Singer, actress, Grammy Award winner – Thelma Houston had a 1976 #1 hit with Don’t Leave Me This Way.
thelma houston fax
- Born Thelma Jackson in Leland, Mississippi, by the time she was 23, Thelma Houston was married, had two children, and was signed to Dunhill Records.
- Her first album, released in 1969, was produced by Jimmy Webb.
- In 1971, she signed with Motown Records with little success.
- As well as singing, Thelma loved acting. In 1974 she featured in The Marty Feldman Comedy Machine, playing various characters during the show’s skits. When the show was cancelled she worked on producing demo recordings and performing at small venues.
- She also took acting lessons while working on her musical career. It was a slow climb for her: she recorded Do You Know Where You’re Going To which was set for single release when it was pulled and the song given to Diana Ross to serve as the theme song for the movie Mahogany. She sang backing vocals for Jermaine Jackson on his album My Name Is Jermaine.
- Then in 1976, Thelma Houston released her third album, Any Way You Like It. The first single from that album, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes’ 1975 song Don’t Leave Me This Way, went straight to #1. It won Thelma a Grammy for Best Female R&B Performance in 1977. She never had another top ten single.
- Thelma still performs, however. She recently toured with Nile Rodgers and Chic.
- She has appeared in half a dozen films and a number of television programmes, along with being featured on a number of movie soundtracks.
don’t leave me this way fax
- Don’t Leave Me This Way was written by Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff and Cary Gilbert.
- The song has charted three times, first in 1975 as a hit for Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes featuring Teddy Pendergrass – #3 in the US and #5 in the UK. Next in 1977 as a #1 US hit for Motown artist Thelma Houston in 1977 (peaked at #13 in the UK. Then a third time for British group the Communards in 1986 (#1 in the UK and #40 in the US).
- Thelma Houston’s version was originally to be recorded by Diana Ross as a follow-up to Love Hangover. It was handed onto Thelma – some justice after she’d lost Do You Know Where You’re Going To to Diana.
- Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Thelma’s version became an unofficial theme song for the AIDS epidemic in gay male communities of the west.
- The song appeared in the stage show, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and in the movie, The Martian (2015).
- Cher has also covered the song in her live shows.
- Don’t Leave Me This Way lyrics.
don’t leave me this way – thelma houston – 1976 – video
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