WCN Transmedia Group Celebrates this Living Legend, Melba Moore. Take a walk with me through this incredible career. A few months ago Melba Connected with us on Linkedin. Melba’s Website is Awesome and the use of Social Media is amazing. She is a trailblazer on Broadway and is now Burning up the World Wide Web. Melba we Love you, Keep doing your Thing. Its a honor to have you in our professional Linkedin Network.
Beatrice Melba Smith (born October 29, 1945), known by her stage name, Melba Moore is an American disco, R&B singer and actress. She is the daughter of saxophonist Teddy Hill and R&B singer Bonnie Davis.
Moore began her performing career in 1967 as a member of the original cast of the musical Hair along with Ronnie Dyson and Diane Keaton. Moore replaced Keaton in the role of Sheila. In 1970, Moore won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for her role in Purlie (she portrayed Lutiebelle). She would not return to Broadway afterwards until 1978 when she appeared (as Marsinah) with Eartha Kitt in Timbuktu!, but left the show after a few weeks and was replaced by Vanessa Shaw. Following the success of Purlie, Moore landed two big screen film roles, released two successful albums including 1970’s I Got Love and Look What You’re Doing to the Man and co-starred with actor Clifton Davis in the then-couple’s own successful variety television series in 1972. Both Moore and Davis revealed that the show was canceled after its brief run when their relationship came to an end. Moore’s career faced problems after Moore’s managers and accountants left her in 1973. Moore returned to Newark and began singing for benefits. Her career picked up after meeting record manager and business promoter Charles Huggins following a performance at the Apollo Theater in 1974. Marrying in 1975, Moore and Huggins formed Hush Productions, signing notable R&B artists such as Freddie Jackson and Meli’sa Morgan.
In 1975, Moore signed with Buddah Records and released the critically successful R&B album, Peach Melba, which included the minor hit, “I Am His Lady”. The following year, in 1976, Moore scored her first significant hit with the Van McCoy-penned “This Is It“, which reached the Billboard Hot 100, the top twenty position on the R&B chart and also reached the top ten in the UK, becoming her biggest success in that country. In 1976, she scored her third Grammy nomination with the R&B ballad, “Lean on Me”, which had been recorded originally by Vivian Reed and later by Moore’s idol Aretha Franklin who recorded the song as a b-side to her 1971 hit, “Spanish Harlem“. The song is most notable for Moore’s extended long note at the end of the track. In 1983, she re-recorded the song as a tribute to McCoy, who died four years earlier of illness. Throughout the rest of the 1970s, Moore struggled to match the success of This Is It with minor R&B/dance hits, gaining another hit with 1979’s “You Stepped Into My Life”, which was released on Epic Records and hit the top 20 on the R&B charts and also became one of her biggest pop hits.
It wouldn’t be until 1982 when Moore started to gain huge success as a singer signing with Capitol Records and reaching the top 5 on the R&B charts with the dance pop/funk single, “Love’s Comin’ At Ya”, which also hit the top 20 in the UK and became a sizable hit in some European countries for its post-disco sound. A string of R&B hits would follow during this decade including 1983’s “Keepin’ My Lover Satisfied” and “Love Me Right”, 1984’s “Livin’ For Your Love”, 1985’s “Read My Lips”, which later won Moore a fourth Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance, making her just the third black artist after Donna Summer and Michael Jackson to be nominated in the rock category, and 1985’s “When You Love Me Like This”. In 1986, she scored two number-one R&B hits, including the duet, “A Little Bit More“, with Freddie Jackson and “Falling“. She scored other popular R&B hits including “Love the One I’m With (A Lot of Love)” and “It’s Been So Long”. In 1986, Moore also headlined the CBS television sitcom, Melba (TV show) that debuted the same night as the Challenger explosion and was abruptly canceled shortly thereafter. Her success began to wane as the decade closed, although she managed two further Top 10 R&B hits, “Do You Really (Want My Love)” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing” (which featured such artists as Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Jeffrey Osborne, Anita Baker and Stephanie Mills).
Moore returned to Broadway in 1995 landing a part in Les Misérables, a year later, she started her long-running one-woman show, Sweet Songs of the Soul, later renamed I’m Still Standing, and in 2007, she landed a role in the Broadway revival of Ain’t Misbehavin’. In 2003, she was featured in the film, The Fighting Temptations, which starred Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Beyoncé Knowles.
In 2009 independent label Breaking Records released the EP Book of Dreams, in which Moore was featured. That same year Moore told her life story on TV-One[disambiguation needed]‘s Unsung and later that year, released her first R&B album in nearly 20 years, in a duet release with Phil Perry. She is also in the studio working on a new album which is scheduled to be released in early 2011. The album is being produced by Rahni Song and Dominic McFadden, son of the late Gene McFadden of McFadden and Whitehead.
Moore is a born-again Christian.
In addition to her Tony Award, Moore music career brought additional accolades. She was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1971 for ‘Best New Artist’. Her 1975 second album, Peach Melba, saw her get a Grammy nomination. In 1976, she earned another Grammy nomination for Best Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance – Female for the song “Lean on Me”,. Moore was also nominated for Best Female Rock Vocal in 1986 for “Read My Lips”.
|Mercury Records||1970||I Got Love||—||—|
|1971||Look What You’re Doing to The Man||157||43|
|1972||Melba Moore Live!||—||—|
|Buddah Records||1975||Peach Melba||176||49|
|1976||This is It||145||32|
|1977||A Portrait of Melba||—||—|
|EMI America Records||1981||What a Woman Needs||—||46|
|Capitol Records||1982||The Other Side of the Rainbow||152||18|
|1983||Never Say Never||147||9|
|1985||Read My Lips||130||30|
|1986||A Lot of Love||91||7|
|1988||I’m in Love||—||45|
|“—” denotes release did not chart or was not released|
|U.S.||U.S. R&B||U.S. Dance||UK
|1970||“Look What You’re Doing To The Man”||—||—||—||—|
|1975||“I Am His Lady”||—||82||—||—|
|1976||“This Is It“||91||18||2||9|
|“Lean On Me”||—||14||—||—|
|“Make Me Believe In You”||—||—||6||—|
|“Play Boy Scout”||—||—||14||—|
|1977||“Good Love Makes Everything Alright (Greatest Feeling)”||—||—||36||—|
|“The Long and Winding Road”||—||94||—||—|
|“The Way You Make Me Feel”||—||62||—||—|
|1978||“You Stepped Into My Life”||47||12||5||—|
|“Standing Right Here”||—||62||53||—|
|“Pick Me Up, I’ll Dance”||—||85||22||48|
|1981||“Let’s Stand Together” 1||—||44||12||—|
|“Take My Love” 1||—||15||—|
|1982||“Love’s Comin’ At Ya“||—||5||2||15|
|1983||“Keepin’ My Lover Satisfied”||—||14||57||—|
|“Mind Up Tonight”||—||25||17||22|
|1984||“Livin’ for Your Love”||—||6||—||—|
|1985||“I Can’t Believe (It’s Over)”||—||29||—||—|
|“Read My Lips”||—||12||—||—|
|“When You Love Me Like This”||—||14||—||—|
|1986||“A Little Bit More” (with Freddie Jackson)||—||1||—||96|
|“Love the One I’m With (A Lot of Love)”||—||5||—||—|
|1987||“I’m Not Gonna Let You Go”||—||26||—||—|
|“It’s Been So Long”||—||6||—||—|
|1988||“I Can’t Complain”||—||12||—||—|
|“I’m in Love”||—||13||—||—|
|“Love & Kisses”||—||68||—||—|
|1990||“Do You Really (Want My Love?)”||—||10||39||93|
|“Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing”||—||9||—||—|
|“—” denotes release did not chart or was not released|
- ^1 “Let’s Stand Together” and “Take My Love” charted together on the U.S. Billboard Dance chart, but charted separately elsewhere.
- List of disco artists
- List of post-disco artists
- List of female movie actors by name: M
- Guests on Soul Train
- List of performers on Top of the Pops
- List of Broadway musicals stars
- List of artists who reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart
- ^ a b “The HistoryMakers”. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
- ^ Arts High School (2009). A Brief History. Newark Arts High School. Retrieved on 2008-08-10 from http://www.nps.k12.nj.us/arts/a_brief_history.htm[dead link]. Retrieved on 2009-12-24 from http://www.nps.k12.nj.us/arts/about_us_2.htm.
- ^ TheEnvelope.LATimes.com – Fact Sheet on Melba Moore
- ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 377. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Melba Moore official website
- Melba Moore’s Official Myspace page
- Melba Moore at the Internet Broadway Database
- Melba Moore at the Internet Movie Database
- SoulTracks.com profile of Melba Moore