Dee Dee Warwick – 1970 -Turning Around
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One of the greatest moments ever from Dee Dee Warwick – and a set that definitely shows her to be one of the more soulful members of her famous family! The set’s got a much deeper soul sound than some of Dee Dee’s other material – as Atlantic has Warwick working down at Criteria Studios, with production by Dave Crawford – in a mode that’s steeped in previous southern soul styles from Memphis and Muscle Shoals! In a way, Atlantic was probably hoping to do to Dee Dee what they did to Aretha Franklin – take an already competent, sophisticated soul singer, and give her a deep soul sound that really pushes the boundaries. And in this case, the session actually works, and works great – thanks in part to The Sweet Inspirations, who back up Dee Dee in the same way they backed up Aretha – supporting her strong lead with some wonderful harmonies.
A1 If This Was The Last Song 3:27
A2 More Today Than Yesterday 4:10
A3 Who Will The Next Fool Be 3:40
A4 I’m Glad I’m A Woman 2:57
A5 She Didn’t Know 3:45
B1 A Girl Who’ll Satisfy Her Man 3:25
B2 I Ain’t Got To Love Nobody Else 3:06
B3 I’m Only Human 3:10
B4 Make Love To Me 2:45
B5 Down So Low 4:16
Dee Dee Warwick spent most of her career in the shadow of her significantly more famous sister, Dionne Warwick, and that’s a shame, since Dee Dee was a very gifted soul singer with a style quite different than that of her sibling. Dee Dee Warwick had a stronger and more forceful instrument than Dionne, revealing a clear gospel influence, and she could belt out deep Southern soul with passion and authority. Dee Dee’s first album for Atco, 1970’s Turning Around, is a small triumph; produced by Dave Crawford with Jim Dickson and the Dixie Flyers backing her up, this is top-notch Southern soul with a bit of rock & roll flash in Charlie Freeman’s guitar and no shortage of groove in Sammy Creason’s drumming. Crawford rounded up a great set of songs for Warwick on these sessions; “She Didn’t Know (She Kept on Talking)” is a slow and slinky cheating song that was a well deserved R&B hit, “I’m Glad I’m a Woman” speaks of a happier romance with no shortage of heart and happiness, Warwick gives Jimmy Webb’s “If This Was the Last Song” a reading that fuses intelligence and emotional power, and her take on Charlie Rich’s “Who Will the Next Fool Be” is a bluesy triumph of a woman done wrong. One thing Dee Dee had in common with Dionne was a welcome sense of restraint, and while the performances on Turning Around don’t hold back on the emotional intensity, she doesn’t overplay, and even when she’s getting happy on these tunes, she sounds honest rather than histrionic. Turning Around should have established Dee Dee Warwick as a powerhouse talent and a star in her own right; that didn’t quite happen, but four decades after it was released it still sounds like a classic from the tail end of soul’s golden age that deserves rediscovery. Mark Deming, All Music Guide
…..In spite of some great recordings for the label (which released a total of two albums, a self-titled 1966 debut and 1969’s “Foolish Fool”), Dee Dee’s recording career needed a boost. In a 1995 interview, she noted, “Mercury wanted to re-sign me but Atlantic made a better offer…I got a brand new car and some nice money! Jerry Wexler, who I had known for many years from all the background work I had done behind Atlantic artists, signed me and he and I picked most of the material I recorded for Atco.”
Dee Dee’s first session for Atco in February 1970 represented a reunion with producer Ed Townsend. Four tunes were cut although nothing was ever released from that session until the 1996 release of “The Atco Sessions” on Ichiban’s Soul Classics label. Included in that collection were two tunes, “Only The One You Love,” a song that had previously been recorded by Aretha Franklin on Columbia and released in 1967 on the album, “Take It Like You Give It”; and a tune penned by Dee Dee and Townsend, “The Way We Used To Do“, another version of which was attempted at a Detroit session in 1971.
Since executive Wexler had just begun experiencing success by sending artists such as Aretha Franklin to Criteria Studios in Miami, Florida, he dispatched Dee Dee to the facility at the beginning of April to work with up-and-coming producer Dave Crawford (who was to deliver a hit for Atlantic with cousin Jackie Moore’s “Precious, Precious” later in 1970).
In all, Dee Dee cut ten songs which formed the basis for “Turning Around,” her one and only Atco album. “Jerry picked many of them,” Dee Dee states. “I wanted to do the song “More Today Than Yesterday” which had been recorded by Carmen McRae also on Atlantic and I remember the tune “Down So Low” had originally been done by this rock group Mother Earth (in 1969). Jerry came up with Charlie Rich’s “Who Will Your Next Fool Be” and (the late) Van McCoy gave me “Make Love To Me,” which Maxine Brown later recorded, and which is still my favorite on the album because I love being made loved to!”
Other notable tunes on the LP included a version of “If This Was The Last Song,” a Jim Webb song that had also been recorded by Thelma Houston; “I Ain’t Got To Love Nobody Else,” a Top 10 R&B hit for The Masqueraders in 1968; and “I’m Only Human,” a song penned by Muscle Shoals-based songsmiths George Soule and Terry Woodford.
However, it was a song written by Jerry Williams, Jr. (aka Swamp Dogg), Gary “U.S.” Bonds, and Charles Whitehead recorded as the first tune at that mammoth session in April, 1970 that gave Dee Dee her biggest hit for the label. “She Didn’t Know (She Kept On Talking)” was a classic tale of infidelty in which ‘the other woman’ had inadvertently revealed herself to her lover’s wife and was much in the vein of “To The Other Woman (I’m The Other Woman),” a tune that had been recorded by Jerry Williams on singer Doris Duke a few months earlier.
Legend has it that “She Didn’t Know” had been recorded originally by Duke as a follow-up to her hit; according to a 1970 interview with Dee Dee, “Doris had recorded it before me although I didn’t know it. I was just presented with the song. I liked it and recorded it, and it was as simple as that…” As it turned out, another Williams protege, Sandra Phillips also recorded the song but it’s Dee Dee’s version that remains an all-time soul classic…..The Atco Sessions Liner Notes