
LabelsParamount, Curtom, RSO, Capitol, Red Label

Linda Clifford (born 1944)[1][3] is an American R&B, disco and house music singer and actress, who scored hits from the 1970s to the 1980s, most notably "If My Friends Could See Me Now", "Bridge over Troubled Water", "Runaway Love" and "Red Light".[4]

Musical career[edit]

Clifford is a former Miss New York State, and fronted a jazz music trio before switching to R&B.[5] After winning her title, Clifford worked as an actress, playing minor roles in films such as The Boston Strangler with Tony Curtis and Henry Fonda, Coogan's Bluff with Clint Eastwood and Sweet Charity with Shirley MacLaine. Unsatisfied with her roles, Clifford decided to concentrate on her singing career, performing for a year in Miami-area night clubs with the Jericho Jazz Singers,[6] before forming her own group Linda & the Trade Winds.[3]

In 1973, she was signed to Paramount Records and her first single, "(It's Gonna Be) A Long Long Winter", was a minor hit on the U.S. Billboard R&B chart in the winter of 1974.[7] She moved to Curtis Mayfield's Curtom Records label in the mid 1970s.[5] In 1977 she released her first album, Linda, and in 1978, her dance cover of "If My Friends Could See Me Now" was a hit in clubs and on the Billboard Hot 100.[8] It was her first number one on Billboard dance chart. Her album of the same name became her most successful and included also "Runaway Love", a mid-tempo R&B track that proved to be one of her most recognizable tunes. In 1979, she released her disco version of "Bridge over Troubled Water" from the album Let Me Be Your Woman.[8]

In 1980, she released a duet album with Curtis Mayfield, The Right Combination,[8] and recorded a song "Red Light" for the Fame soundtrack in 1980. It peaked at number one on the American dance chart. "Shoot Your Best Shot" (1980) and "Don't Come Crying to Me" (1982) were the third and fourth of her four number one dance hits in the US. She released six albums while under contract on the Curtom label, all supervised by Curtis Mayfield, generally produced by Gil Askey (jazz trumpet player and musical director for many Motown acts) with many mixes by Jim Burgess or Jimmy Simpson, brother of Valerie Simpson from Ashford and Simpson. The sixth, I'm Yours, was produced by Isaac Hayes with the exception of "Red Light" (written by Pitchford and Gore). Curtom Records was distributed by Warner Bros. (1977–1978), by RSO (1979–1980) and by the end of 1980 by Capitol.

Her contract switched entirely to Capitol for her seventh album, I'll Keep on Loving You (1982). It included collaboration by Luther Vandross and the original version of "All the Man That I Need", another song written by Pitchford and Gore; they wrote this particular song with Clifford and her husband in mind.[9] A year later it was covered by Sister Sledge, in 1990 by Whitney Houston and in 1994 by Luther Vandross, under the name "All the Woman That I Need". On his album Songs, Vandross even credited Houston for being the "artist who did the original version of the song", forgetting that it was originally Clifford's song and that he was a background vocalist and the vocal arranger of her version.

Her 1984 offering, Sneakin' Out did relatively well on the American R&B chart.[9] Clifford's last studio album to date remains 1985's My Heart's on Fire, supported by the single "The Heat in Me". In 2001, she secured her fourth UK Singles Chart entry with "Ride the Storm", billed as Akabu featuring Linda Clifford.[10] Her most recent single, "Baby I'm Yours", was released in 2011.

In 2012, her minor hit from 1979, "I Just Wanna Wanna", resurfaced as the love theme in the Lee Daniels film, The Paperboy.

In 2015, Clifford collaborated with disco and house vocalists Martha Wash and Evelyn "Champagne" King on the download-only single "Show Some Love", which reached number #6 on the Billboard Dance Charts the same year, and released on Martha Wash's own label Purple Rose Records. Their collaboration was credited as a group to "First Ladies of Disco".[11] A video was released to promote the single [12] along with an alternate video featuring a remix by John LePage and Brian Cua.[13]


Studio albums[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Record label

1977 Linda Curtom
1978 If My Friends Could See Me Now 22 9 86 28
1979 Let Me Be Your Woman 26 19 90 39 Curtom/RSO
Here's My Love 117 47
1980 The Right Combination (with Curtis Mayfield) 180 53
I'm Yours 160 47
1982 I'll Keep on Loving You Capitol/EMI
1984 Sneakin' Out 49 Red Label
1985 My Heart's on Fire
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Greatest Hits (1989, Curtom)
  • Runaway Love and Other Hits (1999, Rhino)
  • Runaway Love: The Curtom Anthology (2000, Sequel)


Year Single Peak chart positions Album


1972 "Love Is Not the Question" Non-album single
1974 "(It's Gonna Be) A Long Long Winter" 75
"After Loving You"
"Turn the Key Softly"
1977 "From Now On" 94 28 Linda
"You Can Do It"
1978 "Runaway Love" 76 3 1 61 95 If My Friends Could See Me Now
"If My Friends Could See Me Now" 54 68 50
"Gypsy Lady"
1979 "Bridge over Troubled Water" 41 49 11 86 70 28 Let Me Be Your Woman
"Don't Give It Up" 15
"Sweet Melodies"
"Between You Baby and Me" (with Curtis Mayfield) 14 87 The Right Combination
"I Just Wanna Wanna" 36 73 Here's My Love
1980 "Love's Sweet Sensation" (with Curtis Mayfield) 34 87 The Right Combination
"Red Light" 41 40 1 I'm Yours
"Shoot Your Best Shot" 43 1
"It Don't Hurt No More"
"I Had a Talk with My Man" 53
1982 "Let It Ride" 1 I'll Keep on Loving You
"Don't Come Crying to Me"
1984 "A Night with the Boys" 76 Sneakin' Out
"Sneakin' Out" 62
1985 "You're Mine"
"The Heat in Me" 17 My Heart's on Fire
1995 "Whatcha Gonna Do" Non-album single
1999 "Wanna Give It Up" (with Ralphi Rosario) 16
2001 "Changin'" 17
"Ride the Storm" (with Akabu) 69
"Philly Groove" (with Romain & Danny Krivit) 29
2002 "Back to My Roots 2002" 85
"Sunshine" 99
2003 "Spinnin" (with Prospect Park) 93
2008 "How Long"
2011 "Baby I'm Yours"
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2006). The Billboard Book of Top 40 R&B and Hip-Hop Hits (illustrated ed.). University of Michigan: Billboard. p. 109. ISBN 9780823082834. CLIFFORD, Linda Born in 1944 in Brooklyn
  2. ^ "Gibb Songs : 1980". Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Linda Clifford Page". Archived from the original on February 28, 2009. Retrieved July 2, 2022.
  4. ^ "Linda Clifford Biography". Archived from the original on August 2, 2012. Retrieved March 8, 2011.
  5. ^ a b Wynn, Ron. "Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
  6. ^ "Linda Clifford". Archived from the original on June 8, 2007. Retrieved November 17, 2011.
  7. ^ Pruter, Robert (1992). Chicago Soul. Google Books (illustrated, reprint ed.). University of Illinois Press. p. 321. ISBN 9780252062599. Retrieved November 17, 2011.
  8. ^ a b c Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 506. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  9. ^ a b "Linda Clifford @ !". Retrieved November 13, 2011.
  10. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 110. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  11. ^ "The First Ladies of Disco release new video - Gay and Lesbian Perth WA News - OutInPerth | Gay and Lesbian Perth WA News". OutInPerth. Retrieved January 15, 2016.
  12. ^ "First Ladies of Disco - Show Some Love Official Video Debut". YouTube. June 30, 2015. Archived from the original on December 15, 2021. Retrieved January 15, 2016.
  13. ^ "First Ladies of Disco - Show Some Love (John LePage + Brian Cua Remix) Music Video". YouTube. July 12, 2015. Archived from the original on December 15, 2021. Retrieved January 15, 2016.
  14. ^ a b c d e "Linda Clifford - Awards". AllMusic. Archived from the original on August 1, 2012. Retrieved July 20, 2022.
  15. ^ a b David Kent (1993). Australian Charts Book 1970—1992. Australian Chart Book Pty Ltd, Turramurra, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  16. ^ a b "CAN Charts > Linda Clifford". RPM. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  17. ^ "UK Charts > Linda Clifford". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 21, 2016.

External links[edit]