Brenda Holloway Biography

21 June 1946, Atascadero, California, USA. Holloway began her recording career with three small Los Angeles labels, Donna, Catch and Minasa, in the early 60s, recording under the aegis of producer Hal Davis. In 1964, Holloway made an impromptu performance at a disc jockeys’ convention in California, where she was spotted by a Motown Records talent scout. She signed to the label later that year, becoming its first west coast artist. Her initial Tamla single, ‘Every Little Bit Hurts’, established her bluesy soul style, and was quickly covered by the Spencer Davis Group in Britain. She enjoyed further success in 1964 with ‘I’ll Always Love You’, and the following year with ‘When I’m Gone’ and ‘Operator’. Her consistent record sales led to her winning a place on the Beatles’ 1965 US tour, but subsequent Tamla singles proved less successful. Holloway began to devote increasing time to her songwriting, forming a regular writing partnership with her sister Patrice, and Motown staff producer Frank Wilson. This combination produced her 1968 single ‘You’ve Made Me So Very Happy’, a song that proved more successful via the million-selling cover version by the jazz rock group Blood, Sweat And Tears. In 1968, Holloway’s contract with Motown was terminated. The label issued a press release stating that the singer wished to sing for God, although Holloway blamed business differences for the split. She released a gospel album in 1983 and worked with Ian Levine from 1987. She teamed with Jimmy Ruffin in 1989 for a duet, ‘On The Rebound’, and from time to time returns to the studio to record a new album.

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

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