b. Joseph Simon, 7th September 1936, Simmesport, Louisiana, U.S.A.
d. 13th December 2021, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Joe Simon is a very underrated and yet a highly respected Soul singer in Soul circles.
Born in Louisiana (to Meria and Nelse Simon), as a child, Joe began singing in his fathers Baptist church.
His family relocated to Oakland in California during the late 1950's.
Joe then joined the Golden West Gospel Singers, who moved from the Gospel sound to a more secular based output.
The ensemble changed their name to the Golden Tones in 1959, releasing 'Little Island Girl' b/w 'Doreetha', which was followed by the single 'You Left Me Here To Cry Alone' b/w 'Ocean Of Tears'.
'my adorable one' b/w 'say (that my love is true)' - 1964 / 'let's do it over' b/w 'the whoo pee' - 1965
Following the release, Hush Records owners, Gary and Carla Thompson, urged Joe to take on a solo career, which he pursued with the Veejay imprint releasing 'My Adorable One' in 1964.
Prior to this release, Joe had previiously recorded on several labels, including Irral, Dot and GeeBee.
In 1965, Joe charted with 'Let's Do It Over' on Veejay, reaching number 13 on Billboard's R&B chart.
Later that year, Joe met John Richbourg, a Nashville-based disc jockey who began guiding the singer's musical path.
John became Joe's manager and record producer and took Joe to Monument Records' subsidiary label Sound Stage 7 in 1966, where he remained for 4 years.
pure soul - 1967 / no sad songs - 1968 / better than ever - 1969 / simon sings - 1969
Joe released several sides, including 'Teenager's Prayer', '(You Keep Me) Hanging On', 'Farther On Down The Road', 'Yours Love', 'Nine Pound Steel', and 'The Chokin' Kind', a U.S. R & B number 1 in 1969.
In 1970, Joe received a Grammy Award in 1970 for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.
He then relocated to the Polydor distributed Spring Records imprint that year, who teamed up Joe with Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.
the chokin' kind - 1969 / the sounds of joe simon - 1971 / drowning in the sea of love - 1972 / the power of joe simon - 1973
In 1971, Joe charted with 'Drowning In The Sea of Love' and achieved a number 1 R&B hit in 1972 with 'Power Of Love'.
Both tracks charted at number 11 on the Hot 100, with 'Drowning In The Sea of Love' selling over 1.5 million copies.
The Gamble & Huff penned 'Power of Love', became Joe's third million seller.
simon country - 1973 / mood, heart & soul - 1974 / get down - 1975 / today - 1976
He maintained his ties with John Richbourg up until 1971.Further hits followed, including 'Pool Of Bad Luck', 'Trouble In My Home', 'Step By Step' (his only UK hit), 'I Need You, You Need Me', 'Theme From Cleopatra Jones' (the theme tune for the film, 'Cleopatra Jones' in 1973), 'Music In My Bones', 'Carry Me', and 1975's 'Get Down, Get Down (Get On The Floor)'.
cleopatra jones soundtrack - 1973
The latter tune gave Joe his third number 1 R&B hit, also reaching number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100.
easy to love - 1977 / a bad case of love - 1978 / love vibrations - 1978 / happy birthday, baby - 1979
His late 70's releases proved to be less successful and in 1980 he returned to Nashville, devoting his life to Christianity.
Joe then became an evangelist preacher in Flossmoor in Illinois.
glad you came my way - 1981 / mr. right - 1985
In 1983, he produced the album 'Lay My Burden Down' for the ex Davis Sisters singer, Jackie Verdell.
Joe signed to the Compleat imprint in 1985, releasing the secular, Skip Scarborough produced, 'Mr Right', featuring 'My Best Was Good Enough' and 'One Last Look'.
this story must be told - 1981 / time to change - 2007
Joe later released a gospel album entitled 'This Story Must Be Told' for the Ripete Records imprint in 1998.
In 1999 he was inducted as a Pioneer Award honoree by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation.
He released the album 'Time To Change' in 2007.
His recordings have been covered (or sampled) by many artists, including the U.K. singer Joss Stone, OutKast, Memphis Bleek and Lil' Kim.
In December 1967, Joe Simon was one of the pallbearers at the funeral of the singer Otis Redding.
Sadly, Joe passed away at his home, near Chicago, in 2021.
Pure Soul (Sound Stage Records 1967)
No Sad Songs (Sound Stage Records 1968)
Simon Sings (Sound Stage Records 1969)
The Chokin' Kind (Sound Stage Records 1969)
Better Than Ever (Sound Stage Records 1969)
The Sounds Of Simon (Spring Records 1971)
Drowning In The Sea Of Love (Spring Records 1972)
Power Of Joe Simon (Spring Records 1973)
Simon Country (Spring Records 1973)
Mood, Heart And Soul (Spring Records 1974)
Get Down (Spring Records 1975)
Today (Spring Records 1976)
Easy To Love (Spring Records 1977)
Bad Case Of Love (Spring Records 1978)
Love Vibrations (Spring Records 1979)
Happy Birthday Baby (Spring Records 1979)
Glad You Came My Way (Posse Records 1981)
Mr Right (Compleat Records 1985)
The Story Must Be Told (Ripete Records 1998)
Time To Change (Parliament Records 2007)