b. Linda Ann Fredericks, 27th September 1950, West Ham, Essex, London.
d. 3rd May 2023, Ramsgate, Kent, United Kingdom.
Linda Lewis was a hugely underrated singer and songwriter.
During her career, she became an accomplished session singer, performing for the likes of David Bowie, Al Kooper, Cat Stevens, Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel, Rick Wakeman, Rod Stewart, and Jamiroquai amongst others.
Her blend of Soul and Folk influences has permeated her writings over the years, although she is best remembered for her more commercial songs 'Rock-A-Doodle-Doo' and 'Sideway Shuffle'.
Linda's vocal stylings cover 5 octave's, giving her complete control over her songs, delivering the melodies with a counter balance of strength and tenderness.
Born in West Ham, in East London, Linda is the oldest of six children.
Two of her siblings are performers in their own right.
posters: a taste of honey - 1961 / a hard day's night - 1964
Linda attended stage school as a child, which led to minor walk on parts in the Sixties cult movies 'A Taste Of Honey' and the Beatles movie vehicle 'A Hard Day's Night'.
She performed, at times to earn some money, however, her career began to kick into gear when she joined the Ska and Blue Beat combo, The Q Set.
Around 1964, she sang with John Lee Hooker, who was performing his own rendition of the Martha Reeves tune 'Dancing In The Street'.
This association led to her meeting Ian Samwell, who introduced her to Don Arden, who subsequently became her manager, taking her to Polydor Records.
you turned my bitter into sweet - 1967 / rock a doodle doo - 1973
At Polydor, Linda debuted with her version of, the Mary Love Comer, song 'You Turned My Bitter Into Sweet' b/w 'Do You Believe In Love' in July 1967 (a song she was later to revisit in 1984 in a Disco format).
Two years later, Linda formed the group White Rabbit, collaborating with Junior Marvin.
She then moved on to replace Marsha Hunt in the group The Ferris Wheel in 1970.
The Ferris Wheel featured Diane Ferraz (vocals), George Sweetman (bass, vocals), Dave Sweetman (saxophone), Mike Liston (keyboards), Keith Anthony (guitar), Barry Reeves (drums), Dennis Elliott (drums), Marsha Hunt (vocals), Linda Lewis (vocals), Bernie Holland (guitar), Mick Fitzgerald (bass), and released the singles, 'I Can't Break the Habit', 'The Na Na Song', and 'Can't Stop Now'.
can't break the habit - 1967 / ferris wheel - 1970
The group released two albums called 'Can't Break the Habit' and 'Ferris Wheel' in 1967 and 1970, before going their separate ways.
Later that year, Linda appeared at the first Glastonbury Festival, enlisted by the promoter Jeff Dexter.
She then signed with the Warners imprint, after a meeting with one of the label's executives Ian Ralfini, a meeting arranged by Jim Cregan of the group Family.
Linda was placed with the label's Reprise subsidiary, and began her session work at the same time.
One of the sessions included work on David Bowie's classic album 'Aladdin Sane' in 1973, and Cat Stevens famous 'Catch Bull At Four' set a year earlier.
say no more - 1971 / lark - 1972
Linda's own debut album, 'Say No More', was produced by Ian Samwell in 1971 which featured the single, 'We Can Win'.
The album 'Lark', produced by Jim Cregan, and saw the light of day on the Raft subsidiary in 1972, and featured the songs 'Old Smokey' and 'Little Indians'.
fathoms deep - 1973 / heart strings - 1974
1973 saw the release of 'Fathom's Deep', which, oddly, didn't contain the forthcoming 1973 single 'Rock-A-Doodle-Doo', which reached number 15 on the U.K. singles charts that year.
'Fathoms Deep' featured former Jeff Beck group guitarist Bobby Tench.
Although critically very well received, the album achieved modest sales, however, Linda kept her profile in the public eye, appearing on Top Of The Pops, as well as undertaking a busy touring schedule with Cat Stevens.
not a little girl anymore - 1975 / woman overboard - 1977
1975 saw the release of her album 'Not A Little Girl Anymore', which featured her take on the Betty Everett tune the 'Shoop Shoop Song', retitled 'It's In His Kiss', and also featured Lowell George, Allen Toussaint, and the Tower of Power horn section.
'Not a Little Girl Anymore', reached number 6 on the UK Album Chart that year, whilst 'It's In His Kiss' proved to be her sole U.S. hit in July 1975.
The album also contained her version of the Cat Stevens song '(Remember The Days) Of The Old Schoolyard'.
1977 saw the release of the album 'Woman Overboard', which featured the singles 'Man in the Moon', 'Come Back and Finish What you Started', (the old Family/Jim Cregan song) 'My Friend The Sun' and 'Bonfire'.
hacienda view - 1979 / a tear and a smile - 1983
In 1979, Linda released the Mike Batt produced 'Hacienda View' album, which featured '109 Jamaica Highway' and 'I'd Be Surprisingly Good for You'.
Linda continued to release albums on a regular basis, which included 'A Tear and a Smile' (in 1983) for the Epic imprint.
On the album she sang a duet called 'Why Can't I Be The Other Woman', with Luther Vandross.
second nature - 1995 / the best of linda lewis - 1976
During the early Nineties, Linda relocated to Los Angeles, returning to the U.K. in 1995 to release the album 'Second Nature'.
Although she enjoyed some success in the U.K., her career took of in the Japanese market, where she released a 'Live In Japan' album in 1996.
live in japan - 1996 / whatever... - 1998
In 1998, Linda released the album 'Whatever', which was followed a year later by the set, 'Kiss of Life'.
kiss of life - 1999 / reach for the truth - 2002 / legends - 2005 / live in old smokey - 2006
A series of albums of compilation material followed, whilst Linda also appeared again at the Glastonbury Festival, being filmed by BBC Television as she appeared on the Jazz and World Stage.
In 2006, Linda recorded 'Live in Old Smokey' which featured some new and some previously released songs.
In 2007 she toured with the Soul Britannia All Stars in the UK.
In February that year, BBC Four featured performances by Linda, in a sixty minute recording from the Barbican show with The Soul Britannia All Stars.
Linda Lewis died in May 2023, at the age of 72.
Say No More (Reprise Records 1971)
Lark (Reprise Records 1972)
Fathoms Deep (Reprise Records 1973)
Heart Strings (Reprise Records 1974)
Not a Little Girl Anymore (Arista Records 1975)
Woman Overboard (Arista Records 1976)
Hacienda View (Ariola Records 1979)
A Tear and a Smile (Epic Records 1983)
Second Nature (Sony Records 1995)
Born Performer: Live in Japan (Sony Records 1996)
The Best Of Linda Lewis (BMG Records 1996)
Whatever... (Turpin Records 1997)
Best Of Linda Lewis (Camden Records 1997)
Whatever... (Turpin Records 1998)
Kiss Of Life (Turpin Records 1999)
Reach For The Truth: The Best Of The Reprise Years 1971-1974 (Warmer Brothers Records 2002)
Legend (BMG Records 2005)
Live In Old Smokey Market Place (Market Square Records 2006)