|Birth name||Shirley Brown|
|Born||January 6, 1947|
|Origin||West Memphis, Arkansas, United States|
|Labels||Abet, Stax, Arista, Malaco|
Brown was born in West Memphis, but was raised in Madison, Illinois, where she started singing in church at the age of nine. Early experience singing gospel gave her a powerful but expressive voice likened to that of Aretha Franklin. Albert King discovered her when she was aged 14, singing in the Harlem Club in Brooklyn, Illinois. Young Shirley went on the road with King for nine years. While King made sure she had a tutor, Brown often cut her classes to work with the band.
By 1972, Shirley was living in East St. Louis, Illinois, where she made her first record for the Abet label called, "I Ain't Gonna Tell" and "Love Built on a Strong Foundation". Bandleader Oliver Sain produced the record; Sain worked with King on his first hit record ten years earlier. By 1974, King recommended Brown to Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee, where he had been one of the label's stars for some time.
Her 1974 hit, "Woman to Woman" spent two weeks at #1 in the Billboard R&B chart and climbed to #22 in the Billboard Hot 100. It sold over one million copies by December 1974, and was awarded a gold disc. It was to prove to be Stax's final major hit record (the song was later covered by Barbara Mandrell in 1978 and became a top-five country hit).
A moderately successful debut album, Woman to Woman, was released by Stax on their Truth label, but by 1975, the company was struggling financially and also facing litigation. A follow-up single, "It Ain't No Fun" was only a moderate success, and Stax closed soon afterwards.
Her signing to Arista Records in 1977 resulted in the album Shirley Brown, produced by the former Stax owner Jim Stewart and writer-producer Bettye Crutcher, who provided most of the songs. These included "Blessed Is The Woman" which reached #14 R&B (#102 pop).
Brown continued to record for several labels since then, including Fantasy, on the re-formed Stax label, and Sound Town. She has been with the Mississippi based blues label, Malaco Records since 1989. She remains a popular live performer, mainly in southern states of the US, without having found the recording success of her earlier years.
|Year||Title||United States R&B||US Pop|
|1975||Woman to Woman||11||98|
|1979||For the Real Feeling||-||-|
|1989||Fire & Ice||66||-|
|1995||Diva of Soul||67||-|
|Year||Title||United States R&B||US Pop||Album|
|1974||"Woman to Woman"||1||22||Woman to Woman|
|1975||"It Ain't No Fun"||32||94|
|1977||"Blessed Is The Woman (With A Man Like Mine)"||14||102||Shirley Brown|
|1979||"After a Night Like This"||73||-||For The Real Feeling|
|1989||"Ain't Nothin' Like The Lovin' We Got"||46||-||Fire & Ice|
|1995||"You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take My Man)"||80||-||Diva of Soul|
Grammy Award history
1975 - Nominated for Best Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance - Female
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- "Shirley Brown". BlastFromthe Past. 7 May 2009. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
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- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 343. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- "Woman to Woman". Discogs. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
- Callahan, Mike; Edwards, David (March 25, 2002). "Stax-Related Album Discography: Hip/Respect/Koko/Gospel Truth/Truth/We Produce/Partee". Retrieved March 26, 2011.
- "Stax History". Soulville USA. Archived from the original on 11 January 2005. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
- "Shirley Brown". Discogs. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
- "Shirley Brown-Part 2". Soul Express. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
- Pollak, Bill (1998). "Shirley Brown". MusicHound R&B: The Essential Album Guide. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
- "Shirley Brown-Part 3". Soul Express. Retrieved 18 December 2010.