b. Joanna Gardner, 1962, Philadelphia, Pennysylvania, U.S.A.
Joanna Gardner is the daughter of a police force mechanic and a social / community director for a nursing concern.
At the age of sixteen she decided to sing full-time, eventually forming her own group Joanna's Band which performed at her mother's nightclub.
She also worked as a barmaid at the club during weekends.
Taking a part-time job in a jeweller's shop she met British group Loose Ends who walked in the store.
Fascinated by their clothes and accent she talked to them and became friends.
Loose Ends were recording in Philadelphia with Nick Martinelli.
Excited by her voice, Nick took her to Philly World Records who signed her up within five days.
This was soon followed by a debut album, 'Joanna Gardner' (1985), released in the UK via Polydor.
Here the tracks 'I Could Never Love Another Like You', 'Pick Up The Pieces', 'We Can Make It' and 'Special Feelings' established her with UK soul fans, many of whom went to see her London stage debut while on a playback tour with Loose Ends later that year.
Joanna also made a film appearance with Eugene Wilde, singing a duet 'First Love Never Dies' (featured on the soundtrack 'Rappin').
Joanna Gardner (Philly World Records 1985)