Barbara Lewis – 1965 – Baby I’m yours
Barbara was a less dramatic singer than label mate Aretha Franklin, but she was a top quality soul singer with a wonderful, clear, soprano voice. She had three big American hits, these being “Hello stranger”, “Baby I’m yours” and “Puppy Love”.
Barbara Lewis is one of many singers who have largely been forgotten. This early album proves that she had the talent to be a major star. If you enjoy sixties soul music and you want to look beyond the famous names, this is for you.
A1 Baby I’m Yours 2:28
A2 My Heart Went Do Dat Da 2:20
A3 Come Home 2:35
A4 Think a Little Sugar 2:19
A5 If You Love Her 2:13
A6 Stop That Girl 2:29
B1 Puppy Love 2:24
B2 Hello Stranger 2:42
B3 Someday We’re Gonna Love Again 2:02
B4 Snap Your Fingers 2:46
B5 How Can I Say Goodbye 2:47
B6 Straighten up Your Heart 2.24
No singular adjective does justice to Barbara Lewis’ voice. Her delivery was silky smooth. And while her sound was somewhat sweet, she had a soulfullness that always kept her recordings from getting sappy. Today, she is mostly forgotten by the general public, which is a huge shame. Lewis had her own niche, somewhere between the light pop sounds of Diana Ross and Dionne Warwick, and the fiery soul of Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight.
Barbara Lewis had a couple of unforgettable hits that no oldies station can do without: “Hello Stranger” and “Baby, I’m Yours.” She is noteworthy just for those two songs, but she recorded a number of other pop/soul gems, and has become a legend in Beach Music circles.
Barbara Lewis – 1968 – Workin’ On A Groovy Thing
A record that was issued quite a few years after Barbara Lewis’ debut for Atlantic, but a set that’s equally great thanks to some impeccable production from the great Ollie McLaughlin! The set’s got a sound that’s a bit more upbeat and soaring than some of Lewis’ earlier work a groove that’s clearly picked up the Detroit styles of the late 60s, but which still retains all the careful classic that Barbara brought to her music. Very sweet, very soulful, and an essential piece of 60’s soul.
A1 I’ll Keep Believin’ 2.44
A2 Workin’ on a Groovy Thing 3.02
A3 Make Me Your Baby 2.30
A4 Girls Need Loving Care 2.40
A5 I Remember the Feeling 2.30
A6 Baby, What You Want Me to Do 2.45
B1 Make Me Belong to You 2.27
B2 Love Makes the World Go ‘Round 2.47
B3 I’ll Make Him Love Me 2.17
B4 Only All the Time 2.06
B5 Sho-Nuff (It’s Got to Be Your Love) 2.33
B6 Thankful 2.44
Barbara Lewis was a hit crossover Soul-Pop success in the 1960s. She was born and started her career in Michigan, but really broke through when she moved to New York City and started working with Jerry Wexler who added some orchestration behind her. That’s the sound you find on Workin On A Groovy Thing. Where she puts all those elements together is on I’ll Keep Believin with plenty of strings and some subtle horns. The rest tend to be lighter numbers but still good such as Workin On A Groovy Thing, I Remember The Feeling, and Make Me Belong To You. The best track might be Sho-Nuff with an uplifting feel and a stripped down Soul rhythm.