Betty Harris

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Betty Harris
Betty Harris at Brooklyn Soul Festival 2010.jpg
Background information
Born1939
Orlando, FL, U.S.
GenresSoul music, southern soul
OccupationsVocalist
InstrumentsVocals
Years active1963 --=
LabelsJubilee, Sansu
 
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Betty Harris
Betty Harris at Brooklyn Soul Festival 2010.jpg
Background information
Born1939
Orlando, FL, U.S.
GenresSoul music, southern soul
OccupationsVocalist
InstrumentsVocals
Years active1963 --=
LabelsJubilee, Sansu

Betty Harris (born 1939, in Orlando, Florida) is an American Soul Singer. Her recording career in the 1960s produced three hit records that made the Billboard R&B and pop charts: "Cry to Me" (1963), "His Kiss" (1964) and "Nearer to You" (1967). However, her reputation among soul music connoisseurs far exceeds her commercial success of the 1960s, and her recordings for the Jubilee and Sansu record labels are highly sought after in the 2000s by fans of Northern Soul and Deep Soul.

Career[edit]

In 1963, after being in the music business for a few years, Betty Harris recorded a slowed down version of Solomon Burke's hit of the year before, "Cry to Me", produced by the original record's producer, Bert Berns, and released on the Jubilee record label. Taken at a slower pace, Betty's rendition turned the song into a Billboard pop #23 hit and Deep Soul classic. A total of 8 further singles were released on Jubilee, also produced by Bert Berns, with "His Kiss", released 1/04/64, another Deep Soul ballad, reaching the lower part of the Billboard Pop and R&B charts.

In 1964, Betty Harris switched record labels to Sansu, a New Orleans label, where she was produced by legendary New Orleans producer Allen Toussaint. Her recording with Sansu produced 20 singles. Of those, only "Nearer to You", an atmospheric, dramatic soul ballad, now considered one of the milestones of Deep Soul, achieved U.S. national chart success (Billboard #85). However, practically all of her recordings for Sansu, uptempo tunes and ballads alike, featuring Allen Toussaint's raw yet sophisticated Southern Soul arrangements behind Betty's rich, distinctive vocal, are considered prime specimens of the classic soul era; some notable recordings were "I'm Evil Tonight", a beat ballad favored in Northern Soul circles; "I Don't Want To Hear It", "Show it" and "Twelve Red Roses", stirring uptempo tracks; "Can't Last Much Longer" and "What'd I Do Wrong", emotive Deep Soul ballads.

All of the Sansu recordings were compiled into an album released in the U.K. (but not the U.S.) in 1969, called "Soul Perfection", an album which, in its vinyl format, although not extremely rare, commands relatively high prices of $200 to $300 today.

A comprehensive CD compilation of Betty Harris recordings was released in 1999 by UK re-release label West Side.

In 2004, Betty Harris returned to the music business after a long departure.

She has made several public appearances in the U.S. and Europe, including the 2007 Porretta Soul Festival in Italy, and has recorded a new album, Intuition.[1]

Betty toured Australia in 2006 and appeared on the TV Show RockWiz where she performed Cry To Me and a duet of Love Lots Of Lovin' with Australian singer John Paul Young.

Discography[edit]

U.S. Singles[edit]

Albums[edit]

Vinyl compilations[edit]

Compilation CD[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]