Music of the 70's - Female Vocals: Adult Contemporary
In composing this blog post I have listed each singer in alphabetical order by last name with the exception of one very special angel. This shining star I listed last for many reasons. some of you may have already guessed who it is I've listed last. If you did guess correct please leave a comment on this post to let us know. Enjoy!
- Randall Webb
Roberta Flack Stats:
Top Ten Adult Contemporary Hits: 12
#1 Adult Contemporary Hits: 4 (The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, Where Is The Love, Feel Like Making Love, If Ever I See you Again)
Top 40 Hits: 11 (US), 6 (UK), 9 (Canada)
#1 Hits: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (1972 US, Australia, Canada), Killing Me Softly With His Song (1973 US, Australia, Canada), Feel Like Making Love (1974 US, Canada), The Closer I Get To You (1978 Canada)
Biggest Hit: Killing Me Softly With His Song (1973)
Top Ten Albums: 4 (US), 2 (Canada), 1 (Australia)
# 1 Albums: 1 (US) "First Take"
Studio Albums Recorded: 19
Awards: 4 Grammy Awards, 1 American Music award
Duets: Recorded with Donny Hathaway (Where Is The Love, The Closer I Get To You), Peabo Bryson (Tonight, I Celebrate My Love), Maxi Priest (Set The Night To Music)
Career span: 1969 to Present
Trivia: On February 7, 2012 Roberta released her 19th studio album titled "Let It Be Roberta", a soul filled collection of Beatles covers. The album includes classic such as "We Can Work It Out", "Hey Jude", The Long and Winding Road", "Here There and Everywhere" and more Beatles standards. Flack takes each song and puts her own inimitable touch on them.
As a teenager Carole King dreamed of having a successful career in the entertainment business. Born in 1942 (in New York City) King attended Queens College where she met and dated Neil Sedaka. She was the inspiration for Sedaka's second hit single "Oh Carol!". At that point in time she spelled her first name without the "e" on the end. She also met Paul Simon and Gerry Goffin at Queens College. She later married Goffin and they had two daughters. Goffin and King formed a songwriting partnership and quickly became one of the most successful songwriting teams of all-time. Their first hit was "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" which reached #1 in 1961 as recorded by The Shirelles. In 1971 King released her landmark album "Tapestry" which peaked at #1 on the U.S. billboard chart for an amazing 15 weeks and has sold more than 10 million copies in the U.S. and 25 million worldwide. "Tapestry" spawned the meg-hits; "I Feel The Earth Move", "So Far Away", "It's Too Late" and "Smackwater Jack".
Carole King Stats:
Top Ten Adult Contemporary Hits: 10
#1 Adult Contemporary Hits: 5 (It's Too Late, I Feel The Earth Move, Been To Canaan, Nightengale, Only Love Is Real)
Top 40 Hits: 12 (US), 2 (UK), 8 (Canada),2 (Belgium)
#1 Hits: "It's To Late" (US, Canada), "I Feel The Earth Move" (US, Canada)
Biggest Hit: "It's Too Late" and "I Feel The Earth Move" (charted as a double A-side single in 1971)
Top Ten Albums: 7 (US), 4 (UK), 2 (Norway)
# 1 Albums: 3 (US) "Tapestry", "Music" and "Wrap Around Joy"
Studio Albums Recorded: 16
Total Albums Sold: approximately 20 million (US), approximately 40 million worldwide Awards: 4 Grammy Awards, Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987 and The rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990
Bands/Duets: The City (a 1968 trio including Danny Kotchmar and Charles Larkey), James Taylor
Career span: 1958 to present
Trivia: Carole King won 4 Grammy Awards at the 1971 Grammy Awards (televised in march 1972). She won; Record Of the Year ("It's Too Late"), Album Of the Year (Tapestry), Best Female Pop Vocal (Tapestry), and Song Of the Year ("You've Got A Friend"). James Taylor's version of "You've got A Friend" also won Best Male Pop Vocal. Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway released a duet of "You've Got a Friend" (around the same time as James Taylor) and reached #29 with their version.
Anne Murray Stats:
Top Ten Adult Contemporary Hits: 18 (US), 42 (Canada)
#1 Adult Contemporary Hits: 8 (US), 24 (Canada)
Top 40 Hits: 11 (US), 24 (Canada), 2 (UK), 2 (Australia)
#1 Hits: "Cotton Jenny" (1972 Canada), "Danny's Song" (1972 Canada), "A Love Song (1973 Canada), "You Needed Me" (1978 US and Canada), "I JUst Fall In Love Again" (1979 Canada)
Biggest Hit: "You Needed Me" (1978) also reached #2 in Australia and #22 in the UK
Top Ten Albums: 8 (Canada)
# 1 Albums: 2 (Canada) "Annie (1972), "Let's Keep It That Way" (1978)
Studio Albums Recorded: 32
Total Albums Sold: 54 million (worldwide)
Awards: 4 Grammy Awards, 3 CMA (Country Music Awards), 18 Juno Awards, 3 American Music Awards
Bands/Duets: Glen Campbell, Bryan Adams, Aaron Neville, Kenny Rogers
Career span: 1968 to present
Trivia: Oddly, Anne Murray's biggest hit, 1978's "You Needed Me" reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Top 100 singles chart but only peaked at #4 on the U.S. country Music Chart and #3 on the U.S. Adult Contemporary Chart.
Olivia Newton-JohnOlivia Newton-John was one of the 70's biggest selling female singers of the entire 70's mostly due to her starring role in the mega-hit musical "Grease". Born in Cambridge, England in 1948 (her family moved to Australia when she was six years old) Newton-John's first foray into music came at the age of fourteen when she formed the all girl group Sol Four with three class mates. They performed local coffee shops but quickly disbanded. After that she began appearing on several local Australian television shows including "The Happy Show", "Go Show" and "sing, Sing, Sing". Early on she performed as "Lovely Livvy". During this time she met Pat Carroll, who became one of Olivia's early duet partners. She also met her future record producer John Farrar in this early period of her career. Newton-John recorded her first single, "Till You Say You'll Be Mine" b/w "Forever", in England for Decca Records in 1966. In 1970 Newton-John was recruited, by American producer Don Kirshner, to front the band Toomorrow, who recorded a soundtrack album for a science fiction film named "Toomorrow". The project failed and the group quickly disbanded. Finally after nine years on the music scene Newton-John meets with success when she teams with producer Bruce Johnson to record and release her second single "If Not for You", which was written by the legendary Bob Dylan. The song reached #25 in the US (#1 US Adult Contemporary) and #7 in both the UK and Australia.
Olivia Newton-John Stats:
Top Ten Adult Contemporary Hits: 20 (US), 22 (Canada)
#1 Adult Contemporary Hits: 10 (US), 11 (Canada)
Top 40 Hits: 26 (US), 23 (Canada), 18 (UK), 26 (Australia), 13 (Germany), 17 (New Zealand)
#1 Hits: "Banks Of Ohio" (1971 Australia), "I Honestly Love You" (1974 US, Canada, Australia), "Have You Never Been Mellow" (1975 US, Canada), "Please Mr. Please" (1975 Canada), "You're The One That I Want (1978 w/ John Travolta, US, UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, New Zealand), "Hopelessly Devoted To You" (1978 Canada), "Summer Nights" (1978 w/ John Travolta UK), "Magic" (1980 US, Canada), "Xanadu" (1980 w/ ELO UK, Germany), "Physical (1981 US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand), "Grease Megamix (1990 Australia)
Biggest Hit: "Physical" (1981 US), "You're The One That I Want (1978 w/ John Travolta - Worldwide)
Top Ten Albums: 4 (US), 1 (UK), 5 (Canada), 8 (Australia), 9 (Japan), 1 (New Zealand), 2 (US, UK, Canada, Australia, Japan - Soundtracks)
# 1 Albums: "If You Love Me Let Me Know (1974 US, Canada), "Have You Never Been Mellow" (1975 US), "Highlights From The Main Event (1999 Live, Australia), "Olivia's Greatest Hits Vol. 2" (1982 Australia), "Grease" (1978 Soundtrack US, UK, Canada, Australia, Japan), Xanadu (1980 Soundtrack Australia)
Studio Albums Recorded: 24
Total Albums Sold: 100 million (worldwide)
Awards: 4 Grammy Awards, 10 American Music Awards, Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame (1981), Hall of Fame (Australia 2002)
Bands/Duets: Toomorrow, Pat Carroll, John Travolta, Andy Gibb, Cliff Richard, John Denver, ELO
Career span: 1963 to present
Trivia: Many reputable sources claim Olivia's best friend in the music industry was Karen Carpenter. They both appeared on each others television specials, they appeared on the Mike Douglas show together, took vacations together. Olivia even attended Karen's wedding. Despite their camaraderie they never recorded any music together.
Helen Reddy Stats:
Top Ten Adult Contemporary Hits: 15 (US)
#1 Adult Contemporary Hits: 8 (US)
Top 40 Hits: 14 (US), 14 (Canada), 1 (UK), 7 (Australia), 8 (New Zealand), 2 (Netherlands, Ireland)
#1 Hits: "I Am Woman" (1972 US, Canada), "Delta Dawn" (1973 US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand), "Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)(1973 Australia), "Angie Baby" (1974 US), "Free and Easy" (1975 New Zealand), "You're My World" (1977 Mexico)
Biggest Hit: "I Am Woman" (1973 US), "Delta Dawn" (1973 Worldwide)
Top Ten Albums: 3 (US)
# 1 Albums: 0
Studio Albums Recorded: 16
Total Albums Sold: 30 million (worldwide)
Awards: 1 Grammy Award, 1 American Music Award
Career span: 1970 - 2002
Trivia: In the Second-wave feminism, her song "I Am Woman" played a large role in popular culture and became a feminist anthem. Reddy came to be known as a "feminist poster girl" or a "feminist icon". "I Am Woman" was the first song by an Australian born artist to reach #1 on the U.S. charts.
Linda Ronstadt Stats:
Top Ten Adult Contemporary Hits: 12 (US), 14 (Canada)
#1 Adult Contemporary Hits: 2 (US), 3 (Canada)
Top 40 Hits: 20 (US), 23 (Canada), 3 (UK), 4 (Netherlands), 6 (New Zealand)
#1 Hits: "You're No Good" (1975 US), "Don't Know Much" (1989 w/ Aaron Neville Canada), "All My Life" (1989 w/ Aaron Neville Canada)
Biggest Hit: "You're No Good" (1975 US), "Don't Know Much" (1989 w/ Aaron Neville Worldwide)
Top Ten Albums: 10 (US), 3 (Australia), 6 (Canada), 1 (Netherlands), 2 (New Zealand)
# 1 Albums: 3 (US), 1 (Australia), 1 (Canada)
Studio Albums Recorded: 27
Total Albums Sold: 30 million (US)
Awards: 11 Grammy Awards, 1 American Music Award
Bands/Duets: Stone Poneys, Aaron Neville, Trio (Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton), Ann Savoy, James Ingram
Career span: 1967 to Present
Trivia: In 1987 Ronstadt released her first all Spanish language album titled "Canciones de mi Padre (which means Songs of my Father). The album was received extremely well in the US reaching #42 on the album chart and #4 on the US Latin chart. The album also made it to #54 in Canada. It stands as the biggest selling non-English language album in American record history. The album has been RIAA certified Double-Platinum (for over 2 million US copies sold) and also won Ronstadt the Grammy Award for Best Mexican/Mexican-American Album at the 31st Grammy Awards. She released two more Spanish language albums "Mas Canciones" (1990) and "Frenesi" (1992).
Diana Ross Stats:
Top Ten Adult Contemporary Hits: 13 (US)
#1 Adult Contemporary Hits: 4 (US)
Top 40 Hits: 27 (US), 22 (Canada), 46 (UK), 22 (Netherlands), 6 (Australia)
#1 Hits: "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" (1970 US), "I'm Still Waiting" (1971 UK), "Touch Me In The Morning (1973 US), "Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know where You're Going To)" (1975 US), "Love Hangover" (1976 US), "A Brand New Day (1978 w/ Michael Jackson Netherlands), "Endless Love (1981 w/ Lionel Richie US, Australia, Canada), "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" (1981 Netherlands), "Chain Reaction (1985 UK, Australia)
Biggest Hit: "Endless Love (1981 w/ Lionel Richie)
Top Ten Albums: 4 (US), 6 (Canada), 9 (Netherlands), 10 (UK)
# 1 Albums: "Lady Sings The Blues (1972 US), "One Woman: The Ultimate Collection (1993 UK)
Studio Albums Recorded: 24
Total Albums Sold: 120 million (Worldwide)
Awards: 1 Golden Globe, 1 Tony Award, 7 American Music Awards, Star on Hollywood Walk of fame in 1982, Inducted into the Soul Train Hall of Fame in 1995, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012
Bands/Duets: Primettes, The Supremes, Temptations, Jackson 5, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Lionel Richie, Julio Iglesias, Rod Stewart, Westlife, Al B. Sure, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder
Career span: 1959 to Present
Trivia: In late 1971, Motown announced that Diana Ross was going to portray jazz icon Billie Holiday in a Motown-produced film loosely based on Holiday's autobiography Lady Sings the Blues (1956) written by Holiday and William Dufty. The movie co-starred Billy Dee Williams as Holiday's lover, Louis McKay. The cast also included comedian Richard Pryor as the "Piano Man".
Some critics ridiculed Ross's casting in the role. Ross and Holiday were considered to be "miles apart" in vocal styling and appearance. Undeterred, Ross immersed herself in Holiday's music and life story. She went to drug clinics and talked with doctors as research for the role. Ross made a crucial decision when it came to interpreting Holiday's music. Instead of imitating Billie Holiday's voice, Ross focused on Holiday's seemingly inimitable vocal phrasing.
Opening in October 1972, Lady Sings the Blues was a major success, and Ross's performance was lauded and well received.
Carly Simon Stats:
Top Ten Adult Contemporary Hits: 16 (US)
#1 Adult Contemporary Hits: 2 (US)
Top 40 Hits: 13 (US), 22 (Canada), 7 (Australia), 8 (UK)
#1 Hits: "You're So Vain (1972 US, Australia, Canada)
Biggest Hit: "You're So Vain (1972 US/Worldwide)
Top Ten Albums: 5 (US), 3 (Canada), 2 (Australia), 1 (UK)
# 1 Albums: "No Secrets (1972 US, Canada, Australia)
Studio Albums Recorded: 25
Total Albums Sold: ?
Awards: 2 Grammy Awards, 1 Academy Award, 1 Golden Globe, Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1994, "You're So Vain" inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2004
Bands/Duets: The Simon sisters, Elephant's Memory, Lucy Simon, James Taylor, Mick Jagger, Livingston Taylor, Janet Jackson, Missy Elliot, Will Powers
Career span: 1964 to Present
Trivia: Simon was born in New York City, New York. Her father, of Jewish descent, was Richard L. Simon (co-founder of Simon & Schuster), a pianist who often played Chopin and Beethoven at home. Her mother was Andrea Louise Simon (née Heinemann), a civil rights activist and singer, of Black and German descent. In a 2004 interview with fashion designer Michael Kors for the July issue of Interview Magazine, Simon revealed her full ancestry as being Jewish, African, Cuban and French.
Barbra Streisand Stats:
Top Ten Adult Contemporary Hits: 35 (US), 21 (Canada)
#1 Adult Contemporary Hits: 8 (US), 11 (Canada)
Top 40 Hits: 21 (US), 18 (Canada), 16 (UK), 8 (Ireland)
#1 Hits: "The Way We Were (1974 US, Canada), "Evergreen" (1977 US, Canada), "My Heart Belongs To Me" (1977 Canada), "Songbird (1978 Canada), "You Don't Bring Me Flowers (1978 w/ Neil Diamond - US, Canada), "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" (1979 w/ Donna Summer - US, Canada), "Woman In Love" (1980 US, Canada, UK, Ireland), "I Finally Found Someone (1996 w/ Bryan Adams - Ireland)
Biggest Hit: "Evergreen" (1977 - US), "Woman In Love" (1980 - Worldwide)
Top Ten Albums: 31 (US), 15 (Canada), 12 (UK), 12 (Netherlands), 7 (New Zealand), 4 (Spain), 7 (Norway), 14 (Australia), 4 (Austria), 4 (Sweden), 2 (Germany), 2 (Switzerland), 3 (France)
# 1 Albums: 9 (US), 4 (Canada), 6 (UK), 1 (Netherlands), 4 (New Zealand), 1 (Spain), 2 (Norway), 1 (Australia), 1 (Austria), 2 (Sweden), 1 (Switzerland), 1 (France)
Studio Albums Recorded: 33
Total Albums Sold: 180 Million
Awards: 15 Grammy Awards, 3 People's Choice Awards, Inducted in to Grammy Hall Of Fame (3 times 2004, 2006, 2008), Grammy Living Legend (1992), Grammy Lifetime Achievement (1994), 2 Academy Awards, 4 Golden Globe Awards
Bands/Duets: Barry Gibb, Donna Summer, Neil Diamond, Kim Carnes, Michael Crawford, Bryan Adams, Celine Dion, Don Johnson, Vince Gill
Career span: 1957 to Present
Trivia: Streisand has personally raised $25 million for organizations through her live performances. The Streisand Foundation, established in 1986, has contributed over $16 million through nearly 1,000 grants to "national organizations working on preservation of the environment, voter education, the protection of civil liberties and civil rights, women's issues and nuclear disarmament. In 2008, Streisand gifted $5 million to endow the Barbra Streisand Women's Cardiovascular Research and Education Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's Women's Heart Center.
Karen Carpenter/Carpenters Stats:
Top Ten Adult Contemporary Hits: 23 (US), 25 (Canada)
#1 Adult Contemporary Hits: 15 (US), 12 (Canada)
Top 40 Hits: 20 (US), 20 (Canada), 18 (UK), 15 (Australia), 12 (Ireland), 10 (Japan), 6 (Netherlands), 4 (Germany), 2 (Switzerland), 2 (Norway), 2 (South Africa)
#1 Hits: "(They Long To Be) Close To You" (1970 - US, Canada, Australia), "We've Only Just Begun" (1970 - Canada), "Top Of The World" (1973 - US, Canada, Australia), "Please Mr. Postman" (1975 - US, Canada, Australia, South Africa)
Biggest Hit: "(They Long To Be) Close To You" (1970 - US), "Please Mr. Postman" (1975 - Worldwide)
Top Ten Albums: 5 (US), 6 (Canada), 9 (UK), 12 (Japan), 4 (Australia), 3 (Netherlands), 2 (Norway), 2 (South Africa)
# 1 Albums: "Close To You" (1970 - Canada), "Now & Then" (1973 - Japan), "The Singles 1969-1973" (1973 - US, UK, Canada, Japan), "Horizon" (1975 - UK, Japan), "Golden Prize II" (1974 - Japan), "Very Best Of The Carpenters" (1983 - Australia), "Only Yesterday (1990 - UK) / 1 (US), 2 (Canada), 3 (UK), 4 (Japan), 1 (Australia)
Studio Albums Recorded: 11 (this includes her solo album which was released in 1996) 4 albums were released posthumously (these were collections of previously unreleased songs mostly outtakes from studio albums and songs recorded for television performances)
Total Albums Sold: 125 Million
Awards: 3 Grammy Awards, 1 American Music Award, "We've Only Just Begun" is inducted into The Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1998, "(They Long To Be) Close To You" is inducted into The Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2000, On October 12, 1983, Carpenters received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Bands/Duets: Richard Carpenter Trio, Spectrum, Peter Cetera
Career span: 1965 to 1983
Trivia: In 1979, Richard Carpenter took a year off to cure a dependency on Quaaludes and Karen decided to make a solo album with producer Phil Ramone. Her solo work was markedly different from usual Carpenters fare, consisting of adult-oriented and jazz/funk disco/dance-tempo material with more sexual lyrics and the use of Karen's higher vocal register. After completing the album, Karen played it to A&M executives in New York with much approval. However, upon playing it to A&M executives in Los Angeles including Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss, with Phil Ramone and her brother Richard also in attendance, the response to the album was relatively negative. Ramone recalls that Karen broke down in tears. The album was shelved by A&M CEO Herb Alpert, in spite of Quincy Jones' attempts to talk Alpert into releasing the record after some tracks had been remixed. Carpenters fans got a taste of the album in 1989 when some of its tracks (as remixed by Richard) were mixed onto the album Lovelines, (a Carpenters' collection of new unreleased material). Seven years later, in 1996, the entire album, featuring mixes approved by Karen before her death and one unmixed bonus track, was finally released. One other note of interest about her solo album was that Karen called Ramone on February, 3, 1983 and in the course of the conversation with him the solo album was brought up. Karen said in that conversation, according to Ramone, "I hope you don't mind if I curse. I still love our f****ng record. The very next morning Karen passed away.
Karen Carpenter (solo) - Don't Try To Win Me Back Again (1980 Unreleased)