Friday, 8 July 2011

Betty Wright

Bessie Regina Norris, better known by her stage name, Betty Wright (born December 21, 1953), is a Grammy winning Miami-based soul and R&B singer-songwriter, who won fame in the 1970s with hits such as "Clean Up Woman" and "Tonight Is the Night". A pioneering singer-songwriter and entrepreneur, she remains one of the few black female musicians to have a gold record on her own vanity label. She possesses a four-octave vocal range and is adept at using the whistle register.

Wright was the youngest of seven children to Rosa Akins Braddy-Wright and her second husband, McArthur Norris. Wright began her professional career at the age of two when her siblings formed the gospel group, the Echoes of Joy. Wright contributed to vocals on the group's first album, released in 1956. Wright and her siblings performed together until the mid-1960s.

In 1965, following the group's separation, eleven-year-old Wright, who was already using the name Betty Wright, decided to switch musical styles from gospel to rhythm and blues, singing in local talent shows until being spotted by a local Miami record label owner, who signed her to her first label in 1966 at twelve. She released the singles "Thank You Baby" and "Paralyzed", which found Wright local fame in Miami.

In 1967, the teen was responsible for discovering other local talents such as George and Gwen McCrae, helping them sign with Henry Stone's Alston record label. A year afterwards, Wright released her debut album, My First Time Around, when she was still fourteen, and scored her first hit single with Judy White's "Girls Can't Do What Guys Do". While still in high school, in 1970, Wright released the sensual "Pure Love" at the age of sixteen.

A little over a year later, Wright released her signature song, the Clarence Reid and Willie Clarke-penned "Clean Up Woman", released when Wright was seventeen. The record became a hit reaching number two on the R&B charts, where it stayed for eight weeks, and successfully crossing over to the pop charts, peaking at number-six, staying on the Billboard Hot 100 for fourteen weeks. It eventually sold over a million copies and was certified gold on December 30, 1971, nine days after the singer turned eighteen. Wright struggled with a successful follow-up until 1972 when the single "Baby Sitter" (one of Wright's first compositions) reached the top fifty of the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at number-six on the R&B charts. Another hit that emerged during this early period was 1973's "Let Me Be Your Lovemaker", which peaked at number 55 on the Hot 100 and number 10 on the R&B chart, it was also the first instance (after "Baby Sitter") where Wright showed off her powerful whistle register vocals. One of Wright's most successful compositions was the proto-disco number, "Where Is the Love" (co-written by Wright, Harry Wayne Casey and Richard Finch), which peaked at number 15 on the R&B chart, number-two on the dance charts, and crossed over to the other side of the Atlantic, peaking at number twenty-five in the UK, leading Wright to perform overseas. Wright later won the Best R&B Song Grammy Award for composing "Where Is the Love". Another prominent overseas hit was another proto-disco number, "Shoorah! Shoorah!"

Several of Wright's works have been sampled over the years by hip-hop, rock and R&B musicians. The riff from "Clean Up Woman" has been sampled constantly by acts such as Afrika Bambaattaa, SWV, Mary J. Blige and Sublime. Wright's first hit, "Girls Can't Do What Guys Do", was sampled for Beyoncé's "Upgrade U". Another hugely sampled song has been "Tonight Is the Night". The song was first sampled (in both the original studio and live versions) in 1990 by rapper Candyman, on his one-hit wonder, "Knockin' Boots". In 1992, Wright sued the producers behind Color Me Badd's breakthrough hit, "I Wanna Sex You Up", after claiming they used the sample of her live version without clearance and without permission, and sued for royalties. Wright won her case with Wright winning 35 percent of royalties for writing the song. Other artists who sampled "Tonight is the Night" include DJ Quik, who sampled the song on his first released single, "Tonite". Her cover of the song, "Shoorah! Shoorah!", which she recorded in 1974, was used in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie. The song, which was written by Allen Toussaint and first recorded by Frankie Miller, also appears on the soundtrack to the second series of the UK Channel 4 comedy drama, No Angels. In 2002, the underground Hip-Hop artist RJD2 used a sample from Wright's 1974 hit "Secretary" in his most commercially successful track, "Ghostwriter". "Ghostwriter" has since gone on to be used in multiple advertisements and commercials.

My First Time Around - Betty Wright (1968)

01. Girls Can't Do What The Guys Do
02. Funny How Love Grows Cold
03. I'm Gonna Hate Myself In The Morning
04. Circle Of Heartbreak
05. Sweet Lovin' Daddy
06. Cry Like A Baby
07. Watch Out Love
08. He's Bad, Bad, Bad
09. I Can't Stop My Heart
10. I'm Thankful
11. The Best Girls Don't Always Win
12. Just You


I Love The Way You Love - Betty Wright (1972)

01. I Love The Way You Love
02. I'll Love You Forever Heart And Soul
03. I Found That Guy
04. All Your Kissin' Sho Don't Make True Lovin'
05. If You Love Me Like You Say You Love Me
06. Clean Up Woman
07. I'm Gettin' Tired Baby
08. Pure Love
09. Ain't No Sunshine
10. Don't Let It End This Way
11. Let's Not Rush Down The Road Of Love


Hard To Stop - Betty Wright (1973)

01. I Am Woman
02. Sweet Wonder
03. The Experts
04. We The Two Of Us
05. Let Me Go Down
06. Gimme Back My Man
07. Who'll Be The Fool
08. The Babysitter
09. If You Think You've Got Soul
10. It's Hard To Stop


Danger High Voltage - Betty Wright (1974)

01. Everybody Was Rockin'
02. Love Don't Grow on a Love Tree
03. Show Your Girl
04. Come on Up
05. Shoorah! Shoorah!
06. Where Is the Love
07. That's When I'll Stop Loving You
08. Don't Thank Me Baby, Thank Yourself
09. Tonight Is the Night 


Explosion!  - Betty Wright (1976)

01. Open The Door To Your Heart
02. Do Right Girl
03. I Think I'd Better Think About It
04. Smother Me With Your Love
05. Don't Forget To Say I Love You Today
06. Keep Feelin'
07. Rock On Baby, Rock On
08. If I Ever Do Wrong
09. Bluesville
10. Life



This Time For Real  - Betty Wright  (1977)

01. That Man of Mine
02. Wonderful Baby
03.. If You Abuse My Love (You'll Lose My Love)
04.. You Can't See for Lookin'
05.. Sometime Kind of Thing
06. Brick Grits
07.. Sweet
08. Give Me More, More, More
09. Room at the Top


Betty Wright Live - Betty Wright (1978)

01. Lovin' Is Really My Game
02. Tonight Is The Night
03. A Song For You
04. Clean Up Woman Medley
05. You Can't See For Lookin'
06. Where Is The Love


Travelin' In The Wright Circle- Betty Wright  (1979) 

01. I'm Telling You Now
02. Child Of The Man
03. You're Just What I Need
04. My Love Is
05. Open The Door To Your Heart-Love Train
06. I Believe It's Love
07. Thank You For The Many Things You've Done
08. Listen To The Music (Dance)


Betty Wright - Betty Wright  (1981)

01. What Are You Going To Do With It
02. I Like Your Lovin'
03. Indivisible
04. Body Slang
05. Dancin' On The One
06. Give A Smile
07. I Come To You
08. Make Me Love The Rain
09. One Bad Habit (And That's Loving You)


Wright Back At You - Betty Wright  (1983)

01. Burning Desire
02. She’s Older Now
03. Be Your Friend
04. I Promise You
05. Live, Love, Rejoice
06. Special Love
07. Show Me
08. Reggae The Night Away
09. Gimme Just Another Try


Sevens - Betty Wright   (1986)

01. I Can
02. In Time You`ll See
03. Tropical Island
04. The Sun Don`t Shine
05. Share My Love
06. Music Street
07. Are You Gonna Stand By Me
08. Pain
09. Hang On


Mother Wit - Betty Wright   (1988)

01. After The Pain
02. No Pain, (No Gain)
03. Ms. Time
04. Love Days
05. Miami Groove
06. Unsolicited Advise
07. Shoot It From The Hip
08. Fakin' Moves
09. Say It Again



4U2Njoy - Betty Wright  (1989)

01. 4u2njoy
02. It's Been Real
03. Quiet Storm
04. Keep Love New
05. From Pain to Joy
06. Valley of Lonely
07. Lightnin'
08. We Down
09. Won't Be Long Now


Passion & Compassion - Betty Wright (1990) 

01. Help Is on the Way
02. Search 4 Love Is Over
03. Passion & Compassion
04. No Good But So Good
05. Deep Water
06. Nighttime Can Catch Ya
07. Get Biz-E
08. I Miss Ya
09. Nobody Loves U Like I Do
10. Rythms Getting Stronger
11. Got My Life Back
12. Help Is on the Way (Girlfriends)
13. Tonight Is the Night/Won't Be Long Now 



B Attitudes - Betty Wright  (1994)

01. It's The Little Things
02. Love Is Too Deep
03. I Don't Know
04. Feels Good
05. I Know Too Much About You
06. Kiss Me, Hold Me
07. Don't Hurt Me
08. For Love Alone
09. Love Of My Life
10. Only You
11. Distant Lover
12. Makin' It
13. I Found Love
14. Please Tell Me Yes



The Very Best of Betty Wright - Betty Wright  (2000)

01. Clean Up Woman
02. Girls Can't Do What the Guys Do
03. He's Bad, Bad, Bad
04. Pure Love
05. I'm Gettin' Tired Baby
06. Is It You Girl
07. Baby Sitter
08. It's Hard to Stop (Doing Something When It's Good to You)
09. Let Me Be Your Lovemaker
10. Secretary
11. Shoorah! Shoorah!
12. Where Is the Love
13. Ooola La
14. Slip and Do It
15. You Can't See for Lookin'
16. Tonight Is the Night, Pt. 1 [Rap]


 The Essentials  - Betty Wright  (2005)

01. Clean Up Woman
02. Baby Sitter
03. Let Me Be Your Lovemaker
04. Tonight Is The Night (Pts_ 1 & 2)
05. Dance With Me - (with Peter Brown)
06. Girls Can't Do What The Guys Do
07. If You Love Me like You Say You Do
08. Is It You Girl
09. It's Hard To Stop (Doing Something When It's Good To You)
10. Secretary
11. Where Is The Love
12. You Should Do It - (with Peter Brown)


The Platinum Collection  - Betty Wright  (2007)

01. Clean Up Woman
02. Girls Can't Do What The Guys Do
03. He's Bad Bad Bad
04. Pure Love
05. I'm Gettin' Tired Baby
06. Is It Your Girl
07. Baby Sitter
08. It's Hard To Stop (Doing Something When It's Good To You)
09. Let Me Be Your Lovemaker
10. Secretary
11. I Love The Way You Love
12. I'll Love You Forever Heart And Soul
13. All Your Kissin' Sho' Don't Make True Lovin'
14. I Am Woman
15. Sweet Wonder
16. We The Two Of Us
17. Gimme Back My Man
18. If You Think You've Got Soul
19. Don't Let It End This Way
20. Ain't No Sunshine


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