b. Loleatta Holloway, 5th November 1946, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
d. 21st March 2011, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Loleatta Holloway is an American Soul songstress, whose voice originated in Deep Soul Music, later becoming popular on the Dance and Disco scene of the mid to late Seventies.
Loleatta's roots are based around a Gospel childhood, with the young vocalist performing with her mother in the Holloway Community Singers choir (numbering over 100 vocalists at some stages).
Loleatta began singing around the age of 5 and also took acting classes during her childhood.
In her teens, she worked in several professions briefly, including book binding.
She sang alongside the Gospel singer Albertina Walker in her group the Caravans between 1967-71, a group whose line-up also featured Shirley Caesar, Dorothy Norwood and Josephine Howard (who is the mother of the Soul Singer, Miki Howard).
the caravans (loleatta on lead)
The Caravans recorded the songs 'Help Is On The Way' (in 1967) and 'Carry Me Home' (in 1968), for the Gospel and Hob labels, although the group dated back into the 1950's in various line-ups.
On leaving the Caravans, Loleatta formed her own travelling company, known as Loleatta Holloway and Her Revue in the late Sixties.
In 1971, Loleatta met her future husband, Floyd Smth, who recorded 'Rainbow '71' b/w 'For Sentimental Reasons' with Loleatta that year, a song which was originally penned and recorded by Curtis Mayfield and Gene Chandler respectively.
rainbow '71 (single) - 1971 / mother of shame (single) - 1972
'Rainbow 71' was initially released on the Apache imprint, and later saw the light of day on the larger label, Galaxy Records.
1971 saw Loleatta signing a recording contract with the (GRC - General Recording Corporation) Aware imprint (based in Atlanta), owned by Michael Thevis.
Loleatta was also, briefly, enlisted to the ranks of the Micki Grant musical revue vehicle 'Don't Bother Me. I Can't Cope' in 1972.
In 1972, She recorded a double-sided chart record entitled 'Mother Of Shame' b/w 'Our Love' (which reached number 43 R&B).
loleatta - 1973 / cry to me - 1975
Loleatta recorded two albums for Aware (whose sound was known as the Hotlanta Sound), both produced by Floyd Smith.
These were 'Loleatta' (which was recorded in Chicago and Atlanta in 1973) and 'Cry to me' (in 1975).
In 1976, Aware folded, leading to Norman Harris signing Loleatta for his Gold Mind label.
Gold Mind was a smaller subsidiary of the New York-based imprint, Salsoul Records.
loleatta - 1976 / queen of the night - 1978
Loleatta moved away from recording more Soul based material (many sides penned by Sam Dees), to recording more dance orientated records.
In 1978, she recorded with the Philly writer and producer, Bunny Sigler on the songs 'Only You' b/w 'Good, Good Feelin'.
Her powerful vocal delivery suited songs such as 'Love Sensation' and 'Hit and Run' (number 56 R&B), and also enabled her to contribute to various artist recording sessions, including Dan Hartman's, 'Relight My Fire' in 1979.
loleatta - 1979 / love sensation - 1980
In 1979, she released a self titled album, which included the dancers 'All About the Papers' (later a hit for the Dells), 'That's What You Said', 'The Greatest Performance of My Life', and the ballad 'There Must Be a Reason'.
Loleatta achieved four number one songs on the dance music charts at the time.
crash goes love - 1984
During the 1980s, she recorded 'Crash Goes Love' b/w 'Sweet Thing' for the Streetwise imprint (number 5 on the U.S. Dance chart, number 86 on the US R&B Chart in 1984).
Floyd Smith sadly passed away during March 1982, in Indianapolis, at the age of 65.
Her vocal track on the song 'Love Sensation' became part of a huge UK number one hit, entitled 'Ride On Time' by the group Black Box.
Loleatta was not credited as the song's vocalist, initially, which led to a law suit regarding plagiarism, suing Black Box, which finally led to an out of court settlement in her favour.
1991 saw her achieve her first US number-one hit when Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch featured her vocals in the chart topping song 'Good Vibrations'.
In 1992 she also had a hit with the group Cappella, a song entitled 'Take Me Away', which credited Loleatta as featured vocalist.
greatest hits - 1996 / the anthology - 2005
Throughout the '80s and '90s, Loleatta recorded for several labels, including DJ International, Double J, Vicious, Saturday, Warlock, and Select, amongst others.
Loleatta continued to collaborate with Dan Hartman during 1994, on their remake of the Gwen McCrae dancer 'Keep The Fires Burnin', sadly, shortly before Dan Hartman passed away.
Further singles followed in 2000 and 2003, with the songs 'What Goes Around Comes Around' (under the name of GTS featuring Loleatta Holloway), and with 'Relight My Fire' (under another name, Martin featuring Loleatta Holloway), which reached number 5 in 2003.
Loleatta re-recorded a new version of the song 'Love Sensation '06' in 2006, which peaked at number 22 in the Dutch Top 40, and number 37 on the UK Singles Chart, as well as reaching number 49 in Australia.
In 2009 Loleatta performed with Take That on their reworking of the Dan Hartman song 'Relight My Fire'.
Whitney Houston sampled Loleatta's 1976 song, 'We're Getting Stronger', for her 2009 single, 'Million Dollar Bill'.
In 2010, Loleatta resided in Chicago and toured, however, sadly in 2011, she slipped into a coma and passed away in March of that year.
I received this e-mail clarifying some informatiion regarding Floyd Smith:
'I was on your site reading about Loleatta Holloway and noticed that your site has made a mistake about her deceased husband, Floyd Smith.
You are correct that Floyd wrote and/or produced most of her early music, but Floyd Smith, the songwriter/producer/singer and Floyd Smith, the jazz guitarist are two different people. I have noticed that other sites have made the same mistake. Floyd passed away in 1984. He was my brother-in-law.
Thank you to Lourice for this information
Loleatta (Aware Records 1973)
Cry To Me (Aware Records 1975)
Loleatta (Gold Mind Records 1976)
Queen Of The Night (Gold Mind Records 1978)
Loleatta Holloway (Gold Mind Records 1979)
Love Sensation (Gold Mind Records 1980)
Greatest Hits (Sony Music 1996)
Loleatta Holloway: The Anthology (Salsoul Records 2005)