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Barry Eugene White (September 12, 1944 – July 4, 2003) was an American record producer and singer responsible for the creation of numerous hit soul and disco songs. He conducted the Love Unlimited Orchestra, which consisted of live musicians, including string and percussion players. Records featuring White’s deep bass voice and suave delivery were often used by couples wishing to create a romantic ambience. He was often affectionately referred to as the “Maestro”
and “Walrus of Love”. All inclusive record sales of White’s music with
singles, albums, compilation usage and paid digital downloads as a
singer, songwriter and producer now exceed 100 million world-wide.
Though he was born in Galveston, Texas, he grew up in the high-crime areas of South Los Angeles, where he joined a gang at the age of 10, and subsequently, at 17, was jailed for four months for theft of $30,000 worth of Cadillac tires.
being jailed, 17-year-old White left gang life and began a musical
career at the dawn of the 1960s in singing groups before going out on
his own in the middle of the decade. What marginal success he had during
the 1960s would be as a songwriter; his songs were recorded by rock singer Bobby Fuller and TV bubblegum act The Banana Splits. In 1969, he found his break backing up three talented female singers in a girl group called Love Unlimited.
Formed to be another version of the legendary Motown girl group The Supremes,
the group would mold their talents with White for the next two years
until the group and White were signed to contracts to 20th Century Fox
Records. White produced, wrote and arranged the classic soul ballad,
“Walking in the Rain (With The One I Love)”. The song hit the Top 20 of
the pop charts.
group would score more hits throughout the ’70s and White eventually
married the lead singer of the group – Glodean James. While working on a
few demos for a male singer to sing, the record label suggested White
step out in front of the mic and not so much in the background. White
reluctantly agreed and the rest, as they say, is music history.
hits included “I’m Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby” (1973),
“Never, Never Gonna Give You Up” (1973), “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love,
Babe” (1974), “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything” (1974), “What
Am I Gonna Do With You” (1975), “Let the Music Play” (1976), “Your
Sweetness is My Weakness” (1978), “Change” (1982), “Sho’ You Right”
(1987), and “Practice What You Preach” (1994), among others.
He had been ill with chronically high blood pressure for some time, which resulted in renal failure in the autumn of 2002. He suffered a stroke in May 2003 (just one month after the same thing happened to another star singer, Luther Vandross), after which he was forced to retire from public life. On July 4, 2003, he died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in the West Hollywood area of Los Angeles. White was just 58. His death was reported as being from renal failure. His ashes were scattered by his family – and Michael Jackson – off the Hollywood coast.
Late in his life, White wished to be remembered as a good person who happened to be able to sing.
Barry White’s music was frequently showcased on the late-1990s television show Ally McBeal; the show often used esoteric references to what was going on inside character’s heads. In this case, John Cage (played by Peter MacNicol) would hear Barry White sing whenever he was sexually aroused. The use of his music on the show served to revitalize his career, and White eventually made a guest appearance in the show.
White was the model for the character of Chef in the cartoon series South Park. He was offered the role , but declined: as a devout Christian, White was uncomfortable with South Park’s often irreverent humor. Isaac Hayes took the part instead.
Barry had also made a few appearances on The Simpsons, one of which involved the use of his deep bass voice played through speakers placed on the ground to attract snakes.
On September 20, 2004 Barry was honored when he was inducted into Dance Music Hall of Fame at a ceremony held in New York, for his outstanding achievement as an artist.
Love Unlimited & Love Unlimited Orchestra
- 1972: From a Girl’s Point of View We Give to You
- 1973: Under the Influence Of
- 1974: Rhapsody in White
- 1974: Together Brothers
- 1974: In Heat
- 1974: White Gold
- 1975: Music Maestro Please
- 1976: My Sweet Summer Suite
- 1977: He’s All I’ve Got
- 1978: My Musical Bouquet
- 1979: Super Movie Themes, just a little bit different
- 1979: Love Is Back
- 1981: Let ‘Em Dance!
- 1981: Welcome Aboard
- 1983: Rise
- 1973: I’ve Got So Much to Give
- 1973: Stone Gon’
- 1974: Can’t Get Enough
- 1975: Just Another Way to Say I Love You
- 1976: Let the Music Play
- 1976: Is This Whatcha Want?
- 1977: Barry White Sings for Someone You Love
- 1978: The Man
- 1979: The Message Is Love
- 1979: I Love to Sing the Songs I Sing
- 1980: Sheet Music
- 1981: Barry & Glodean
- 1981: Beware!
- 1982: Change
- 1983: Dedica Ted
- 1987: The Right Night & Barry White
- 1989: The Man Is Back!
- 1991: Put Me In Your Mix
- 1992: Just For You (20-Jahre-Edition mit 3 CD?s)
- 1994: The Icon Is Love
- 1999: The Ultimate Collection
- 1999: Staying Power
Also Appears On
- 1999: The Prodigy Presents The Dirtchamber Sessions Volume One
- 1999-Current: Ed, Edd n Eddy (he doesn’t really appear, he’s just one of Eddy’s retro records)
Singles and US chart placings
- 1972 “Walkin’ In the Rain With the One I Love (#14 US)
- 1973 “It May Be Winter Outside (But In My Heart It’s Spring) (#83 US)
- 1974 “Under the Influence Of Love” (#76 US)
- 1975 “I Belong To You (#27 US)
Love Unlimited Orchestra
- 1974 “Love’s Theme” (#1 US)
- 1974 “Rhapsody In White” (#63 US)
- 1975 “Satin Soul” (#22 US, #11 Dance)
- 1976 “My Sweet Summer Suite” (#48 US) / “Brazillian Love Song” (#1 Dance – charted as double-sided hit on dance chart)
- 1977 “Theme From King Kong” (#68 US, #7 Dance)
- 1981 “Welcome Aboard” (#59 Dance)
- 1973 “I’m Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby” (#3 US)
- 1973 “I’ve Got So Much Love To Give” (#32 US)
- 1974 “Never, Never Gonna Give You Up” (#7 US)
- 1974 “Honey Please, Can’t Ya See” (#44 US)
- 1974 “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love Babe” (#1 US)
- 1975 “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything” (#2 US, #2 Dance)
- 1975 “What Am I Gonna Do With You” (#8 US)
- 1975 “I’ll Do For You Anything You Want Me To” (#40 US)
- 1976 “Let the Music Play” (#32 US)
- 1976 “Baby, We Better Try To Get It Together” (#92 US)
- 1977 “I’m Qualified To Satisfy You” (#30 Dance)
- 1977 “It’s Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me” (#4 US, #5 Dance)
- 1978 “Oh What a Night For Dancing” (#24 US)
- 1978 “Your Sweetness Is My Weakness” (#60 US, #16 Dance)
- 1990 “The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite)” (Quincy Jones with Al B. Sure!, James Ingram, El DeBarge and Barry White) (#31 US)
- 1994 “Practice What You Preach” (#18 US)
- 1995 “Come On” (#87 US)
- 1996 “Slow Jams” (Quincy Jones featuring Babyface, Tamia, Portrait and Barry White) (#68 US)