Gloria Lynne is now a Celestial Songbird

Hello All:

In the midst of all the madness with the rep-ugly-cans and tea baggers drama, I got some really bad news that has taken me a while to process and deal with.  

My friend, Bobbi Humphrey called me last Tuesday, October 15, to tell me that one of the most fabulous vocalists on the planet, Gloria Lynne, had passed.   I was caught off guard by this news, my mind did a rewind, going back through all the songs I loved that had been sung by Gloria Lynne.  

Gloria Lynne Black in the day

I can remember many a slow dance to her songs, from high school days through college.  One of my classmates at Hampton (before my Lincoln University days) used to try to sing like her - unfortunately her voice would crack at those levels that were all too easy for Gloria to sustain (especially on "I'm Glad There is You."  

She had a voice like chocolate velvet.  It was sooooo smoooooth.  You could listen to her on a lazy Sunday afternoon, or you could play her records when you were going through a little something, and needed a little lift, and come out feeling that you had been to the altar.  

For me, she was up there with Sarah Vaughn, Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington (my favorite, favorite), Nancy Wilson, Kettie Lester, Ruby and the Romantics, Etta James, Della Reese, and early Aretha Franklin.  I used to spend my Sundays playing those ladies back to back to back.  A great way to just completely mellow out.

 While I loved "I Wish You Love,"  which was her theme song, my absolute favorites by Ms. Lynne, were "Impossible"  "I'm Glad There is You," and "Love, I Found You."  As a matter of fact, I found myself humming them the other day as I was working on an article.  The words to this day are still so full of meaning.   

Gloria Lynne exuded glamor and elegance

Gloria Lynne lived a long and creatively productive life.  She was born in Harlem in 1929.  Her father, John Wilson, was from Trinidad; her mother was from Louisiana.  And though she sang gospel at African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church Choir, she loved jazz and the music of the day.  She entered a talent contest at the Apollo theater when she was 14 (according to the bio I read on her, she put her age up so she would qualify), and won!    So when you think about it, Ms. Lynne passed at the age of 83, she has given seventy years of her life to music.  What a wonderful life indeed; and what a monumental body of work.  It speaks volumes as to the pure talent, creative genius, and love this woman embodied.  

She worked with so many of the greats of our time: Ray Charles, Billy Eckstine, Johnny Mathis, Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Belafonte, Quincy Jones, Bobby Timmons, Philly Joe Jones, Harry "Sweets" Edison
New York City proclaimed July 25, 1995 as Gloria Lynne Day (David Dinkins was Mayor then) . In 1996 Lynne received the Rhythm and Blues Foundation's International Women of Jazz Award and she was honored with a Pioneer Award by the  in 1997. Other awards and recognitions include the National Treasure Award from the Seasoned Citizens Theatre Company (2003); induction into the National Black Sports and Entertainment Hall of Fame; Living Legend Award from the State of Pennsylvania (2007) (Wikipedia).

She was honored at the Schomburg Library's Great Women in Music in NYC in 2010 for her lifetime achievement.  And what a life it had been, because she was still performing even then - but real talent and love for what you do does not age.    And Ms. Lynne certainly was ageless.  

She has joined the pantheon of Diva Vocalists, Ella Fitzgerald, LaVern Baker, Sassy Sarah Vaughn, Bessie Smith, and will continue to do what she loves, and does best:  Sing!  Heaven has just acquired a new Celestial Songbird, but we were blessed to have had her here among us first.

Stay Blessed &
Gloria Dulan-Wilson 

I hope you can log on and hear the body of music I included below.  If not, just go to YouTube and avail yourselves of the pure musical genius of this divine Diva.  These were way before CD's DvD's or even 33's and LP's.  Many of these songs were pressed on what was then called wax.  ENJOY!  -  GDW


Some of the songs below are only a portion of the body of work that Gloria Lynne gave to the world: 

 My Heart's On Fire / Yours Alone – 1953
I'm Not In Love With You / Little Short Daddy – 1953
When I Say My Prayer / The Uncloudy Day - 1953
My Heart's On Fire / Yours Alone – 1953
I'm Not In Love With You / Little Short Daddy – 1954
When I Say My Prayers / Uncloudy Day – 1956
 Little Boy Blues / Way Beyond The Hills – 1959
 Lonely and Sentimental (LP) - 1959
June Night / Perdido – 1959
But Not For Me / Just In Time - 1959
Be My Love / My Prayer For You – 1960
Happiness Is Just A Thing Called Joe / My Reverie – 1960
Am I Blue / Little Girl Blue – 1960
They Didn't Believe Me / Without A Song – 1960
Gypsy Boy / Recommended To Love – 1960
Condemned Without Trial / Dreamy – 1960
The Jazz In You / Love, I've Found You – 1960
He Needs Me / The Lamp Is Low – 1961
Impossible / This Little Boy Of Mine – 1961
You Don't Have To Be A Tower Of Strength / I Will Follow Him - 1961 *an "answer" record to the 1961 release "Tower Of Strength" by Gene McDaniels on Liberty Records
Is There Someone For Me / I'm Not Afraid Anymore – 1961
And This Is My Beloved / I'm Glad There Is You - 1962
I Know Love / It Just Happened To Me – 1962
I'll Buy You A Star / Record Company Blues – 1963
Humming Blues / Stormy Monday Blues – 1963
I Wish You Love* / Through A Long And Sleepless Night - 1964 
     *also recorded in 1955 by Keely Smith on Capitol 3445
I Should Care / Indian Love Call – 1964
Be Anything (But Be Mine)* / Soul Serenade - 1964
Don't Take Your Love From Me / You Don't Know What Love Is – 1964
Serenade In Blue / Without A Song – 1964
On Christmas Day / Wouldn't It Be Loverly – 1964
Fly Me To The Moon / The Night Has A Thousand Eyes – 1965
Out Of This World / Squeeze Me – 1965
Lonely Street / Try A Little Tenderness – 1965
Folks Who Live On The Hill / That's A Joy – 1965
My Devotion / I'm Glad There Is You – 1965
The Touch Of Your Lips / Intimate Moments – 1965
*Watermelon Man / All Alone – 1965 (co-wrote lyrics with
    Mongo Santa Maria)
Whisperers / I Understand – 1965
 I Wish You Love / A Long Long Story – 1966
 Sometimes It Be's That Way / Speaking Of Happiness – 1966
 Strangers In The Night / Candy Man – 1966
Money Machine / I Got What You Want – 1966
Love Is / It's Not The Truth – 1967
Foolish Dreamer / I Can't Stand It – 1967
Down Here On The Ground / I've Never Been Loved Before - 1968
The Guy Who Lived Up There / Hold Back The Dawn – 1968
I've Got To Be Someone / Problem Child – 1969
Be Anything (But Be Mine) / Soul Serenade -1970
If You Don't Get It Yourself / Love's Finally Found Me – 1970
Seems Like I Gotta Do Wrong / Take You All The Way - 1970
Never My Love / Summer Knows – 1972 -


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