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    Simon, Joe (2 September 1943 - Present)

    Joe Simon started out singing in the church, and eventually returned, but not before he put his unique stamp on R&B music.  In the '50s, his family emigrated from Louisiana to California.  It was here, in Richmond, just outside of Oakland, that he became a member of the Golden West Gospel Singers.  Sam Cooke had paved the way for artists to cross over from gospel to R&B, and even pop, and Joe followed his model.  The group changed their name to the Golden Tones and released their first secular recording, "Little Island Girl", in 1959.  Carla and Gary Thompson of Hush Records thought Joe should go solo, and that he did, releasing "My Adorable One" in 1964.  He followed this up with "Let's Do It Over", which peaked at #13 and hung around for seventeen weeks on the R&B chart.  Nashville was not exactly a hub of R&B music, but it was John Richbourg, that rare beast known as a Nashville R&B dee-jay, who recognized Joe's unique gift and signed on to become his manager and producer.  John got Joe in the door at Sound Stage 7 (under the Monument umbrella) in 1966.  It was here that Joe recorded "Teenager's Prayer", and it went to #11 on the R&B Chart.  Other hits would follow: " The Chokin' Kind" (which won a Grammy Award), "Farther on Down the Road", "(You Keep Me) Hanging On", and "Yours Love".  In 1970, per John's advisement, Joe switched to Spring Records, and the move proved to spike Joe's R&B chart success:  " Drowning in the Sea of Love" peaked at #3 and "Power of Love" topped the Billboard chart in 1972.  Joe also had his first taste of pop success, as both releases crossed over onto the pop chart, barely missing the top ten.  Some of his other hits from this time period include "Carry Me", "Get Down, Get Down (Get on the Floor)", "I Need You, You Need Me", "Music in my Bones", "Pool of Bad Luck", "Step by Step", and "Trouble in my Home".  In 1973, he was asked to compose and produce the theme music for Cleopatra Jones.  As the decade drew to a close, however, Joe left the secular music world and went back to the church.  He became a preacher in the small town of Flossmoor, Illinois.  It did not preclude him from keeping a foot in the gospel music business.  He produced Jackie Verdell's lone solo album, Lay My Burden Down, in 1983.  In the '90s, Joe recorded his own gospel album, This Story Must Be Told.  He has since released Time To Change, his first new recording in sixteen years, and part of the proceeds go to hurricane relief in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi.  World Effort Ministries and Mission Consortium of Churches International, of which he is a part, are in charge of the distribution of these monies.  As a recording artist, Bishop Joe Simon recently signed on with Parliament Entertainment.  He hopes his latest CD will offer some of the comfort and peace he has found to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.


    Joe Simon recordings

    Get Down, Get Down (Get on the Floor) (Raeford Gerald/Joe Simon)

    In My Baby's Arms (Raeford Gerald/Harlan Howard/Joe Simon)



    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Simon_(musician)
    2. http://redkelly.blogspot.com/2006/09/joe-simon-come-on-and-get-it-sound.html
    3. http://cdbaby.com/cd/bishopjoesimon
    4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackie_Verdell










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