Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b 25 Nov. '28, Aiken SC; d 16 Oct. 2001, NYC) Singer. She began with Buddy Johnson at age 16; Leonard Feather helped arrange her first recording session '44 with Barney Bigard (recycling tunes he'd written for Dinah Washington a year earlier). She recorded with Pete Johnson '46, J. C. Heard '47; worked with Earl Hines '49-52; recorded as a leader for King '57, then to Prestige '60-3: first album Don't Go To Strangers '60 with quintet included Frank Wess, went gold, followed by tracks with Oliver Nelson and others on albums variously titled Something Nice, Holler and Love Is The Thing; then albums So Warm (with strings), From The Heart, Lonely And Blue (with Patti Bown on piano, Budd Johnson on some tracks), Soul Summit (with Gene Ammons), Love Shout (with organist Larry Young). She recorded for Roulette '65 with Joe Newman, then teamed with Houston Person on tenor sax for Ms Jones To You '76 on Muse followed by My Mother's Eyes '77, If You Could See Me Now '78, Save Your Love For Me '80, Love Me With All Your Heart '83; Fine And Mellow c'87 was combined on CD with Save Your Love For Me; followed by I'll Be Seeing You and Sugar. She and Person also made a Christmas album on Muse; she made an inspirational album c'85 on Arrival with combo and choir; Youngblood with George Mraz and Javon Jackson appeared on Enja; then back on Muse with Person for Reverse The Charges '93, At Last '95. All these albums had superb sidemen (Cedar Walton, Benny Green, Mike Renzi and Walter Davis, just to name a few of the pianists on Muse); but My Gentleman Friend '94 was an intimate set, accompanied only by Green.