Barbara Acklin Biography

28 February 1944, Chicago, Illinois, USA, d. 27 November 1998, Omaha, Nebraska, USA. A vocalist in the style of Dionne Warwick and Brenda Holloway, Acklin first recorded for Special Agent under the name Barbara Allen. In 1966, following a spell as a backing singer, she worked as a receptionist at the Brunswick Records offices, and submitted some of her own compositions to producer Carl Davis. One of these, ‘Whispers’, co-written with David Scott (of the Five Dutones), was a major hit for Jackie Wilson, who returned the favour by helping Acklin to secure a recording contract with Brunswick. ‘Love Makes A Woman’, a US number 15 pop hit in July 1968, was followed by ‘Just Ain’t No Love’ and ‘Am I The Same Girl’ (a UK Top 25 hit in 1992 for Swing Out Sister), while a duet with Gene Chandler, ‘From The Teacher To The Preacher’, also charted. Meanwhile, Acklin began writing with Eugene Record from the Chi-Lites, a partnership that resulted in several of that group’s finest moments, including ‘Have You Seen Her’ and ‘Stoned Out Of My Mind’. The relationship continued despite Acklin’s departure for Capitol Records, but in spite of her early promise with ‘Raindrops’ (1974), she was dropped from the label in 1975. She continued to work as a solo artist and session vocalist but failed to regain the commercial heights of her late 60s recordings. Her music remained in the public eye through prominent cover versions by M.C. Hammer (‘Have You Seen Her’) and Swing Out Sister (‘Am I The Same Girl’). Sadly, Acklin passed away from pneumonia in November 1998. The later Edsel compilations from the UK represent the cream of Acklin’s Brunswick recordings.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.