Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Dee Dee Warwick - Turning Around

Delia Mae Warrick was born on September 25, 1945 in Newark, New Jersey. Like her older sister Dionne, Delia (nicknamed Dee Dee) decided to change her last name from Warrick to Warwick in the early sixties.
In 1964, she signed to Mercury records subsidiary, Blue Rock Records where she saw her first charting single, "We're Doing Fine". The record was produced by Ed Townsend, who enjoyed his own chart success with his 1958 recording of "For Your Love". In years to follow, Townsend would go on to pen and produce mega-hits for Marvin Gaye, The Impressions and a host of others.

However, before any of that would happen he teamed up with Warwick once again in 1968 and the pair delivered the Grammy-nominated, Top 20 scorcher, "Foolish Fool" on the Mercury parent label. The single served as the lead release for Warwick's second album which soon followed.

Despite this success, none of her follow-up Mercury sides made much noise in the marketplace. She kept recording for another two years before making a move to Atco Records in 1970 where she released her third and final LP, Turning Around. She scored a Top Ten single on the R&B charts with "She Didn't Know (She Kept On Talking)". Backed largely by the Dixie Flyers rhythm section and backup vocal supergroup The Sweet Inspirations, Turning showcased a rawer, grittier, southern sound than her more polished Mercury sides.

Beatheads and crate diggers have long been familiar with the LP for the oft-sampled open drum break at the top of "I'm Glad I'm A Woman". Other album bright spots include, "Who Will The Next Fool Be?" and a completely reworked cover of the 1969 Spiral Staircase pop hit, "More Today Than Yesterday". Warwick continued to release singles for Atco over the next few years with minimal chart success but, unfortunately, the bulk of her output for the label never seemed to resonate with the record buying public. In later interviews she would attibute the lack of commercial success to Atlantic (Atco's parent company) throwing most of its promotional weight for female soul singers behind Aretha Franklin and Roberta Flack.

In 1973 Warwick re-signed with Mercury records for a short time and released the single "All The Love That Went To Waste".

Throughout the remainder of the decade, Dee Dee recorded for Sutra, RCA (under the name Dede Schwartz), and Private Stock where she had her last charting record in 1975, "Get Out Of My Life" released under the name Dede Warwick.

After being inactive as a recording artist for the years that followed, in 1999, Dee Dee finally received some recognition for her years as a soulful recording artist in the form the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation. Towards the end of 2006 Warwick returned to her performing career, singing background for sister Dionne on tour and contributing vocals to a song for the Tyler Perry film, "Daddy's Little Girls" entitled, "Family First".

In 1996 Ichiban Records compiled all of her Atco recordings and released, She Didn't Know- The Atco Sessions as part of their Soul Classics Series. The 22-track CD contained all the songs from the Turning Around album as well as a few non-LP singles and seven unreleased tracks from the vaults.

In 2001 Mercury followed suit and came up with, I Want to Be With You: The Mercury/Blue Rock Sessions although there are one or two missing tunes it's still the your best bet for getting on some of her rarer cuts on CD.

As of today, both CDs are out of print and tend to fetch top dollar. There is, however, some glimmer of hope for the budget conscious . The Mercury collection has been made available as a digital download via iTunes or

If what you desire is more of a tangible sort, you can try your luck at picking up the Atco sessions CD here or the Mercury sessions CD here.

If what you're really after is an OG vinyl pressing of Turning Around, then you can usually find one here or here.

Featured cut: "I'm Glad I'm A Woman"

For the full album, listen here (password req'd)


hellz said...

Thanks for the good synopsis of Dee Dee's career. It is a shame most of her recordings are out of print. I was lucky enough to snag LP's of "Foolish Fool," "Turning Around," and "Call Me" (1984, Sutra) years ago on Ebay and thankfully still have my copies of the Ichiban and Mercury CD's. There ARE rumours of a new compliation...stay tuned! Dee Dee is also featured on a duet with Dionne on Dionne's new CD "Why We Sing" out next month!

slsmithsr said...

Thanks a lot. Was looking for a DeeDee joint. Found it here...again thanks.

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