Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Every dream has a soundtrack...
With soaring, extraordinary music, THIS TIME takes you from the streets of South Central Los Angeles to New York’s Park Avenue on a unique musical journey in this uplifting story. The musicians are legendary recording artists, The Sweet Inspirations
Myrna Smith, Estelle Brown and Portia Griffin
Somewhere in the world, The Sweet Inspirations are being played on the radio at this very moment. The Sweets were background session singers on dozens and dozens of hit records and albums, including among others: “A Natural Woman”, “Spanish Harlem”, “Chain Of Fools”, “Don’t Play That Song” (Aretha Franklin), “Moondance” (Van Morrison), “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?”, “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again”, “Alfie”, “I Say a Little Prayer”, “Don’t Make Me Over” (Dionne Warwick), “Son Of A Preacher Man” (Dusty Springfield), as well as singing with Jimi Hendrix, Nina Simone, The Drifters, Wilson Pickett, Luther Vandross and backing-up Elvis Presley in concert and recordings throughout the last eight years of his life. Perhaps the most famous back-up group in history, The Sweet Inspirations were also solo artists with seven albums on Atlantic, Stax and RSO Records from 1967 – 79. Originally from Newark, New Jersey and members of the New Hope Baptist Church, Cissy Houston (mother of Whitney Houston, and aunt of Dee Dee Warwick and Dionne Warwick) was the first member of The Sweets. Sylvia Shemwell then joined the group and the girls quickly found their way onto records with the likes of Wilson Pickett, Garnet Mimms and Aretha Franklin, who was then struggling to make a name at Columbia Records. In 1965, Myrna Smith (also from New Hope Baptist Church) and Estelle Brown (from Harlem) came in to form the line-up most remembered today. In late 1969 the group underwent some radical changes. Cissy Houston left the group in order to pursue a solo career. After the death of Elvis, The Sweet Inspirations recorded one more album on the RSO label in 1979, then retiring for a period before re-emerging in 1994 to perform worldwide in Elvis Presley tribute concerts including “Elvis - The Concert”. In 1996, Portia Griffin joined the group as lead singer and in 2002 they began recording a new album, IN THE RIGHT PLACE, with producer / composer Peitor Angell on Frixion Records, as documented in THIS TIME. Their first single off the album, “Celebration” reached #32 on the Billboard Club Chart.