Linda Lewis, British Singer Whose Voice Knew Few Limits, Dies at 72

Linda Lewis is a critically acclaimed soul singer and songwriter whose explosive voice has propelled four Top 10 singles as a solo artist in her native UK, and has been featured by David Bowie and Cat Stevens. The man who went on to serve as a backing vocalist on critically acclaimed albums by stars such as , and Rod Stewart has died. She died on May 3rd at her home in Waltham Abbey, a suburb of London. she was 72 years old.

His sister, Dee-Louis Clay, confirmed the death but did not disclose the cause of death.

Acclaimed for her expansive five-octave vocal range, Lewis impressed listeners with her genre-hopping instincts, incorporating folk, R&B, rock, reggae, pop, and even disco over the beckoning of label execs.

She grew up studying Motown hits note by note, her first single being “You turned my bitter into sweet” (1967) was a delightful uptempo number straight out of Berry Gordy’s recording studio on Detroit’s West Grand Boulevard.

She then joined the rock and soul band Ferris Wheel, which were popular on the British club circuit, before moving on to a solo career as a guitar-strumming singer-songwriter before signing to Reprise Records in 1971.

“that is a wonderful time‘” she said in a 2007 interview with Record Collector magazine. “I lived in a kind of commune, and a lot of people came and went. Cat Stevens played a lot, as did Marc Bolan and Elton John. There was a lot of jamming going on, It was a very creative atmosphere.”

She ended up going on a world tour with Stevens (who later converted to Islam and called himself Yusuf), as well as David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane (1973) and Rod Stewart’s He lent his voice to albums such as “Blonde Have More Fun”. (1978).

Her first solo album, Say No More, released in 1971, was not commercially successful. The following year, she released an album featuring California breezy, ‘Lark’, which she received critical acclaim for and included the song. “Old Smokey” Sampled by rapper Common on his 2005 song “go!” The 1973 US tour was a hot topic.

But she still needed a hit.

She found a hilarious and racy single that same year. “Rock a Doodle Doo” The song reached number 15 in the UK (but did not chart in the US). Showcasing her range with vocals that range from husky lows to shimmering highs, the song could be mistaken for a duet.

In the mid-1970s, she signed to Arista Records, whose founder Clive Davis decided to package her as a Gloria Gaynor-like disco diva. The decision paid off, at least commercially.her 1975 single “It’s in his kiss” Studio 54 arrangement of Betty Everett’s 1964 hit “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss)” It reached No. 6 in the UK, but again received little attention in the US.

But Lewis resented being forced to make a career change. “Unfortunately, I didn’t keep using my gun much,” she later said. “I thought of myself as a singer-songwriter. They didn’t.”

Still, the album, which included the single “Not a Little Girl Anymore”, peaked at number 40 in the UK, and Rolling Stone said it “brought this multi-stylish British artist into the contemporary R&B mainstream.” ” he wrote.

By the 2000s, her music had reached a new generation, singing on albums by Oasis, Basement Jaxx and Jamiroquai.

Linda Ann Fredericks was born on 27th September 1950 at Custom House on the docks of East London. She was one of six children of musician Eddie Fredericks and Lily Fredericks, who worked as a bus conductor and ran a pub. (It is unclear why the singer chose Lewis as her stage name.)

Her mother had big ambitions for her as a performer and enrolled her in a theater school, an experience Lewis doesn’t look back on fondly.

Her compass was for music. She first came to prominence in her early teens, when her mother took her to see John Lee Hooker perform at a club, and with the permission of the blues giants, Martha and the It was when I was pushed onto the stage to show off the Vandellas performance. ‘ “Dancing in the Street”

In addition to Ms. Lewis Clay, she has two surviving sisters, Shirley Lewis and Patsy Wildman. her brothers, Keith Fredericks and Paul Fredericks; and her son Jesse. Her three marriages ended in divorce.

Although Lewis thought he would be out of theater school as soon as possible, his passion for acting wasn’t entirely in vain. She made a brief appearance in Tony Richardson’s film A Taste of Honey (1961).She also appeared as a screaming fan in a Beatles movie “Hard Days Night” (1964).

She wasn’t the only future music singer to be noticed in the hysterical Beatlemania crowd. Phil Collins, in her book, male student jacket and tiewas also on the set bonus. “Years later, I ran into him and said, ‘Hey, we made a movie together,'” Lewis told The Record Collector. “He gave me a very funny look. I think he thought I was weird.”

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button