The blossoming career of Darlene Love
Darlene Love: The Early Years
Darlene Love was born July 26 1941.
Darlene Love’s career in the music began in 1959 when she joined little-known girl group The Blossoms in her hometown of California.
Ever since that day, Darlene Love’s vocation as a singer has lasted more than 50 years and counting.
During this time, Darlene Love has worked with some of music’s most successful artists.
Although her involvement has not always been center stage, Darlene Love has always been in demand by the industry and is greatly respected as a backing singer, solo artist and actress.
Like many singers, Darlene Love’s natural talent for singing was discovered in a gospel Church choir.
When not singing in her fathers church or performing with the High School Glee Club, the young Darlene Love could be heard belting out Marian Anderson records.
While still in high school, Darlene Love joined girl group The Blossoms.
The group was made up of members Fanita Barrett (later known as Fanita James), Gloria Jones, Jewel Cobbs, Pat Howard, Nanette Williams and Darlene Love was the new lead.
In 1964, the group became a the trio of Darlene, Fanita, and newcomer Jean King
The Blossoms worked as a backing group for a whole host of stars including Patty Duke, Shelley Fabares and Marvin Gaye. The girl group also did a number of sessions and were resident singers on the television show Shindig.
The biggest hit the group sang on was Da Doo Ron Ron with The Crystals.
The Blossoms also had their own chart success with songs:
No Other Love (1958)
Sugarbeat as The Playgirls (1960)
Write Me a Letter (1961).
Darlene’s soulful and powerful voice was wanted by a list of legendary stars and she worked with big names of the 50s &60s including Sam Cooke, Dionne Warwick, The Beach Boys, Elvis Presley, Tom Jones, Sonny and Cher, Nancy Sinatra, and Bill Medley to name a few.
In terms of Love's hits, she sang lead vocals on He's a Rebel, which was credited to The Crystals.
1963 Darlene Love was also part of a trio called Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans, who had a top ten hit with a cover version of Oscar-winning song Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah, from the Disney film, Song of the South.
Darlene Love also recorded and featured on many tracks for record producer Phil Spector with Wait Till My Bobby Gets Home being the most successful.
Break From Music
During the 70s, Darlene Love took a break from the business to start a family; however in 1973 the singer found time to squeeze in a few side projects. Love’s vocals can be heard on the Cheech & Chong’s Billboard Hot 100 Chart single Basketball Jones.
80's Comeback, Music - TV - Movies - Broadway
After almost a decade away from the music scene, the 80s saw the return of Darlene Love.
The singer took to the stage for many live performances including one at the famous Roxy in LA.
Talks with musician, songwriter, arranger, record producer, actor, and radio DJ Steven Van Zandt brought Love to play a number of gigs in New York City and this would be where Love would get her chance to play Broadway.
Darlene Love was played herself in the Tony Award nominated musical Leaders of the Pack.
The show was a jukebox of hits from the 50s and 60s, fans of Doo Wop and Motown where not left disappoint after hearing a string of hits, such as River, Deep, Mountain High, We’re gonna make it after all, The Change is Going to come.
Leaders Of The Pack was not Love’s only theatrical performance.
The former Blossoms front girl performed in a number of Broadway productions. Darlene Love acted and sang in Grease and starred as "Motormouth Maybelle" in Broadway's Hairspray from August 2005 until April 2008.
The singer turned actress also was in the Royal Shakespeare Company's co-production of Stephen King's Carrie.
From stage to the big screen, Darlene Love featured in all four Lethal Weapon movies long side Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, playing Trish Murtaugh Glover’s wife.
During the 80s and 90s, Darlene Love continued with her music career singing back up for U2's cover of Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), and was a backing singer for Cher on her 1990 Heart of Stone tour.
Love also released a single in 1992 All Alone on Christmas, written and composed by Steven Van Zandt, which can be found on the Home Alone 2: Lost in New York soundtrack.
Darlene Love performs yearly Christmas shows in New York and in 2007 she released It's Christmas, Of Course, featuring her versions of classic yuletide tunes from the 1970s and 1980s.
On March 14, 2011, Darlene Love was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by singer, actress and comedian Bette Midler.