Friday, September 26, 2008

Soul-Sister Saturday: Ann Peebles

Hello, Bloggy Friends, and welcome to my first installment of Soul-Sister Saturdays! Thank you all very much for stopping by. Today I would like to shine a deserving spotlight on soul-sister, Ann Peebles.

I discovered Ann Peebles while living in Chicago in 2003. I came across one of her albums, "I Can't Stand the Rain," while flipping through the soul section of a used music store. When I excitedly returned home to listen to my find, I knew I had come across a treasure. This is the kind of music I live for! I immediately fell in love with her gritty, southern-soul style of singing. On her songs she comes across as a strong, sassy, independent woman who isn't afraid to tell it like it is. As a prominent member of Memphis' Hi-Records label, (along with Al Green, and O.V. Wright) Peebles churned out some of the most soulful music on the planet - most of which came from her own pen.

Ann Peebles was born on April 27, 1947, in St. Louis, MO. Like most notable soul singers in their early years, she began singing in a gospel choir. As a teenager she toured the St. Louis club circuit before joining a blues revue under the leadership of Oliver Sain. In 1968, while on a trip to Memphis, Peebles was discovered by Hi-Records music producer, Willie Mitchell. Impressed with her strong vocal talents, he immediately signed her to his label. She was only 21 years old.

Before long, Ann was recognized as the best singer on the Hi-Records roster. Her biggest chart topping success came with 1973's "I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down." Throughout the early 1970's she continued to record a string of hits like, "99 Lbs.," "I Pity The Fool," "I Can't Stand the Rain," and my favorite, "Run, Run, Run." Through it all she cemented herself as a staple on the soul-music circuit.

The rising success of disco, and the selling of Hi-Records in 1977 brought a gradual end to Peeble's recording career. In the late 70's she took a hiatus from the music business to concentrate on her family life.

Though she returned to recording in the late 80's, Ann never regained her prominent status among soul audiences. Unlike other, more popular soul artists like Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight, Peeble's name has faded into near obscurity. In the early 1980's Tina Turner recorded a cover of Peeble's hit "I Can't Stand the Rain," on her infamous "Private Dancer" album. Missy Elliott also recorded a unique cover of the same song in 1997, with The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly). Thanks to the re-emergence of her songs in popular music, fans have had an opportunity to rediscover this true soul legend. Ann Peebles, I believe, is one of the truest soul sisters. Listening to her organic, soulful records helps to transport me to a different place. She makes me sing, she makes me shake and she makes me want to get down and gritty right along with her. I love you Ann Peebles. Your contribution to soul music is undeniable. Thank you.

I hope you all have a great night. Below is a video I created along with my post. I hope you enjoy! You can also click on some of the links above to see videos of her, and hear songs on YouTube. I will send a free CD to the first person who makes a comment. You better act fast!

Love, Josh


Casey said...

Gurl! I flipped over here to see if you had posted about the debate & what a surprise!

I recognized the song title "I cant stand the rain" from the Missy Elliot version.

I like this style of music too, but cant say that I'm the follower & expert that you are!

You are a hot video mess too!

Anonymous said...

GEEZ. Remember that time I DARED post on here before Casey (I think that was last summer). Ha-ha! No cd for me, maaaaan.

"Run, Run, Run" is my favorite, too. But it's all funky, and I enjoyed reading what you wrote here plus the Wikipedia article. Gary remembered "I Can't Stand the Rain." She was/is beautiful, huh?

The video was so much fun. Casey is right - you are a hot soulful mess. You're pretty gritty.

Rick Watson said...

Sistah! Is it just me or is that wig getting bigger and bigger???

Luvin the video gurl!! (gitchu some high heels for the next vid, ok???) I wanta see it!

TrainingtoTri said...

You rock that afro zexy!

Edro Edro said...

So fierce!