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 wasn’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
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.