Monday, October 20, 2008

Remembering Dee Dee Warwick

Another soul legend has passed us by. She probably didn't earn the bright glow of celebrity found in her infamous sister Dionne Warwick, but Dee Dee Warwick was a class act that cut some a number of R&B hits in the 1960s and 70s with "Foolish Fool," "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" (later recorded by the Supremes) , the original version of "You're No Good" (also re-recorded by Linda Ronstadt in 1975) and the Top Ten R&B hit "She Didn't Know (She Kept on Talking)."

Born in Newark, New Jersey, Warwick started singing as a teenager and joined The Gospelaires and her renowned family gospel group The Drinkard Singers (also featuring Cissy Houston and Dionne Warwick). At the height of the Drinkard Singers' career, Warwick would continue to provide background vocals for their albums; leading to historic background sessions with greats like Aretha Franklin, Roberta Flack and Wilson Pickett.

Dee Dee reunited with her singing family members (Cissy, Whitney, Dionne) on "Family First;" a song featured in the Tyler Perry movie soundtrack Daddy's Little Girls. Warwick also recorded with Dionne in January 2008 on her gospel album Why We Sing; performing a duet with her sister on the album's title track. These two works ended up being the last of her released work. Dee Dee Warwick died Saturday at a nursing home in Essex County, said family spokesman Kevin Sasaki. She had been in failing health in recent months, he said, and her sister was with her when she passed away.

She indeed will be missed. Yet her memory lingers with spirit and in song.

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