Barbara Mason Biography

9 August 1947, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Mason first recorded for Crusader Records in 1964, but did not achieve success until she began recording for the Philadelphia-based Artic label the following year. With her voice sounding young and innocent in its thinness and flatness, Mason reached the US charts with the marvellous ‘Yes, I’m Ready’ (R&B number 2, 1965), and excellent follow-ups, ‘Sad, Sad Girl’ (R&B number 12/pop Top 30, 1965), ‘I Need Love’ (R&B number 25, 1966) and ‘Oh, How It Hurts’ (R&B number 11, 1968). A brief stay at the National Records label yielded one moderate hit, ‘Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head’ (R&B number 38, 1970), a cover version of the B.J. Thomas hit. In 1972, Mason signed with Buddah Records and moved into recording more mature material, such as ‘Give Me Your Love’ (R&B number 9/pop Top 40, 1972), a Curtis Mayfield song from the movie Superfly, ‘From His Woman To You’ (R&B number 3/pop Top 30, 1974), and ‘Shackin Up’ (R&B number 9, 1975); however, she sounded much less interesting as a singer. She still had her thin-sounding voice, but what was fetching in an 18-year-old sounded weak and undeveloped for a woman in her late 20s. Additionally, her habit of including recitations (‘raps’) in songs about man-woman relationships strongly dated her later material, most typically on ‘She’s Got The Papers (But I Got The Man)’ (R&B number 29, 1981). Mason’s last chart record was ‘Another Man’ (R&B number 68, 1984), which was the singer’s only UK chart entry, reaching number 45 the same year.

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

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