Betty Harris and the Breaking News Band

8 pm   $15.

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A Lady of R&B with a new band

Betty Harris- Vocalist
Tony Cafiero- piano, band director
Steve Clarke- bass
Tom McGregor- guitar
Ben Golder`novick-tenor & alto
Tom Smith- drums
Christina Clemons-vocals

“Betty Harris has a good claim to soul supremacy. Superlavtives are dangerous and silly but for my money, if risks are to be taken, she is quite simply the best soul singer caught on wax to date”, wrote Clive Anderson in his “Soul Book” from 1975, and many soul fans still agree with him today.Born on September 9th, 1943 in Orlando, Florida, mostly raised in Alabama, Betty Harris discovered music at an early age. As many other soul and funk artists, she had her start in the church, where she got the opportunity to sing lead once with legendary gospel singer Brother Joe May at the young age of 12. Influenced by the sound of BB King and Bobby Blue Bland, she soon developed an interest in secular music. She decided to leave Alabama to try her luck in New York City, soon finding work as a night club singer before being chosen by producer Zell Sanders (of Sally Go Round The Roses fame) as a member of girl group the Hearts. After her short stint as a member of the stints, she came under the wings of legendary R&B singer Big Maybelle, who mentored her and helped her find her own voice.

After a one-off (and now highly collectable) single on a small label out of California, Betty got her big break when she was invited to perform her own arrangement of Solomon Burke’s Cry To Me in front of producer Bert Berns. Feeling a deep connection with the lyrics, Betty had completely reworked Burke’s upbeat original into a slow burning blues ballad. Bert Berns loved what he heard, and Cry To Me, issued by Jubilee records, became Betty’s first hit single, making both the R&B charts and the Hot 100 ! It was followed by two other singles for Jubilee, before Betty was spotted during a gig at the Apollo by producer Allen Toussaint.

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