Barbara Acklin – 1968 – Love Makes A Woman

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Barbara Acklin is one of the great lost soul singers of the late ’60s/early ’70s. A pop-soul vocalist in the vein of Dionne Warwick or Brenda Holloway, Barbara Acklin is best known for her R&B/pop hit “Love Makes a Woman” from the summer of 1968 and the delicious Windy City soul gems ‘Please Sunrise Please’, ‘Come And See My Baby’, and ‘Be By My Side’, all included in this excellent debut album.

It wasnโ€™t until she was five that the family moved to Chicago and she got her start singing in her local church. From there it was only a matter of time before she began performing in clubs. She had to enter the music industry from the backdoor being a secretary, but eventually got help from her cousin Monk Higgins and singer Jackie Wilson, who got her a record deal with Brunswick where she had much success hitting the charts with her singles.

This is a @320 Vinyl rip of the reissue Brunswick record including covers.

A1 What the World Needs Now Is Love 2:28
A2 The Look of Love 2:26
A3 The Old Matchmaker 2:57
A4 Come and See Me Baby 2:57
A5 I’ve Got You Baby 2:18
A6 Love Makes a Woman 2:58
B1 Please Sunrise Please 2:54
B2 Your Sweet Loving 2:41
B3 Yes I See the Love (I Missed) 2:37
B4 To Sir With Love 2:27
B5 Be by My Side 2:36

Vocals With Orchestra produced by Carl Davis & Eugene Record

Arranged by Sonny Sanders – Directed by Willie Henderson

The reviews


Always classy and elegant, Barbara Acklin’s debut album, Love Makes a Woman could survive on the reputation of the title track alone. One of the premier recordings of writer/producer Carl Davis, “Love Makes a Woman” features the bright horns and relaxed rhythms that are hallmarks of his productions for the Brunswick label. Coupled with Acklin’s tense, confident delivery, the results are one of pop-soul’s true shining moments. Well-written originals here, like “Be By My Side” and “Come and See Me Baby,” more than stand up to covers from the Bacharach/David canon, making this one of the most solid soul debuts ever released.


Chicago soul diva Barbara Acklin’s first and finest LP for the Brunswick label. Love Makes a Woman immediately establishes the supple, sophisticated sound that separated Acklin from her grittier Windy City rivals. The buoyant title cut would prove her biggest hit, but she also proves herself a skilled interpreter of the Bacharach/David catalog via soulful renditions of the syrupy “What the World Needs Now” and the sultry “The Look of Love.” Also credit co-producers Eugene Record and Carl Davis for avoiding the studio overkill that plagues Acklin’s later Brunswick dates. The loping grooves and sinuous rhythms never distract from the potency of her vocals.


As a teenager, she began singing in nightclubs while attending Dunbar Vocational High school. Upon graduation, she was hired as a secretary for local record label by her cousin, saxophonist Monk Higgins. Her first release was under the name Barbara Allen on his Special Agent label. Later, Higgins used Acklin as a background singer on his Chess Records sessions.

In 1966, Acklin began working as a receptionist for record producer Carl Davis at Brunswick Records. Always keeping in mind her goal of becoming a recording star, she persistently asked Davis to record her. Davis said that he would, but, in the meantime, he encouraged her to keep writing songs. Cornering Brunswick Records star Jackie Wilson, Acklin had him listen to a tune that she co-wrote with David Scott (formerly of The Exciters Band). Wilson liked it and passed it on to Davis. Released September 1966, the song, “Whispers (Gettin Louder)” went to number six R&B and number 11 on the Hot 100 in the fall of 1966. The song helped re-launch his career in the late 1960s. To return the favor, Wilson helped Acklin secure a recording contract with Brunswick. Acklin’s first chart success came from “Show Me the Way to Go,” a duet with Chandler, reaching number 30 R&B in the spring of 1968. In July 1968, Acklin had a hit of her own with the extremely catchy “Love Makes a Woman,” which went to number three R&B and number 15 on the Hot 100 in August 1968. The song also won a BMI Award.

Another Chandler/Acklin duet followed in October 1968. “From the Teacher to the Preacher” reached number 16 R&B and number 57 pop. Acklin’s next charting singles were “Just Ain’t No Love,” “Am I the Same Girl” (covered by Dusty Springfield, Swing Out Sister and The Manhattan Transfer), “I Did It,” “Lady Lady Lady,” and “I Call It Trouble.” In 1974, Acklin departed Brunswick for Capitol Records. Her first single, “Raindrops,” was a R&B hit in June of that year.

Prior to Brunswick releasing her “Am I the Same Girl”, they removed her voice from the track and replaced it with a piano and released as the instrumental track “Soulful Strut,” which became a massive hit for Young-Holt Unlimited. Unfortunately for Acklin, her release of the song did not get the promotion as “Soulful Strut” received. However, she was also proficient as a songwriter – in addition to “Whispers (Gettin’ Louder)” for Jackie Wilson, she co-wrote “Have You Seen Her” with her husband Eugene Record, who was also the lead singer of The Chi-Lites, as well as several of their other biggest hits: “Oh Girl”, “Stoned Out Of My Mind” and “Toby.” Barbara Acklin died from pneumonia on November 27 1998.

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Conversation for album: Barbara Acklin – 1968 – Love Makes A Woman

  • Lancelot
    Posted at 20:14h, 26 June 2008 Reply

    Thank you very much for this. Ti is a great pleasure for me, to learn more about “What is soul”. And this is great.

  • Lafayette
    Posted at 22:47h, 26 June 2008 Reply

    Actually an album that I have on vinyl myself, and when Nikos is posting the rare ones – this is almost never the case! Great album, great post – just what we all needed! :ยฌ)

    Thanks, bro!


  • Anonymous
    Posted at 23:38h, 26 June 2008 Reply

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  • Rich
    Posted at 23:54h, 26 June 2008 Reply

    nikos thanx for this treat eugene record and carl davis on the production side u cant go wrong.

  • manny
    Posted at 00:00h, 27 June 2008 Reply

    thanks for sharing

  • jahcisco
    Posted at 00:14h, 27 June 2008 Reply


  • cafecafecafe
    Posted at 00:29h, 27 June 2008 Reply

    Thank you Nikos. Great soul singer. You always put good posts.

  • nikos1109
    Posted at 00:44h, 27 June 2008 Reply

    Rich, very true. Carl Davis played a large part in chicago soul of 60’s and 70’s. Davis’ efforts were focused on the Brunswick label roster, where he developed a stable of outstanding soul talent including the Chi-Lites, Tyrone Davis, Barbara Acklin, Young-Holt Unlimited, and Jackie Wilson. Davis also produced some notable records by soul stars Gene Chandler and Mary Wells. As for my beloved Eugene Record we’ve said everything on the Chi-Lites recent post. A hugh artist!

  • St Johnny
    Posted at 00:51h, 27 June 2008 Reply

    I’ve been missin this one, thanks for the post.

  • invisiblenigma
    Posted at 01:06h, 27 June 2008 Reply

    Don’t have any Barbara Acklin. I can’t wait to hear her. Thanks For Sharing Nikos!

  • Andre
    Posted at 03:10h, 27 June 2008 Reply

    thanks alot been curious to hear this album

  • musicmeiho
    Posted at 02:40h, 27 June 2008 Reply

    Sweet! Thank you

  • Groovy Emmanuel
    Posted at 08:15h, 27 June 2008 Reply

    Hey Nikos, this blog seems to be the perfect place to fit in the missing pieces in Chicago’s soul scene puzzle! Whooha! Keep on doing it brother, this is much needed! Now, the catchy title track was Barbara’s biggest chart hit, though the album seems to suffer a bit of too many (very nicely performed though) covers, a situation that was more or less a common place in sixties soul production. And don’t forget this was the debut album by this lovely lady. The infos posted above are excellent, and i just can’t wait to see more stuff from these artist posted here…. Whooha!!! Love it!

  • Soul is the Music
    Posted at 09:28h, 27 June 2008 Reply

    yeahhh!! Another classic chicago record. Don’t forget producer/arranger Willie Henderson too. He joined Carl Davis in 1968, arranged, produced and played in almost every Brunswick record.

  • Numba
    Posted at 12:46h, 27 June 2008 Reply

    Thanks for this release Nikos ! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • k02
    Posted at 13:38h, 27 June 2008 Reply

    Great thank you

  • FAkeS
    Posted at 16:30h, 27 June 2008 Reply

    Didn’t know Barbara co-wrote “Have you seen her” and “Oh Girl” among other Chi-Lites hits. That makes me appreciate her much more. Cool record anyway.

  • lookin4crates
    Posted at 20:42h, 27 June 2008 Reply

    keep doin that thing nikos! thanks!

  • Jazzy
    Posted at 21:21h, 27 June 2008 Reply

    Another winner post dear nikos. Fantastic work.

  • Ben
    Posted at 21:25h, 27 June 2008 Reply

    Once again!!!!!thanks.

  • TGrundy
    Posted at 02:01h, 28 June 2008 Reply

    Nikos, you never fail to post something good. “Thanks!” for your work and efforts!

  • Gea
    Posted at 15:00h, 28 June 2008 Reply

    you never disappoint me with your posts. i enjoy every single record.

  • paul
    Posted at 15:02h, 28 June 2008 Reply

    Thanks for mrs Acklin and all these gems already posted.

  • boss
    Posted at 18:09h, 28 June 2008 Reply

    This album is pretty dope. Beautiful voice! Thank you.

  • CAN
    Posted at 22:28h, 28 June 2008 Reply

    What a way to enjoy the weekend. Thank you!

  • Lester
    Posted at 20:58h, 29 June 2008 Reply

    Looks good,thanks for your efforts.

  • samuel
    Posted at 01:48h, 30 June 2008 Reply

    Barbara is better than i expected. Thank you nikos.

  • Noa
    Posted at 02:15h, 30 June 2008 Reply

    Thank you for another great record.

  • phil
    Posted at 09:23h, 30 June 2008 Reply

    thanks please check out my new radio show

  • hooch
    Posted at 16:06h, 30 June 2008 Reply

    many Thanks indeed!

  • robert
    Posted at 02:08h, 07 July 2008 Reply

    Another great post, thank you Nikos!

  • Paul
    Posted at 04:22h, 09 July 2008 Reply

    Thanks, splendid album, great voice. I saw her many years ago at an all-nighter in Droylsden, Manchester โ€“ she’d been retired for years, came on stage, started crying and fled – never did get to hear her voice live, she died a few years after.

    Missing from my collection and what I would love to hear is Raindrops by Barbara, not sure which album it’s on but it’s a great track.

  • Justice
    Posted at 08:52h, 13 July 2008 Reply

    I really like this album. Thnk you

  • nikos1109
    Posted at 12:59h, 13 July 2008 Reply

    Paul, what a pity my friend! i can’t find any “raindrops” song. i search every (7) of her albums and a few anthologies or best of but noting. Are you sure about the title?

  • jean
    Posted at 03:36h, 30 October 2008 Reply

    thx to educate me a lil bit more each time….a pleasure to read ur comments ..a true soul lover…take care dude thanks

    Posted at 20:28h, 06 July 2009 Reply

    beautiful site..)),

  • Josh Plante
    Posted at 20:28h, 06 July 2009 Reply

    Thanks I

  • alexander thompson
    Posted at 20:28h, 06 July 2009 Reply

    thank you dear friend,

  • Geraldo Berrios
    Posted at 20:29h, 06 July 2009 Reply

    nice job, very thanks

  • moggy
    Posted at 14:20h, 07 August 2009 Reply

    i heard a track by her yesterday and loved it

  • Yul Acklin
    Posted at 02:45h, 16 August 2009 Reply

    I finally got to hear Barabra Acklin WOW!!! She’s great really good. Where is she originally from. I’m from Alabama, the shoal’s area.

  • Dan
    Posted at 12:47h, 21 February 2010 Reply

    Many thanks once again for this superb album!!!

    Posted at 10:14h, 26 April 2011 Reply


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