b. Sam Dees, 17th December 1945, Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.A.
Sam Dees is a hugely underrated singer, songwriter and producer.
He began singing at a very early age, winning contests and forming his own band, the Bossanovians.
At the age of 22, he recorded his first 45 in Nashville, for the SSS International imprint (owned by producer Shelby Singlsgon), entitled 'Need You Girl' b/w 'Lonely For You Baby'.
Sam left the label and signed with Nate McCalla's Lolo Records, based in Birmingham.
Here he recorded the songs 'It's All Wrong (It's All Right)' and 'Easier To Say Than Do'.
In 1969 Sam formed his own Moonsong Publishing Company, and recorded 'I'm So Very Glad' b/w 'Claim Jumpin', for Clinton Moon's Clintone label in 1972, (co-penned with Bill Brandon, who was also based on Sam's label).
Developing his skills as a writer and producer, Sam was given the chance to release some of his own productions for the Chess Records imprint, which included the 45's 'Love Starvation' b/w 'Maryanna' and 'Can You Be a One Woman Man' b/w 'Put You Back in Your Place', which were both recorded in a disused Birmingham church in 1972.
Sam also recorded under the group name of Black Haze Express during 1971 and 1972, releasing two 45's.
He was soon signed to Atlantic, where he recorded his legendary album 'The Show Must Go On' in 1975.
A couple of notable songs, ('Signed Miss Heroin' and 'Heritage Of A Blackman') were not included on the album, being considered as too radical, topically.
the show must go on - 1975 / fragile, handle with care - 1975
A further 45 was released at the time entitled 'Fragile, Handle With Care' b/w 'Save The Love At Any Cost'.
Sam also duetted with southern-soul singer Bettye Swann for Big Tree in Chicago in 1975, and recorded a couple of fine sides at Tommy Couch's Malaco studios in 1978, which were inititally issued on New London International, and re-released on Polydor.
Sam did not pursue his recording career at this time, choosing to concentrate on his writing and production skills.
During the following decade, his songs were recorded by the likes of Atlantic Starr ('Am I Dreaming' and 'Send For Me' (also covered by Gerald Alston)), Loleatta Holloway ('Cry For Me'), Carl Carlton ('I Never Got Over You'), Larry Graham ('One in a Million You'), Barbara Hall ('Drop My Heart Off At The Door'), Gladys Knight ('Save the Overtime (For Me)', George Benson ('Love All the Hurt Away'), Whitney Houston ('Lover for Life'), along with material on Rockie Robbins, Margie Joseph, Anita Ward, Jeffrey Osborne, Denise LaSalle, Dorothy Moore, Tavares, Marilyn McCoo, Tyrone Davis and Rozetta Johnson.
secret admirer - 1990 / second to none - 1995
In 1988, Sam released a very highly regarded song called 'After All' (on Pen Pad Records), which charted at number 95 in the U.K.
A parent album followed, entitled 'Secret Admirer', which also featured the single release 'Just Wait Till I Get You Home'.
the heritage of a black man - 1998 / lovers do - 1998
In 1995, he released a further album entitled 'Second To None'.
He also released an album entitled 'Heritage Of A Black Man', whose title track was a track omitted from his 'Show Must Go On' 1975 release.
Sam continued to record for the U.K. based Ardent label, Pen Pad, and has seen his material released on the Kent Records imprint.
His song ‘Lonely For You Baby’ was used and referenced in the British surf movie, Blue Juice.
The Show Must Go On (Atlantic Records 1975)
Secret Admirer (Pen Pad Records 1989)
Second To None (Kent Records 1995)
Lovers Do (Pen Pad Records 1998)
Heritage Of A Black Man (Kent Records 1998)