TDR-Classic Soul Artist and Song: BARBARA LEWIS and BABY I'M YOURS. Barbara Lewis grew up in a small town near Ann Arbor Michigan, and with her beautiful voice was already making recordings in her teens. She was mentored by a black deejay there named Ollie McLaughlin who knew she had talent.
Barbara was also an accomplished song-writer and wrote all the tunes on her first album, including the breakout hit, "Hello Stranger," that climbed to #3 on the Hot 100 and made her a player. She had a couple of more chart records, but nothing big until she hooked up with the great Bert Berns in New York, who produced her singing a Van McCoy song called: "Baby I'm Yours," that went to #11 on the Pop Chart and sold a cool million discs, going Solid Gold. He also produced her follow-up. "Make Me Your Baby" that also went to #11 Pop.
Barbara is considered a transitional artist in Black Music from the earlier R&B songs to the Soul songs that would be made by artists including Aretha Franklin. Trying to make a comeback she went to Stax Records in Memphis in 1970 to work with their great Rhythm Section and writers producers Isaac Hayes and David Porter. The Stax Album was grittier than her pretty ballads and didn't have legs, but she had two great records to her credit which was more than many of her contemporaries.
"Baby I'm Yours" was featured on the Soundtrack of the hit film, "Bridges of Madison County in 1995, and Barbara Lewis was awarded the prestigious Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1999. Ms Lewis was forced to retire from singing in 2017 do to illness.
Scott found a very nice Kinescope of Barbara Lewis singing her signature song Live on TV in 1965 with passable picture and good audio. Her singing seemed to be effortless.
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