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Sunday, January 21, 2018

Melba Moore

 How fantastic is Melba Moore?  What a career.  From gospel singer to Broadway actress to R and B star to disco diva.  This woman made her mark.  From 1970 to 1990 she churned out the hits in all genres.  Perhaps the U.S. pop charts were not one of her domains but she did manage to make it in the pop charts in the U.K.

Born Melba Hill in 1945 in Harlem.  Both of her parents were music artist themselves.  They certainly encouraged her acting career as well as her musical output.

Of course here I'm going to concentrate on the disco and the R and B hits.  The first big record was This is It in early 1976.  A Van McCoy written and produced show stopper that made the Top 10 on the U.S. dance charts as well as on the U.K. pop charts.

She even covered the early disco masterpieces by Patti Jo Ain't No Love Lost and Make me Believe in You.
Patti Jo

She next had disco hits with Standing Right Here (a personal favorite, one soulful disco number if there ever was one), "you promised to love me, you promised to love me,"Good Love Makes Everything Alright and her incredible interpretation of the Bee Gees You Stepped into My Life which she took all the way to #5 on the disco charts and almost cracked the American Top 40.  At this point Melba was truly one of the true disco diva stars.

Then another disco smash was released with Pick Me Up, I'll Dance and the delicious John Luongo mixes.  A disco classic if ever there was one.

1979's Burn album seemed to just have come out at the wrong time.  As disco was peaking and there was just too much great material out at the same time.  Miss Thing was not a hit for her.  But by 1980 and the Closer and What a Woman Needs releases she had some big R and B records.  1980's Everything so Good About You was heavily played in the clubs.  As were Take my Love and Let's Stand Together in 1981.
In 1982 she had the biggest hit of her career with Love's Comin' at Ya giving her a Top 5 R and B hit and a #2 dance record.  Not really one of my faves.

1983's Mind Up Tonight and Underlove (a funk record) were 2 of my all time favorite Melba songs.  1984's Livin' for Love from her Never Say Never l.p. was one of her biggest R and B hits. 1985's Read My Lips was big too.  Definitely not one of my favorites.  Then in 1986 she had 2 #1 R and B hits with Falling and A Little Bit More a duet with Freddie Jackson.  So I suppose that year could be considered her peak.

1987 and 1988 were also good to her on the R and B charts with songs like I'm in Love, It's been so Long and I Can't Complain (one of many of her records written by Gene McFadden.  Nothing came out in 1989 she had two more solid R and B Top 10 hits in 1990 and that was the year her chart run ended.

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