Linda Clifford

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For the Canadian politician, see Linda Clifford (politician).
Linda Clifford
Linda Clifford.jpg
Linda Clifford at San Francisco Pride (2007)
Background information
Born (1948-06-14) June 14, 1948 (age 68)
New York City, United States[1]
Origin USA
Genres R&B, disco, house
Occupation(s) Singer, actress
Years active 1972–present
Labels Paramount, Curtom, RSO
Associated acts Curtis Mayfield

Linda Clifford (born June 14, 1948, New York City)[1] 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".[2]


Clifford is a former Miss New York State, and fronted a jazz music trio before switching to R&B.[1] After winning her title, Clifford started working as an actress, playing minor roles in major 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,[3] before forming her own group Linda & The Trade Winds.[citation needed]

In 1973, she was signed to Paramount Records and her first single, "(It's Gonna Be) A Long Long Winter", became a minor hit on the U.S. Billboard R&B chart in the winter of 1974.[4] She moved to Curtis Mayfield's Curtom Records label in the mid 1970s.[1] 1977 saw the release of her first album, Linda, but it was her dance cover of "If My Friends Could See Me Now" in 1978 that she had club and pop chart success with. It was her first number one on Billboard dance chart. 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, followed by another record the same year, Here's My Love.

In 1980 Linda released a duet album with Curtis Mayfield, The Right Combination, and recorded a song "Red Light" for the Fame soundtrack in 1980. It became another hit, reaching number one spot on American dance chart. (She would go on to have two more No. 1 disco hits in the USA: "Shoot Your Best Shot" (1980) and "Don't Come Crying to Me" (1982), which makes four in total.) She released six high-profile albums when she was 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 one song from the Fame soundtrack ("Red Light" written by Pitchford and Gore). Curtom records were distributed by Warner Bros. (in 1977–1978), by RSO (in 1979–1980) and by the end of 1980 by Capitol.

Her contract switched entirely to Capitol for an additional album, her seventh, named 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[5] and 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.[6]

Her 1984 offering, Sneakin' Out did relatively well on American R&B chart.[5] Clifford's last studio album to date remains 1985 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.[7] Her most recent single, "Baby I'm Yours", was released in 2011.

In 2012 renewed interest into Clifford's music surfaced when "I Just Wanna Wanna" a minor hit in 1979 was featured 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", released on Martha Wash’s own label Purple Rose Records. Their collaboration was credited as a group to "First Ladies of Disco". [8] A video was released to promote the single [9] along with an alternate video featuring a remix by John LePage and Brian Cua. [10]



Year Title Peak chart positions
Pop R&B Pop
1977 Linda
1978 If My Friends Could See Me Now 22 9 28 1
1979 Let Me Be Your Woman 26 19 39
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
1984 Sneakin' Out 49
1985 My Heart's on Fire


Year Title Peak chart positions Album
Pop R&B Dance Pop
1972 "Love Is Not the Question" single only
1973 "(It's Gonna Be) A Long Long Winter" 75
1974 "Turn the Key Softly"
1977 "From Now On" 94 28 Linda
1978 "Runaway Love" 76 3 61 2 95 If My Friends Could See Me Now
"If My Friends Could See Me Now" 54 68 1 1 50
1979 "Bridge over Troubled Water" 41 49 11 70 15 16 28 Let Me Be Your Woman
"Don't Give It Up" 15
"I Just Wanna Wanna" 36 Here's My Love
"Here's My Love" 73
"Between You Baby and Me" (with Curtis Mayfield) 14 The Right Combination
1980 "Love's Sweet Sensation" (with Curtis Mayfield) 34
"Red Light" 41 40 1 I'm Yours
"Shoot Your Best Shot" 43 1
1981 "I Had a Talk with My Man" 53
"Don't Come Crying to Me" 1 I'll Keep on Loving You
1984 "A Night with the Boys" Sneakin' Out
"Sneakin' Out" 62
1985 "You're Mine"
"The Heat in Me" 17 My Heart's on Fire
1987 "If You Want My Love to Last"
1995 "Whatcha Gonna Do" single only
2000 "Philly Groove" (with Roman & Danny Krivit)
2001 "Changin'" 17
"Ride the Storm" (with Akabu) 69
2002 "Going Back to My Roots" 85
"Sunshine" 99
2008 "How Long?"
2010 "With You"
2011 "Baby I'm Yours"


  1. ^ a b c d "Biography by Ron Wynn". Retrieved May 28, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Linda Clifford Biography". Retrieved March 8, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Linda Clifford". Retrieved November 17, 2011. 
  4. ^ Chicago Soul – Robert Pruter – Google Books. Retrieved November 17, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Linda Clifford @ !". Retrieved November 13, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Linda Clifford – I'll Keep On Loving You (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved 2014-10-10. 
  7. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 110. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  8. ^ "The First Ladies of Disco release new video - Gay and Lesbian Perth WA News - OutInPerth | Gay and Lesbian Perth WA News". OutInPerth. Retrieved 2016-01-15. 
  9. ^ "First Ladies of Disco - Show Some Love Official Video Debut". YouTube. 2015-06-30. Retrieved 2016-01-15. 
  10. ^ "First Ladies of Disco - Show Some Love (John LePage + Brian Cua Remix) Music Video". YouTube. 2015-07-12. Retrieved 2016-01-15. 
  11. ^ "Linda Clifford: Billboard Albums". Retrieved November 13, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "Linda Clifford Album & Song Chart History". Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Results – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved November 17, 2011. 
  14. ^ a b "Results – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved November 17, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Linda Clifford: Billboard Singles". Retrieved November 17, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Chart Stats – Linda Clifford". Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Chart Stats – Akabu – Ride The Storm ft Linda Clifford". Archived from the original on July 21, 2012. Retrieved November 21, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Chart Log UK: Chris C. – CZR". Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Results – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved November 17, 2011. 
  20. ^ "Results – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved November 17, 2011. 

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