Monday, September 2, 2013

Sept. 2: Soul and R&B artist Joe Simon is 70-years-old today.

Joe Simon, born in Simmesport, Louisiana began as a gospel singer in his father's church. He decided to pursue a singing career after the family moved near Oakland, California. Simon joined the Golden West Gospel Singers and recorded "Little Island Girl" as the Golden Tones in 1959.

Embarking on a solo singing career, in 1966 Simon released "Teenager's Prayer," which hit #11 on Billboard's R&B chart. Within the next two years, Simon released a string of hits: "(You Keep Me) Hanging On," "The Chokin' Kind," "Farther On Down The Road," and "Yours Love." In 1970, Simon was awarded a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.

Teaming up with the songwriting and record production team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, Simon scored a #3 R&B hit in 1971 with "Drowning In The Sea of Love," and a #1 R&B hit in the summer of 1972 with "Power Of Love."

Simon continued to release R&B hits including "Get Down, Get Down (Get On The Floor)" in 1975, becoming Simon's third #1 R&B hit, and also a #8 Hot 100 hit. Two years earlier, Simon wrote and produced the theme tune for the film, Cleopatra Jones.

In the late 1970s, Simon left the secular music world and turned to Christianity.

YouTube videos of Joe Simon:

-- "Power Of Love"
-- "Let's do it Over"
The Best Of Joe Simon-- "The Chokin' Kind"

Greatest Hits: The Spring Years, 1970-1977

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