So this halloween I dressed up as Lt. Nyota Uhura…. and you’re wondering where I’m gonna link this to underrated Motown Songbird Agatha Nathalia “Kim” Weston…
Well after the party I had my iTunes on, and Kim Weston’s “A Little More Love” (a fine example of Country Soul Meets Uptown Soul) I noticed, as iTunes shows the album liner cover of the song your listening to, that I had taken a picture earlier in the evening that had an, as a friend pointed out, had an uncanny resemblance to Ms. Weston.
Born in Detroit’s “black bottom” December 20th, 1939, she signed to Motown in 1961…. and… well… cut a string of gems that went virtually unnoticed, from Torchy Soul Ballads that burn with a radiant incandescence like “Just Loving You” to pitch perfect pop like “Looking For The Right Guy” to vampy James Bond theme-esque Northern Soul stunners like “Thrill A Moment” before breaking through with two moderate hits: “Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)” & “Helpless”
Most of you know her as the lady outsouling Marvin Gaye on “It Takes Two”
Kim Weston is possibly the best example from the Motown stable of how political the music business can be. Basically her career at Motown was stalled out of fear that, since she married Motown A&R president Mickey Stevenson, she would receive favoritism. So excellent release after excellent release never got the attention they deserved…. (I’m going to put as little blame on The Supremes as possible from my analysis of this, since she remained chartless even as Brenda Holloway had decent chart hits).
Ok, why do I love her so much…. Her voice is literally (especially on her Motown output) the combination of Honey and Butter on your biscuit, with Tabasco on your fried chicken. Otherwise everything you’d want in soul food for your ears. Satisfying, sweet, substantial, spicy, memorable…
In most emotive ways she reminds me alot of Judy Garland, the utilization of a large voice to do more than, just sing loudly. The utilization of a large voice to enhance key words and phrases to make a direct point. To convey a variety of emotions in just one word… or half of a sentence.
… with nary a false moment to detect…
Anyways… I don’t wanna go too deeply because I’d probably find a way to try to make you like every song she ever recorded…. and I won’t. But I’ll (of course) include a YouTube clip of her on Ready, Steady, Go! from 1964 of her singing “A Little More Love”
Enjoy it as the Sunday Soul it was meant to be.