Betty Harris Biography

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1943, Orlando, Florida, USA. A former maid to Big Maybelle, with whom she would duet onstage, Harris was subsequently signed to Jubilee Records where her version of Solomon Burke’s hit, ‘Cry To Me’, reached the US R&B Top 10 and national Top 30 in 1963. A follow-up, ‘His Kiss’, was a minor success, but this expressive singer matured upon signing to the New Orleans outlet Sansu. She proceeded to record a series of exemplary Allen Toussaint songs that combined the Crescent City kick of Lee Dorsey with traces of uptown soul. Indeed, Irma Thomas notwithstanding, it could be argued that Toussaint’s work reached an apogee with such excellent records as ‘What A Sad Feeling’, ‘I Don’t Want To Hear It’ and ‘What’d I Do Wrong’. Paradoxically, a simpler ballad, ‘Nearer To You’ (1967), was Harris’ only other hit and this accomplished singer has not achieved the commercial success her talent deserved.


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


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