Back in the 70's, I was as big a rocker as possible. I hadn't been exposed to the music influences (Coltrane, Beethoven, Bird, Stravinski, etc) that would change my life forever, but even back then, Minnie Riperton's angelic voice was more than enough to cut through any Marshall amp and make you stand still and take notice that you were listening to someone very special.
Riperton grew up on Chicago's South Side. As a child, she studied music, drama, and dance at Chicago's Lincoln Center. In her teen years, she sang lead vocals for the Chicago-based girl group, The Gems. Her early affiliation with the legendary Chicago-based Chess Records afforded her the opportunity to sing backup for various established artists such as Etta James, Fontella Bass, Ramsey Lewis, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, and Muddy Waters. While at Chess, Riperton also sang lead for the experimental rock/soul group Rotary Connection, from 1967 to 1971. In 1969 Riperton, along with Rotary Connection, played in the first Catholic Rock Mass at the Liturgical Conference National Convention, Milwaukee Arena, Milwaukee, WI, produced by James F. Colaianni. On April 5, 1975, Riperton reached the apex of her career with her #1 single, "Lovin' You". The single was the last release from her 1974 gold album entitled Perfect Angel.
It's so sad that she died so early in life because of breast cancer.
What's on your playlist tonight?