Smorgasbord Music Column 2022 – William Price King meets the Music Legends – Dionne Warwick – Into the 1970s

It is eight years since William Price King joined Smorgasbord to share music across the genres. It is six years since we have featured some of the music legends and delighted to showcase them again in 2022.

Dionne Warwick – The 1970s

Welcome to this week’s post on the wonderful Dionne Warwick who had enjoyed a fabulous 1960s working with the legendary Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Unfortunately the 1970s were not going to be so easy for this collaborative relationship nor Dionne Warwick’s career.

Dionne Warwick enters the 1970s with a second Grammy Award for her best-selling album “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again. This was a music first as she was the first African-American solo female artist of her generation to win the highly sought after award for Best Contemporary Female Vocalist Performance, which had only been awarded to another earlier legend, Ella Fitzgerald. Dionne Warwick 

Unfortunately the winning combination of Burt Bacharach and Hal David came to a very difficult split in 1972. Dionne Warwick had signed with Warner Bros records in 1971 and was contracted to produce an album of Bacharach and David compositions. This also fractured the long term collaboration with the singer, who was hurt by finding out in the newspapers that the music partnership was over. Threatened by a breach of contract suit by Warners, Dionne Warwick sued both Burt Bacharach and Hal David, eventually winning an out of court settlement.

“Then Came You,” which Warwick recorded with the groupThe Spinners was a 1974 Grammy nominated hit written by Sherman Marshall, Phillip T. Pugh and produced by Thom Bell. This song became Warwick’s first ever single to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became her highest charting R&B record reaching #2 on that chart. It became an RIAA certified gold record.

Unfortunately, despite the success of the song, Dionne Warwick hit a very touch patch both personally and professionally. Her marriage to Bill Elliott in 1967 which had produced two sons, came to an end in 1975, followed by the death of her father in 1969 and the ill-health of her mother.

Dionne turned to almost nonstop touring. “I felt I’d blow emotionally if I didn’t immerse myself in work. I pushed myself,” Warwick told Rich Wiseman of “People Magazine.

However, in 1979 she signed with Arista records, and label president Clive Davis, who had also been instrumental in the career of Warwick’s cousin, Whitney Houston, was excited and proud to have Warwick on his label.

Davis arranged for Barry Manilow to produce Warwick’s first Arista album,Dionne.” Warwick was uneasy at first about working with Manilow, fearing their differing styles would clash. She was especially concerned that the album might have a “disco” sound. Happily, the Warwick-Manilow collaboration was spectacularly successful, resulting in the hits “I’ll Never Love This Way Again” and “Deja Vu.”

“I’ll Never Love This Way Again” from the album “Dionne” was a Grammy Award-winning, Gold-certified 1979 hit for Miss Warwick. This song, composed by Richard Kerr and Will Jennings, was produced by Barry Manilow and reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #13 Billboard’s R&B chart.

The song won Warwick a 1980 Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. The tune was certified by the RIAA as Gold for sales of over 1 million copies and helped her Arista debut album, “Dionne,” be certified by the RIAA as Platinum for album sales of over 1 million copies.

“Deja Vu,” a ballad written by Issac Hayes and Adrienne Anderson was the second hit song for Warkick from her 1979 album “Dionne.” “Deja Vu” went to number fifteen on the Billboard Hot 100, number twenty-five on the Soul chart, and number one on the Adult Contemporary chart, early in 1980. Warwick won the Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for “Deju Vu” as well as winning Best Pop Female Vocal Performance for “I’ll Never Love This Way Again,” becoming the first artist ever to win the R&B and Pop categories on the same night.

The title song from her 1982 album Heart-beaker took her yet again to the top ten on the Billboard chart. The song was written by Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees, who also produced the album. Warwick admitted that she was not fond of “Heartbreaker” but recorded it because she trusted the Bee Gees’ judgment that it would be a hit.

It turned out to be Dionne’s most successful solo hit of the 1980s. Maurice Gibb, who was a co-writer of this song commented, “I cried my eyes out after we wrote it. I drove home and thought, ‘We should be doing this one’, and when she did it, it was brilliant. We sang on it, and it still became like a duet between the Bee Gees and Dionne Warwick.” The song reached the top of charts around the world and stands as one of Warwick’s biggest career hits. It was ranked as Billboard magazine’s 80th biggest US hit of 1983. In the UK Singles Chart, the track reached number 2 for two weeks in November 1982.

Buy the music of Dionne Warwick: Amazon

Additional material: Wikipedia

I hope you will join us again next week for the next part of the story of the incredible Dionne Warwick thanks William

William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.

His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.

While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.

Blog– IMPROVISATION William Price King on Tumblr – Buy William’s music: William Price King iTunes – FacebookWilliam Price King – Twitter@wpkofficial
Regular Venue – Cave Wilson

 

Thank you for dropping and as always William would love to receive your feedback… thanks Sally.

63 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Music Column 2022 – William Price King meets the Music Legends – Dionne Warwick – Into the 1970s

  1. I love the Bacharach/David stuff and it’s a shame that it all fell apart like that. Some of these were unfamiliar but I loved Heartbreaker! Many thanks. x

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have never read about or studied Ms. Warwick’s musical output. These posts are a great introduction to her spectacular career. I only tend to think about her early hits — but they kept on coming! Thank you, William and Sally!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great post that took me back a few decades. 🙂 I love Dionne and remember all of these songs, such classics. And Heartbreaker definitely had the sound of the Bee Gees. Thanks William and Sally!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for these songs.
    I certainly loved listeing to these all today.
    she had a great voice.
    Yes the Heartbreaker is equally as good with the Bee Gees too.
    Love her voice.
    Something to brighten up the morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – March 28th – April 3rd 2022 – Oscars, Chart Hits 1991, Cruising, B12, Book reviews, Podcast, Humour | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  6. A great series, and an iconic set of Warwick’s songs this week. Great to learn a bit more and to listen to her music. Thanks, William and thanks, Sally for bringing us all this music and knowledge.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for another fabulous Warwick chapter. It’s sad that she had heartbreak, yet she continued to sing hit after hit. So many great songs. I especially like “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” and “Then Came You.”

    Liked by 1 person

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