Friday, July 26, 2013

July 26: Darlene Love - "He's a Rebel," "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" - is 72-years-old today.

Born Darlene Wright in Hawthorne, California, she began singing with her local church choir. While still in high school she was invited to join a girl group called The Blossoms, who in 1962 began working with producer Phil Spector.

With her powerful voice she was soon a highly sought-after vocalist, and managed to work with many of the legends of 1950s and 1960s rock and soul, including Sam Cooke, Dionne Warwick, The Beach Boys, Elvis Presley, Tom Jones and Sonny and Cher. Darlene and the Blossoms sang back-up vocals on the Shelley Fabares hit "Johnny Angel,” as well as John Phillips' solo album John, Wolfking of L.A., recorded in 1969.

They also appeared on Johnny Rivers' hits, including "Poor Side of Town" and Motown covers "Baby I Need Your Loving" and "The Tracks of My Tears.” The Blossoms also recorded their own records for different labels, usually with little success. Love also sang backing vocals on many of the biggest hits of the 1960s, including Spector's own "Da Doo Ron Ron."

Though credited by Spector as singles recorded by The Crystals, "He's A Rebel" and "He's Sure The Boy I Love" actually featured Love singing lead, backed by The Blossoms. "Today I Met The Boy I'm Gonna Marry" was released as a single by Spector, and featured Love's name as the artist. She says that Spector offered $3,000 for her rights to the song. And though he said it was going to be a hit, she took the money.

Darlene was also part of a trio called Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans, who recorded a cover version of "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,” an Oscar-winning song from the Walt Disney film, Song of the South. The Blossoms landed a weekly part on Shindig!, one of the top music shows of the era. They were also part of the highly acclaimed Elvis Presley's '68 Comeback Special, which aired on NBC.

"Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" is a song by Darlene Love from the 1963 holiday compilation album, A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records. The song was written with the intention of being sung by Ronnie Spector of The Ronettes. According to Love, Ronnie Spector was not able to put as much emotion into the song as needed.

In the 1970s Love continued to work as a back-up singer, before taking a break in order to raise a family. In 1973, she recorded vocals as a cheerleader along with Michelle Phillips, for the Cheech & Chong single "Basketball Jones,” which peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

Love returned to music in the early 1980s. In addition to singing the songs that made her famous, she has re-explored her gospel roots on several recordings. She also sang "OOO Wee Baby" in the 1980 movie The Idolmaker. In the mid-1980s she portrayed herself in the Tony Award-nominated jukebox musical Leader of the Pack.

Darlene continues to do a Christmas show in New York City, and has performed the song "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" every year since 1986 on the last episode before Christmas of David Letterman’s TV show.

On March 14, 2011, Love was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


For more about Darlene, visit her Website at -