Barbara Howard – 1969 – On the Rise

Only 500 copies were pressed of this sole LP by Ohio soul singer Barbara Howard. Barbara has a beautiful voice and her interpretations of several soul classics is breathtaking. “Welcome home” is supported by plaintive horns and surpasses all other known versions. She does Aretha’s “Oh me Oh my” as well as “My song”; other beauties include the Doors’ “Light my fire” and “It’s not unusual”.  What makes this LP stand out is the heartfelt and charmingly primitive production sound overall achieved by producer Steven Reece. 

Tracks
A1 Light My Fire 2:40
A2 My Song 2:58
A3 You’ve Made Me So Happy 3:36
A4 I Need You 3:15
A5 Welcome Home 2:25
B1 Save Your Love For Me 2:30
B2 Oh Me Oh My, I’m A Fool 2:40
B3 The Man Above 2:30
B4 It’s Not Unusual 1:50
B5 For Once In My Life 3:30

It started, as all these things tend to, with an eager promotions man named Steven Reece. Reece was working for an organization called Operation Step-Up in Cincinnati, Ohio, when he had an idea to do a local talent search to maybe put out on a few concerts to promote Civil Rights. His search lead him to Barbara Howard, a young singer with a buttery voice like Dionne or Diana, but who could pack a punch like Mavis.

Reece became so entranced with Howard’s voice that he launched a record label solely to put out her records. The label lasted all of 18-ish months. It’s sole issues: three Barbara Howard singles, and her debut LP, On the Rise. The album basically came and went; Howard is not a name you probably know. She did not play the American Bandstand or hit the Top 40. In the meantime, Howard and Reece got married, had three kids, one of whom became a state congresswoman

That’s where this story would have ended if On The Rise didn’t become a crate-digging phenomenon. “Welcome Home” became a classic for soul DJs, and the LP itself — pressed in a very small quantity — usually sells for $250 in its original form on Discogs. It might have remained the province of crate-diggers only if not for a sealed copy walking into Plaid Room Records, the record store owned by the folks at Colemine Records, who tracked down the Reeces, and made a reissue happen.

Buy the AlbumBarbara Howard – 1969 – On the Rise

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Conversation for album: Barbara Howard – 1969 – On the Rise

15 Comments
  • Jordi
    Posted at 13:50h, 12 December 2019 Reply

    Hi!
    In the download file there isn’t the 09 song, It’s no unusual.
    Great album, amazing drums!

    • Nikos
      Posted at 15:12h, 12 December 2019 Reply

      It’s ok now.

  • peter balshaw
    Posted at 14:49h, 12 December 2019 Reply

    great l album cannot say i have heard of her but she’s got a great voice

  • Palomares
    Posted at 11:56h, 13 December 2019 Reply

    Old skool at its finest.

  • Erika
    Posted at 20:57h, 13 December 2019 Reply

    This music has soul! What a moving voice.

  • Diana
    Posted at 21:23h, 14 December 2019 Reply

    These were the sounds we grew up with

  • Francis
    Posted at 16:24h, 15 December 2019 Reply

    thx 4 this treasure.

  • Scott
    Posted at 10:14h, 16 December 2019 Reply

    wow ♡♡♡♡!!!!

  • R12
    Posted at 22:08h, 16 December 2019 Reply

    Very nice! New to me.

  • Sullivan
    Posted at 22:28h, 16 December 2019 Reply

    What a voice! Beautiful!

  • Frederic
    Posted at 19:07h, 17 December 2019 Reply

    The Lady can do wrong,,,,,,,,and her soul is on fire.

  • Andrea
    Posted at 19:09h, 17 December 2019 Reply

    es hermosa!!!

  • Kissme
    Posted at 12:04h, 18 December 2019 Reply

    Always wanted to listen to this. thanks.

  • Leonard
    Posted at 11:36h, 05 January 2020 Reply

    another of those good ole classics that had us singing harmony on the corner

  • Joyce
    Posted at 11:38h, 05 January 2020 Reply

    Old school rules,now this is real music!

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