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A teen star in the 50s (as Little Esther ), an R&B hitmaker in the 60s ( And I Love Him ), a jazz stylist and disco favourite in the 70s ( What A Diff rence A Day Makes ), the late ESTHER PHILLIPS was capable of creating a truly diverse legacy of recordingsEsther signed with Mercury Records in 1977: as Executive Producer, Esther chose star drummer/artist in his own right, Harvey Mason as a producer for her third set ( Here’s Esther…Are You Ready? ).
With Mason, Esther put her distinctive vocal stamp on hits of the day (Natalie Cole’s Mr. Melody and Elton John’s Philadelphia Freedom ) alongside great original tunes such as Bedtime Stories, a popular rare groove cut among UK soul music lovers.
Esther’s fourth and final Mercury LP ( Good Black Is Hard To Crack ) was produced by renowned jazz saxman Benny Golson (writer of Killer Joe ): once again, the earthy singer chose a range of great material including Willie Nelson’s Crazy, Loleatta Holloway’s Cry To Me and We’ ve Got A Good Thing Going, another popular UK groove track, originally cut by Michael Jackson.
Notes by Soul Music.com founder David Nathan, who knew Esther well, include quotes from producers Mason and Golson.
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