Her best known Coxsone sides include Sitting In The Park, Secretly, Cry Together, Willow Tree and Why Birds Fly. Hortense went on to record with other producers including Augustus Clarke and Dudley "Manzie" Swaby and also, for a brief spell, recorded under the name Mahalia Saunders (a combination of her own middle name and her married name). Hortense also cut one side under the name Dawn Love. Aside from recording original Jamaican songs, Hortense also covered soul classics such as Down The Aisle (Patti Labelle), Young Hearts Run Free (Candy Staton) and Loving Arms but also recorded her own beautiful versions of Elvis Presley hits Wooden Heart and Suspicious Minds.
One of Hortense's best known hits was Unexpected Places dating from 1978 and produced by Gussie Clarke. Also in the mid/late 70's she joined Johnny Clarke in the making of an R & B ballad style album marketed under the title "Sly & Robbie Present Lovers Rock" which also featured solo performances from Pat Kelly. Meanwhile Hortense's old Coxsone hit "Sitting In The Park" was re-recorded for producer Martin Williams while "Secretly" was re-recorded for Dudley "Manzie" Swaby. During the 1990's Hortense began suffering ill health which affected her live performances but she remained active in the studio.
She became seriously ill while in Miami in the summer of 1999 and should have sought immediate treatment. Instead, she insisted on struggling home to her beloved Jamaica where she was immediately hospitalized. Hortense Ellis - Jamaica First Lady Of Songs - passed away in her sleep in Kingston Public Hospital on 19th October 2000. She left nine children and 26 grand-children.
Please visit http://www.hortense-ellis.com for more information. PLEASE NOTE: The above bio was written by an authorized representative of the Ellis family, and you are respectfully requested not to edit it in any way. However, you are free to use it on any other site without restriction provided a credit is given to JIM OBASA Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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