Monday, December 11, 2006

Georgia Gibbs, R. I. P.

The voice of "Her Nibs, Miss Georgia Gibbs" was a big part of my childhood. "Kiss of Fire" is one I fondly remember, and in fact I have a CD of Gibbs' greatest hits. She had a terrific voice, and she was still performing until fairly recently. She felt she'd been unfairly attacked to covering the records of black artists, and it's a shame that she's best remembered for doing that.

'50s Pop Singer Georgia Gibbs Dies at 87 - "Georgia Gibbs, a versatile singer who starred on the popular show 'Your Hit Parade' and reached the top of the charts in the 1950s with covers of songs by black artists, has died. She was 87.

Gibbs died Saturday at New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, family friend Leslie Gottlieb said. The cause was complications from leukemia.

Among her 15 Top 40 hits, mostly for Mercury Records, was the tango-based 'Kiss of Fire,' which went to No. 1 in 1952.

But she is known historically - and controversially - as one of the whites who gained success in the 1950s covering rhythm and blues hits by black artists, sometimes upstaging the original versions with sanitized lyrics."


Allan Rast said...

I recall her song from the 1950s, "Dance With Me, Henry." I liked it so well that I bought one of those "Best of" CDs a few years ago that had the song on it. It also had "Seven Lonely Days" on it. That song was big back in the mid '50s. Do you know if she had the hit on it or was it someone else?

I still think '50s music is the best there is.

Thanks for the post; I didn't see this in the paper.

Bill said...

"Seven Lonely Days" was another one I loved. I think her version was the hit, and it deserved to be.

Allan Rast said...

My father was TDY in 1954 to Germany and came back with several 78s in German, one of which was "Seven Lonely Days." Same music but the lyrics were all in German. I've held on to those 78s all these years.

Bill said...

No surprise there, Allan. Not that I blame you one bit.