Saturday, July 3, 2010

Get with the program: Darlene Love

I really don't think people give Darlene Love the props she deserves. Let me give you a little background on this amazing lady (and later today you should probably buy her autobiography because it's fantastic).

The name might not be familiar to you when you first hear it, but her distinctive voice is what sets Darlene Love apart from all the other singers of that era... the woman can seriously belt out tunes. She started singing/recording in the early 60's with her girl group, The Blossoms, and with Phil Spector (The Crystals, Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans and as a solo singer). Not only did she sing on one of the most recognized songs in history, He's a Rebel (with The Crystals), but she (along with her group, The Blossoms) also was the background singer of numerous 60's hits: Johnny Angel, The Tracks of My Tears, Baby I Need Your Loving, just to name a few.

Although Love was part of The Blossoms in the early 60's (side note: The Blossoms were the background singers on the weekly music variety show Shindig!, as well as Elvis Presley's '68 Comeback Special), towards the mid-to-late 60's she sang with them as a more full time gig. Their songs had more of a northern soul sound, but were as equally amazing as her early material. Here's a cute video of Darlene lip syncing to The Blossoms' 1965 tune That's When the Tears Start. It looks like this video was shot more recently and she looks gorgeous!! I'm assuming the older lady is an original Blossom? Not sure who that younger woman is?

One of my favorite Blossoms songs is Good, Good Lovin'. You can hear it for free here (just type in the code on the right hand side of the page and the MP3 streams for free). This song is pure GOLD.

In the early 80's, Darlene wasn't able to find many music-related jobs, so she started cleaning houses in Beverly Hills. She made her comeback in the late 80's with roles in movies (Lethal Weapon) and musicals (Grease, Carrie, Hairspray) and she continues to make yearly appearances during Christmas time on The Letterman Show. Darlene was also a finalist for this years Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.

You can buy her Best Of CD here, several Blossoms songs are featured on this fantastic (!!!) compilation CD and lastly, I didn't even know this existed until just now. I may buy myself that CD as a belated birthday present. Eep!

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