She is a singer-songwriter and producer who has
featured in one capacity or another on literally hundred of records that
span over four decades up until the present day. Her grandmother was a composer and
musician who taught her piano and voice and would later accompany her and
her sister at their performances.
Her first steps in music were when she sang in church
from the age of two and by the time she was four she had started to
harmonise. Her first
compositions came when she was ten and she was setting verses from the
Bible to music to aid children in learning them.
She studied at Pre-Social Welfare UCLA and after
graduating with her degree she became a Medical Social Worker. This was not to be though and she
ventured out in her career in music.
In the 1960s and 1970s she wrote songs extensively for
Mirwood Records with many of them becoming hits for artists such as Bob
& Earl and The Olympics. At
the same time, in 1964, she was taken on as a singer-songwriter and
producer for Motown Records and would find herself sharing the stage with
artists such as Joe Cocker, The Commodores, Tim Finn, Lionel Richie and
Diana Ross and producing acclaimed Motown acts such as The Four Tops,
Marvin Gaye, The Jackson 5, Martha & The Vandellas, The Supremes among
She was a co-founder of the backing group The
Blackberries with Clydie King and Venetta Fields and was often seen
co-writing in collaboration with the producer Deke Richards.
Perhaps best known for her work as a backing singer
she has worked with numerous artists such as Gregg Allman, Ambrosia, Hoyt
Axton, The Beach Boys, Burt Bacharach, Bonnie Bramlett, Elkie Brooks, Ray
Charles, Cher, Chicago, Eric Clapton, Roy Clark, Leonard Cohen, Michel
Colombier, Bob Dylan, Billy Eckstine, Cass Elliot, Donald Fagan, Ella
Fitzgerald, Jim Gilstrap, Leslie Gore, The Guess Who, Sammy Hagar, Thelma
Houston, The Jacksons, Sir Paul McCartney, Country Joe McDonald, Nazareth,
Harry Nilsson, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Billy Preston, Lou Rawls, The
Righteous Brothers, The Rolling Stones, Leon Russell, Seals & Crofts,
Steppenwolf, The Supremes, The Temptations, Ike & Tina Turner, Joe
Walsh, Andy Williams, Lenny Williams, Bobby Womack and Neil Young.
Her voice has graced countless hit singles that
include “Stayin’ Alive” by The Bee Gees, “With a
Little Help from My Friends” by Joe Cocker, “Take Me in Your
Arms (Rock Me a Little While)” by he Doobie Brothers, “Sweet
Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, “You’re No Good”
by Linda Ronstadt and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie
In 1984 she settled in Australia to work for the next
four years and backed many of the artists there such as John Farnham and
Tim Finn and joined up with Venetta Fields again to work with her
Venetta’s Taxi and The Gospel Jubilee. While in Australia she was also the
lead singer of the groups The Hi Tones and ZwaDaVee and the founder of the
children’s group BABE.
In the television and movie industry she has sung on many
theme songs including TV’s H.R. Pufnstuf, Wonder Woman and The
Wonder Years and the movies Crocodile Dundee, Express Baggage, FM,
Look Who’s Talking 1 & 2, Mahogany, and Oh God among
On her return to the USA in 1988 she started where she
had left off four years earlier and as if she wasn’t busy enough, she
attended UCLA and got herself a degree in Computer Graphics/Animation.
Just a very small selection of the albums she has
appeared on include Lady’s Not for Sale by Rita Coolidge, Carry
On by Crosby, Stills & Nash, In My Lifetime by Neil Diamond,
Stampede by The Doobie Brothers, Anthology by The Jackson 5, Caribou
By Elton John, Gold by B.B. King, Living in the U.S.A. by
Linda Ronstadt, Baby, It’s Me by Diana Ross, Endless Flight
by Leo Sayer, Stranger in Town by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet
Band, Aja by Steely Dan, Stoney End by Barbra Streisand.
Her works as a composer total over 500 with sacred and
secular songs and three children’s productions. She currently works as a solo artist
and also leads her group, The Circle of Love.