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Dee Dee Warwick

Dee Dee Warwick

Dee Dee Warwick


Dee Dee Warwick (September 25, 1945 – October 18, 2008) was an African-American soul singer. Born in Newark, New Jersey as Delia Mae Warrick, she was the sister of Dionne Warwick, niece of Cissy Houston, and cousin of Whitney Houston. Dee Dee Warwick sang with her sister Dionne Warwick and their aunt Cissy Houston in the New Hope Baptist Church Choir in Newark, NJ: eventually the three women formed the gospel trio the Gospelaires who often performed with the Drinkard Singers, Houston being a member of both groups. Read more on Last.fm
Dee Dee Warwick (September 25, 1945 – October 18, 2008) was an African-American soul singer. Born in Newark, New Jersey as Delia Mae Warrick, she was the sister of Dionne Warwick, niece of Cissy Houston, and cousin of Whitney Houston. Dee Dee Warwick sang with her sister Dionne Warwick and their aunt Cissy Houston in the New Hope Baptist Church Choir in Newark, NJ: eventually the three women formed the gospel trio the Gospelaires who often performed with the Drinkard Singers, Houston being a member of both groups. At a performance by the Gospelaires with the Drinkard Singers at the Apollo Theater in 1959, the Warwick sisters were recruited by a record producer for session work and Dionne and Dee Dee Warwick, along with Doris Troy, subsequently became a prolific New York City area session singing team. Dee Dee Warwick began to dabble in a solo career in 1963 cutting what is reportedly the earliest version of You're No Good for Jubilee Records, produced by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who later recorded Warwick on their own Tiger label with the 1964 single Don't Think My Baby's Coming Back. In 1964 Warwick recorded a version of I (Who Have Nothing) for Hurd - although the song's lyric was written by Leiber and Stoller the duo did not participate in Warwick's recording - and Warwick also recorded as a member of Allison Gary and the Burners (as did Cissy Houston) with a release on Royo entitled Darling. Warwick performed on Shivaree which aired July 17, 1965, she sang We're Doing Fine and I Want to Be with You. In 1965 Warwick signed with Mercury Records where she recorded with producer Ed Townsend for their subsidiary Blue Rock label, reaching the R&B Top 30 with We're Doing Fine. It was on the Mercury label in 1966 that she had her biggest hit with "I Want to Be with You" from the Broadway show Golden Boy, a #9 R&B hit which just missed the pop Top 40 at #41 (Nancy Wilson had reached #54 with her version entitled "I Wanna Be with You" in 1964).

The follow-up single was the original version of I'm Gonna Make You Love Me which, peaking at #13 R&B and #88 Pop, was not Warwick's biggest hit but became her best known number by virtue of its later success as a duet between Diana Ross and The Supremes and The Temptations. Warwick continued to record for Mercury through the late 60s. Although her occasional success in the R&B field - notably the 1969 Ed Townsend production of Foolish Fool - was enough for the label wishing to re-sign her in 1970, she signed with Atco at the invitation of Atlantic Records president Jerry Wexler himself, Wexler having admired Warwick's early session work. Warwick made her first recordings for Atco in February 1970, cutting four tunes with Townsend. In an early indication of the disarray that Warwick's career would experience at Atlantic, these tracks were shelved and she was sent to Criteria Studios in Miami in April to work with producer Dave Crawford and fast-emerging studio band, The Dixie Flyers. The resultant Turning Around album yielded a Top Ten R&B hit with She Didn't Know, but Warwick would never have another album release or single in the R&B Top 20. In October, she cut 10 tracks at Muscle Shoals, again with Crawford producing (along with Brad Shapiro).

Only three singles were released with one, a remake of Suspicious Minds, becoming Warwick's final R&B hit in 1971. That summer, Crawford and Shapiro produced an eight-track session for Warwick at the Pac-Three studios in Detroit. One track, Everybody's Got to Believe in Something was issued as a single - Warwick's last release on Atco despite two final sessions for the label in early 1972. Reflecting on her unrewarding Atco tenure, Warwick opined: "The problem was simply that the company had a lot of other big female acts - like Aretha [Franklin] and Roberta [Flack] - and you get into a situation where you don't get the right kind of material or production or promotion..." In 1973, Warwick re-signed with Mercury but in 1974, she moved to Private Stock where the 1975 single Get Out of My Life became her final charting (#73 R&B)song.

That same year, Warwick recorded for RCA Victor as DeDe Schwartz. After several years away from the recording studio, Dee Dee Warwick made her final recordings in the mid-80s for Sutra Records and for Heritage. After living in Los Angeles for a number of years, Warwick became a resident of Georgia in 1994. Dee Dee Warwick received a Pioneer Award from the Rhythm And Blues Foundation in 1999. Recordings of both her Mercury years and Atco years are available on CD.

In late 2006, Dee Dee returned to success singing background for Dionne in concert, and also was part of the "Family First" song in the Tyler Perry movie and soundtrack for Daddy's Little Girls. In January 2008, Dee Dee was featured in the title song from Dionne's gospel album, Why We Sing. In February 2008, she continued her background vocals for Dionne's one woman show 'My Music and Me' in Europe. Dee Dee Warwick struggled with narcotics addiction for many years and was in failing health for some time. Her sister was with her when she died on October 18, 2008 in a nursing home in Essex County, New Jersey, aged 63. Read more on Last.fm.

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