zondag 20 juni 2010

Turn the beat around - Vicki Sue Robinson

Vicki Sue Robinson was born on May 31, 1954 in Harlem, New York City and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of white folk singer Jolly Robinson and black Shakespearean actor Bill Robinson. (Robinson was actually part white, part black, and part Native American.) . At age sixteen Robinson was featured as a cast member in the Broadway stage production of the hit hippie counterculture musical "Hair." (Her other stage credits include a 1973 Broadway stage production of "Jesus Christ, Superstar," plus stage productions of the plays "Soon," "Long Time Coming, Long Time Gone," and "Voices from the Third World.") Vicki made her professional singing debut singing backing vocals on Todd Rundgren's album "Something, Anything." She acted in the movies "Going Home," "To Find a Man," "Gangsters," and "Red Lipstick." Robinson scored her greatest smash success with the rousing disco anthem "Turn the Beat Around" in 1976; the song was a #1 hit on the disco charts and peaked at #10 on the Billboard pop charts. Vicki was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "Turn the Beat Around" and was named the best new disco artist of the year by "Billboard" magazine. Although she never managed to either match or surpass the success of "Turn the Beat Around," Vicki nonetheless still had a long, varied and respectable show business career throughout the 80's and 90's. Robinson not only sang commercial jingles for such high profile clients as Gillette Razors, General Motors, Maybelline, Sprite, Downey Fabric Softener, Doublemint Gum, and Folgers Coffee, but also worked as a session singer on albums for such artists as Cher, Michael Bolton, Cyndi Lauper, and RuPaul. (She also sang backing vocals on Irene Cara's 1980 monster hit song "Fame.") In 1983 Vicki had a Top 5 hit in Australia with her disco cover of the classic Lulu song "To Sir, With Love." The substantial success of Gloria Estefan's 1994 cover of "Turn the Beat Around" sparked a resurgence in Robinson's career: She not only made guest appearances on numerous talk shows, but also recorded the song "My Stomp, My Beat" for the soundtrack of the film "Chasing Amy," embarked on a well-received world tour with fellow disco veterans Gloria Gayner, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Thelma Houston, and the Village People, and starred in her own acclaimed Off-Broadway stage show called "Vicki Sue Robinson: Behind the Beat" in 1999. Vicki Sue Robinson died from cancer at the tragically young age of 45 on April 27, 2000 at her home in Wilton, Connecticut.

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