Album:WDAS 105.3 FM Classic Soul Hits Volume 9
Though Very Special was the only significant hit for singer Debra Laws, the song is now considered a Quiet Storm classic and is frequently sampled by hip hop guys. I suspect that fans of the song don't know anything about Debra. She was born Sept. 10, 1956 in Houston the seventh of eight children. Her older brothers Hubert Laws and Ronnie Laws are veteran jazz sax and flute players and sister Eloise Laws is also a singer. And family is Debra's story. As with Eloise, Debra has spent most of her career singing in Ronnie Laws' band and as a background singer. Debra sang on albums by Hubert and Ronnie Laws in the 70s. After Eloise Laws had some success with the 1978 album Eloise, Ronnie Laws got Debra a record deal with Elektra Records and he produced the 1981 album Very Special using musicians from his band. The single Very Special reached #11 on the R & B Singles chart. And as I said, it is a Quiet Storm classic. Ronnie Laws sings on the record and also plays the sax solo. The guitar solo is by veteran blues guitarist Arthur Adams. Very Special was written by background singer Lisa Peters and Ronnie Laws' drummer William Jeffery who also wrote the arrangement. The song is frequently sampled and a rap cover was recorded by Big Daddy Kane in 1993. It was also sampled on the 2003 Jennifer Lopez hit All I Have. The Laws family sued Sony for unauthorized use of Debra's voice. That was dismissed but a lawsuit against Warner Music for allowing Debra's voice to be used on the record without her consent was settled out of court. You can get Very Special on this Collectables various artists comp which is part of a series of CDs produced for Philadelphia radio station WDAS. Debra Laws didn't record another solo album until 1993. She went back to touring with Ronnie Laws and also as a studio singer. Here's a video for Very Special by Debra Laws featuring Ronnie Laws.