|Born||1944 (age 77–78)|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Labels||Paramount, Curtom, RSO, Capitol, Red Label|
Linda Clifford (born 1944) 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".
Clifford is a former Miss New York State, and fronted a jazz music trio before switching to R&B. 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, before forming her own group Linda & the Trade Winds.
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. She moved to Curtis Mayfield's Curtom Records label in the mid 1970s. 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. 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.
In 1980, she released a duet album with Curtis Mayfield, The Right Combination, 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. 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. 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. Her most recent single, "Baby I'm Yours", was released in 2011.
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". A video was released to promote the single  along with an alternate video featuring a remix by John LePage and Brian Cua.
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Record label|
|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||—||—|
|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.|
- 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|
|1979||"Bridge over Troubled Water"||41||49||11||86||70||28||Let Me Be Your Woman|
|"Don't Give It Up"||—||15||—||—||—|
|"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|
|"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||—||—||—|
|"Ride the Storm" (with Akabu)||—||—||—||—||—||69|
|"Philly Groove" (with Romain & Danny Krivit)||—||—||29||—||—||—|
|2002||"Back to My Roots 2002"||—||—||—||—||—||85|
|2003||"Spinnin" (with Prospect Park)||—||—||—||—||—||93|
|2011||"Baby I'm Yours"||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
- List of number-one dance hits (United States)
- List of artists who reached number one on the US Dance chart
- 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
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- David Kent (1993). Australian Charts Book 1970—1992. Australian Chart Book Pty Ltd, Turramurra, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
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