Sessions Singers.

  • August 19, 2017 at 1:30 PM #5050
    Profile photo of Mike BarnesMike Barnes

    More than a few of the alltime top vocal artists through the years(70,80’s), Started out as session singers before they gained stardom and success and afew of those singers were still doing session work while they were still large(Exhibit A:Luther Vandross, Cissy Houston, Whitney Houston), Here’s my alltime favorite session singers lists during the 70’s,80’s,90’s, Etc.

    Much Respect
    Mike Barnes

    1.Luther Vandross(Who wanted to work with Curtis Hairston so bad, That, Luther Vandross asked Earl Monroe/Founder of Pretty Peal records during the 80’s, If he could sing background vocals on the plate, “Summertime”, By Curtis Hairston in 1983, Which was produced by Leroy Burgress, Who introduced Luther Vandross

    To Earl Monroe and Curtis Hairston in 1983 and this took place when Luther Vandross was making platinum hits during the early 80’s and money till loved session singing so much to lend his vocals to another artists work without being the lead vocalist himself/Facts).

    2.Tawatha Agee(Who was the voice for the group Mtume during the mid 70’s to mid 80’s as well as Tawatha Agee doing session work with artists like Phyllis Hyman, Gary Bartz, Stephanie Mills, David Bowie, Etc, During the 80’s thru the 2000’s.

    3.Vesta Williams/Rip(Well known and extremely highly respected for her session work with Chaka Khan during the early to mid 80’s)

    4.Fonzi Thorton(Very well respected session singer who lent his vocal talents for Chic, Arthea Franklin, BB&Q Band, Change, Curtis Hairston, Etc, During the 70’s,80’s)

    5.Angela Winbush(Who was a session singer for Stevie Wonder’s background vocal group, “Wonderlove”, During the mid 70’s to late 70’s and to think that Angela Winbush and Tawatha Agee were both in the same group called, “Hot Tea”, During the early 70’s/Damn/LOL.

    6.Alyson Williams(Has lent her vocal talents for projects with Orange Crush, Curtis Hairston, Melba Moore, BB&Q, Unlimited Touch, Kasif, Etc, During the 80’s)

    7.Meli’sa Morgan(Who has done session work for Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston, Melba Moore and Meli’sa Morgan was down with the group “High Fashion”, Which also featured Alyson Williams during the early to mid 80’s.

    8.Wil Downing(Has done session work for Jennifer Holiday, Kool & the Gang, Gerald Albright, Billy Ocean, Regina Belle and Mica Paris during the mid to late 80’s)

    9.James/D-Train Williams(Has done session work with Michael Jackson, Elton John, Carrie Underwood and Mary J. Blige, Etc, During the 80’s,90’s

    10.Audrey Wheeler(Very established Session singer who has done session work for Najee, Atlantic Starr, Eric Gable, Freddle Jackson, Glenn Jones, Williams, Etc, And Audrey Wheeler was one of the lead signers for the group Unlimited Touch during the early 80’s/Facts.

    11.Toni Smith(Who has done session work with Chaka Khan, Stephanie Mills, Meli’sa Morgan, James Ingram, Etc, AdnToni Smith was the lesd singer on the plate, “funkin for Jamaica”, by Tom Browne in 1980/Facts.

    August 19, 2017 at 11:43 PM #5052
    Profile photo of Mike JohnsonMike Johnson

    Good list. There were a number of singers that learned their craft doing studio work. Now, everybody wants to go solo without having fully baked in the oven. I’ll add a few more:

    Jocelyn Brown
    Gwen Guthrie
    Ullanda McCullough
    Deniece Williams (Wonderlove)
    Minnie Riperton (Wonderlove)
    Freddie Jackson
    Betty Wright

    And let’s not forget singers who were initially part of a singing group, but broke out on their own and became even bigger stars as soloists:

    Michael Cooper (Con Funk Shun)
    Teddy Pendergrass (Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes)
    Patti LaBelle (LaBelle)
    Jeffrey Osborne (L.T.D.)
    Diana Ross (Diana Ross & The Supremes)
    Michael Jackson ((Jackson Five)
    Lionel Richie (The Commodores)
    Eddie Kendricks (The Temptations
    Curtis Mayfield (The Impressions)
    David Hollister – Blackstreet
    Beyonce (Destiny’s Child)

    August 21, 2017 at 12:36 AM #5056
    Profile photo of FletchFletch

    The entire Lutherettes (plus one male)
    Brenda White
    Michelle Cobbs
    Cissy Houston
    Lisa Fisher
    Fonzi Thornton

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but much of the Lutherettes were the cream of the crop of New York session work. Add to that…..

    Norma Jean Wright and Lucy Martin, backing up Nile and Bernard
    Zach Sanders, the schoolhouse rock voice of Electricity and Verb

    August 21, 2017 at 10:18 AM #5057
    Profile photo of Mike BarnesMike Barnes

    Greg T, Good lookin in regards to the information that you provided on the Session Singers thread(Greg, I’ll throw up your information later on in this thread, My man), Mike Johnson, You can add Bobby Brown to your lists of artists who were originally in groups, That went on to become bigger stars as solo artists, My man/LOL, Fletch, Christine Wiltshire was down with, “The Lutherettes during the mid 70’s too(Christine Wiltshire was the lead vocalist

    On the plate, “Weekend”, By Phreek in 1978, Also, Vennus Dodson was another in-demand session vocalist during the 70’s, Lending her vocals talents to artists like Slyvia Robinson(“Pillow Talk”, Fame in 1975), Ray Goodman and Brown(The Moments), Major Harris, Cloud -one(Patrick Adams studio session group During the 70’s), Universal Robot Band(Patrick Adams session group during the 70’s), Logg and Convertion(Both studio session groups founded by

    Leroy Burgess during the early to mid 80’s), Etc, Also, Sybil, Adeva and Kenny Bobien were apart of the group, “CeCe& Company”, During the mid 80’s, Lead by Ce Ce Rodgers, Infact, CeCe Rodgers used to do session work for Melba Moore, Freddie Jackson and Curtis Hairston, During the mid 80’s too,

    Fletch, Yes, More than a few of the vocalist of the group, “The Lutherettes”, Were widely considered the, “Cream of the crop”, For New York city session work during the 70’s and 80’s, My man(Facts).

    Much Respect
    Mike Barnes

    Greg.T’s information on the session singers thread:
    Cindy Mizelle who might be one of the most in demand session singers of all time and still going strong

    Paulette McWilliams who was part of Luther’s crew goin back to mid 70’s Quincy Jones LP Body Heat, she was in Rufus and tapped Chaka to take her place after the 1st 2 albums.

    Lisa Fischer(we know her story by now) (little known tidbit she sang on Kleeer’s Get Tough joint, that is her wailin at the end of the song…

    Merry Clayton (she sang on Rock Creek Park and Happy Music and a ton of other joints). Side note: she destroyed Roy Ayers Brand New Feeling joint which was part of a collection of Roy Ayers joints that were unreleased(1976-81) until BBE label head Peter Adarkwah unearthed them and put them out on two volumes on his label(2003,2005). Merry is on like 4 cuts…

    The Waters Family(too many joints to list but they were everywhere in the 70’s til the present, hell they did some of the animal noises for the Lion King movie)

    David Lasley (white kat who sang on alot of chic joints and a ton more R & B tracks) his credits start in the early 70’s and he is right up there with Cindy for being most prolific.

    August 22, 2017 at 7:20 PM #5066
    Profile photo of Mike JohnsonMike Johnson

    I’ll add another “session” singer: Phil Perry.

    Reading this reminds me that Luther Vandross had the TIGHTEST backing singers — all of them great singers in their own right, but they were not going to out-shine Luther. Nevertheless, they were tight.

    August 23, 2017 at 9:40 AM #5069
    Profile photo of Mike BarnesMike Barnes

    Mike Johnson, David Peaston(Rip), Was another cat who started out doing session work in New York city with cats like Kasif, Paul Lawrence, Lillo Thomas, Melba Moore, Etc, During the early to late 80’s, Also, Denise Williams was down with Stevie Wonder’s background/Session singers, “Wonderlove”, During

    The early to mid 70’s, Mike, I never seen Luther Vandross live in concert, Though, I always heard extremely respectful compliments in regards to the background singers who sang with Luther Vandross during the 80’s, Also, Fonda Rae used to do session work for Patrick Adams and Leory Bugress during the late 70’s/early 80’s too.

    Much Respect
    Mike Barnes

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