Today I’m stepping out of the time warp of the 60s, into my own actual Childhood in the 1980s to praise on of the contemporary voices of my childhood.
Latina Siren Angela Bofill
One of the voices that I *still* think that “if” I ever were to sing… who would I want to emulate (no matter how queeny that would make me) hers was one of the first, her string of moderate R&B hits that filled my childhood all of a sudden came to me last night during a bout of insomnia to ease my addled mind.
Bronx born in 1954, she debuted with the solemn plea “I Try” an evolution of torch songs like “The Man That Got Away” and “Since I Fell For You”, you know, those ballads that never seem to get old
And then followed it with a cover of Martha Reeves “This Time I’ll be Sweeter”
But her real breakthrough was her Too Tough LP of 1983 including it’s penultimate R&B single of the same name:
and well the ballad that came to my rescue to last night, the #12 R&B “Tonight I Give In”
It was a typical early 80s ballad, not different than anything Staci Lattishaw, Deniece Williams or Whitney Houston was charting with…. but that’s neglecting the beautiful, rich thick contralto that was such a blessing to Angela’s voice, more of a 1950s torch singers voice dropped into “Quiet Storm” R&B makes her stand out.
And that oh so charming Bronx accent appearing in her phrasing.
But, for some reason by the middle of the decade, and her lack of crossing over to the larger pop market like her contemporaries I just missed her career seemed to stall, despite efforts (although still mining the same Torch Soul vein) such as “I’m On Your Side”
And throughout the rest of the 80s and into the early 90s artistically she wasn’t, or by choice didn’t “evolve” as music changed, for better and for worse, but constantly toured and performed until she suffered back to back strokes that left her partially paralyzed between 2006 and 2007.
As I checked her website though, it seems that she was released from nursing home care in Santa Rosa this past Christmas and is still doing therapy to gain back her mobility and, hopefully her ability to perform.
As someone that has been a lifelong fan, here’s hoping in the year 2010 brings the Beuatiful “Angel of the Night” much prosperity and health.