Monday, October 20, 2008

In Memoriam: Dee Dee Warwick

R & B singer Dee Dee Warwick, a talented woman and older sister of Dionne Warwick, who never quite reached the pinnacle of fame that Dionne or others of her time did, died this past weekend at her home in New Jersey. She was 63 years old. Her sister was at her side when she died.

What makes sad news such as this sadder for me is that I only recently, within the last week or so, "discovered" Dee Dee Warwick, through music blogs and itunes. I had put a handful of her songs, such as "Rescue Me," "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me," and "I Haven't Got Anything Better to Do," in my itunes "Wish List," to purchase later. Needless to say, I've hit the "BUY SONG" button on a few of these songs today after reading about her passing.

Dee Dee Warwick was a two-time Grammy winner and her version of "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" came out before the more well-known version that was covered by Diana Ross and the Supremes.From reading her bios and notes on itunes and elsewhere, she didn't reach the heights of fame not because she didn't have the talent, but she could have used some better songwriters,musicians and marketing. Just listen to something like "Yours Until Tomorrow," though, which is a low-key plea to someone who could be a one-night stand, to just hang around until the morning ("Give me one night of your life, just be mine until dawn") or "I Haven't Got Anything Better to Do," in which she sings that she could care less about someone she was in love with, but she keeps thinking about him, because she hasn't "got anything better to do." The sometimes gritty, unpolished nature of her music makes it even more forceful.

I'll admit her voice isn't as silky smooth as others who sang the same type of songs, and it's tough to find really good-sounding versions of her songs because most were originally recorded in the 1960s, but you should, especially if you like soul music and girl groups and the kind of stuff that Dave Roberts plays at the Holiday Club on Thursday nights, check her music out. You'll be the better for it, as will your music collection.

No comments: