– Phyllis Hyman
Her voice is timeless. Her beauty and stature were beyond words. Her music is ageless and lives on in our hearts forever. This past Sunday, July 6, sultry vocalist Phyllis Hyman would have been 54 years old. She left us with her legacy of music on June 30, 1995.
Somewhere In My Lifetime was Phyllis’ first release on Arista Records in 1978. The album charted #14 on the Black Albums chart and the single of the same name was #12 on the Black Singles chart. I have not played this album in awhile. The mid-tempo songs are nice but I love her ballads. My favorites are “The Answer Is You” which features Onaje Allan Gumbs on piano and the classic standard “Here’s That Rainy Day.” Other gems included “Kiss You All Over“, “Living Inside Your Love“, “Gonna Make Changes“, and “Be Careful (How You Treat My Love).” Her husband at the time, Larry Alexander, songwriter/producer Skip Scarborough, singer/songwriter/producer Barry Manilow, and T. Life shared the production credits on this magical album. Herbie Hancock and Monty Alexander were among the featured musicians.
I had the pleasure of seeing Phyllis once in concert during the 80’s. She was classy, beautiful, and had such a powerful voice. My favorite Phyllis song will always be her remake of The Stylistics “Betcha By Golly Wow” with Norman Connors. Her songs were rich with emotion and feeling. She came along in a group of singers that just set us on fire and could sing no wrong but yet, they had more of a cult following than the mass appeal they so richly deserved. Her peers of the day included Jean Carne and Angela Bofill. Their music is etched in our hearts. Timeless classics that can still be heard in the quiet storm evenings. Enjoy your music.
Thanks GK!! Welcome home, A.!!