Sunday, June 20, 2010
Jango Song Of The Day-Barbara Acklin
Song:Love Makes A Woman
Album:20 Greatest Hits
Barbara Acklin is an overlooked Chicago soul singer who had a top twenty hit with Love Makes a Woman in 1968. She was also an accomplished songwriter and co-wrote The Chi-Lites classic Have You Seen Her. She was born Feb. 28, 1944 in Oakland, CA and grew up in Chicago. She sang in church and in nightclubs as a teen. Her cousin Monk Higgins was a sax player and producer at Chess Records and he produced a single for her as Barbara Allen and used her as a backup singer. In 1966, she went to work as a receptionist for Brunswick Records producer Carl Davis. She kept bugging him to record her until she gave one of her songs to Jackie Wilson and Wilson had a top twenty hit with Whispers (Gettin' Louder). So Wilson got her a contract with Brunswick and her duet with Gene Chandler Show Me The Way To Go reached #30 on the R & B Singles chart. Barbara's biggest hit and signature song Love Makes A Woman reached #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #3 on the R & B Singles chart in 1968. The song was written by Carl Davis, Chi-Lites leader Eugene Record and arranger Sonny Sanders. This began a long professional and personal relationship with Record as they wrote many songs together including The Chi-Lites classic Have You Seen Her. And Barbara toured with The Chi-Lites later on. Barbara Acklin was a regular on the R & B charts. But her relationship with Brunswick went south when they took her single Am I The Same Girl, replaced her vocals with a piano track and released it as Soulful Strut by Young-Holt Unlimited. It was a big hit. So she continued to write songs with Record and left Brunswick for Capitol in 1974. You can get all her Brunswick hits on this 2002 comp. BTW, terrible cover. She didn't have much success at Capitol but continued to tour with The Chi-Lites. Barbara earned a lot of songwriting royalties when MC Hammer covered Have You Seen Her in 1991. Barbara Acklin was getting ready to record a new album when she got sick and died of pneumonia on Nov. 27, 1998 at age 54. Here's a video for Love Makes A Woman by Barbara Acklin.