Joe Simon Biography

2 September 1943, Simmesport, Louisiana, USA. Simon’s professional career began following his move to Oakland, California, where a 1962 release, ‘My Adorable One’, was a minor hit. In 1964, Joe met John Richbourg, a Nashville-based disc jockey who began guiding the singer’s musical path, initially on the Sound Stage 7 label. ‘Let’s Do It Over’ (1965), Simon’s first R&B hit, emphasized Richbourg’s preference for a blend of gentle soul and country, and the singer’s smooth delivery found its niche on such poignant songs as ‘Teenager’s Prayer’, ‘Nine Pound Steel’ (both 1967) and ‘The Chokin’ Kind’, a US R&B number 1 in 1969. The following year, Simon moved to the Polydor Records subsidiary Spring. He maintained his ties with Richbourg until 1971, when a Gamble And Huff production, ‘Drowning In The Sea Of Love’, was an R&B number 3. Further success came with ‘The Power Of Love’ (1972), ‘Step By Step’ (1973 - his only UK hit), ‘Theme From Cleopatra Jones’ (1973) and ‘Get Down Get Down (Get On The Floor)’ (1975), but the artist increasingly sacrificed his craft in favour of the dancefloor. His late 70s releases were less well received and in 1980 he returned to Nashville. From that time, Simon’s work was restricted to local labels, before he retired from performing to devote himself to God.

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

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