"The little girl with the big voice," Timi Yuro was America's finest white soul singer of the 1960s. Her million-selling debut single, "Hurt," introduced a performer of such profound poignancy and depth that many listeners assumed she was a man, an African-American, or both, and while Yuro never again achieved the same commercial heights, her finest records deserve mention in the same breath as Aretha Franklin, Irma Thomas, and the other soul queens of the era. Born Rosemary Timothy Yuro in Chicago on August 4, 1940, she was the product of an Italian-American family that owned a local restaurant; as a child she received voice lessons, and according to legend, her nanny Mrs Houston also snuck her into the Windy City's legendary blues clubs, where Timi (a childhood nickname) witnessed life-altering live appearances by singers Dinah Washington and Mildred Bailey. After adopting the phonetic spelling of their surname, the Yuro family relocated to Los Angeles in 1952, where Timi studied under voice coach Dr. Lillian Goodman. By the middle of the decade, Yuro was performing in nightclubs, much to the chagrin of her parents. However, her subsequent performances at their Hollywood restaurant Alvoturnos would not only pull back the eatery from the brink of bankruptcy, but vault it into the ranks of Tinseltown's hottest destinations.
A late 1959 Alvoturnos performance convinced Liberty Records talent scout Sonny "Confidential" Knight to recommend Yuro to label head Al Bennett, who immediately offered the singer a recording contract. But Yuro found Liberty's choice of material so frustrating that after months of recording lightweight demos ill-matched to her resonant, commanding voice, she crashed a 1961 label board meeting, vowing to Bennett and his colleagues to tear up her contract if they did not let her cut more appropriate material. She then performed an a cappella reading of the 1954 Roy Hamilton R&B hit "Hurt," so impressing the Liberty brass that in June 1961 Yuro entered the studio with producer Clyde Otis to record the song for posterity. A remarkably mature and assured debut record, "Hurt" peaked at number four on the Billboard pop charts that autumn, in addition to reaching number 22 on the R&B charts. No doubt viewers on both sides of the color line were shocked when Yuro's accompanying television appearances revealed this deeply emotional ballad was the work of a 20-year-old white woman less than five feet tall. Her follow-up single, a cover of the Charlie Chaplin composition "Smile," climbed to the number 42 spot in late 1961, and Liberty wrapped up the year with the release of "I Believe," a one-off effort pairing the singer with pop heartthrob Johnnie Ray.
Yuro spent early 1962 opening for Frank Sinatra on a brief tour of Australia. While the exposure no doubt boosted her profile, it was instrumental in crystallizing the growing public perception that she was more a cabaret performer than a soul singer, an image that was further established with her fourth single, a revival of "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" that went only as high as number 66 on the pop charts but cracked the easy listening Top 20. And despite its title, Yuro's sophomore LP, Soul!, proved to be a collection of standards, although she returned to her R&B roots with the superb Drifters homage "Count Everything." During sessions for her next effort, "What's a Matter Baby," producer Otis abruptly quit Liberty, and the masters were handed to his interim replacement, Phil Spector. The completed single bears all the hallmarks of the classic Spector sound, from its elegant string arrangement to its insistent rhythm to Yuro's righteously indignant vocal, and would prove her biggest hit since "Hurt," reaching number 12 on the pop charts and number 16 on its R&B counterpart. The team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David penned Yuro's next single, "The Love of a Boy," which climbed to number 44 in early 1963. Its follow-up, "Insult to Injury," went no higher than number 81 when it hit radio a few months later.
Following Ray Charles' successful embrace of country & western material, Yuro next covered Hank Cochran's "Make the World Go Away," scoring her last significant U.S. chart hit when the single reached number 24 on the pop charts and number eight on the easy listening chart. An album of country covers, also titled Make the World Go Away, yielded two more minor hits -- "Gotta Travel On" and "Permanently Lonely" -- and in the wake of 1964's "Should I Ever Love Again," Yuro cut ties with Liberty, signing to Mercury to release "If," which stalled at number 120. Her third Mercury effort, a rendition of Roy Hamilton's "You Can Have Him," was her only release on the label to crack the Hot 100, limping to the number 96 slot in early 1965.
Teddy Randazzo authored Yuro's next release, the sublime "Get Out of My Life," and while the record was a commercial stiff, its flip side, "Can't Stop Running Away," would later resurface as a favorite of Britain's Northern soul community. Yuro returned to her Italian origins with the 1965 release "Ti Credo," recorded for entry in Italy's annual San Remo Festival. Her profile back home in the U.S. was by now virtually nonexistent, however, and subsequent Mercury releases including 1966's "Don't Keep Me Lonely Too Long" and the next year's bluesy cover of Johnny "Guitar" Watson's "Cuttin' In" went nowhere.
In 1967, Yuro appeared in a black-and-white film in the Philippines as a guest star alongside Filipino comedians Dolphy and Panchito in a comedy titled Buhay Marino (Life of a Sailor). At that time, the singer was very popular in the Philippines. According to Timi she did two movies in the Philippines.
Yuro finally returned to Liberty in early 1968, traveling to Britain to cut her proposed comeback single, "Something Bad on My Mind." The finished product was her strongest release in some time, but went nowhere. Her breathtaking theme song to the Douglas Sirk film Interlude followed, and met a similarly grim fate (although Morrissey and Siouxie Sioux covered the tune a quarter century later); "It'll Never Be Over for Me" also stiffed, but also became a Northern soul perennial, with original copies changing hands for over 100 pounds a copy. A concert LP, Live at PJ's, was scheduled for release in the summer of 1969, but withdrawn just days prior to hitting retail. Yuro again left Liberty soon after, this time relocating to Las Vegas after her marriage in 1969
She performed only sporadically in the decade to follow, briefly resurfacing in 1975 on the short-lived Playboy label with "Southern Lady," which stalled at the number 108 spot.
According to the obituary in the Las Vegas Sun, her hometown paper, Yuro's most famous fan was probably Elvis Presley who commanded his own table at the casino where Yuro headlined in the late 1960s. (Presley had a Top 10 country hit with his 1976 version of "Hurt".)
For Willie Mitchell's Frequency imprint, Yuro cut a stunning cover of Toussaint McCall's "Nothing Takes the Place of You" in 1979. A year later, she was diagnosed with throat cancer, but recovered to cut several LPs for the Dutch market as well as 1982's Timi Yuro Today, produced and financed by longtime friend Willie Nelson. Two years later she was forced to undergo a tracheotomy operation, effectively ending her singing career. She died March 30, 2004, at the age of 63
Timi Yuro (Rosemary Timothy Yuro) was born on August 4, 1940 in Chicago, Illinois.
Her Italian grandparents spoke no English when they came to the USA. This ancestry went on to create one of the greatest American Northern soul and R&B singers of all time.
She is considered to be one of the first "blue-eyed" soul stylists of the rock era and the first white female artist to sing at New York's legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem. Timi (also known as Tim, and Rosemary to friends) moved with her family to Los Angeles.
There, she sang in her parents' Italian restaurant and in local clubs before catching the eye and ear of record executives. Signed to Liberty Records, she had a Top Ten hit in 1961 with "Hurt" that charted #4 on Billboard's Pop Chart, an R&B ballad that had been an early success for Roy Hamilton. On "Hurt" and on her Billboard #12 follow-up, "What's a Matter Baby (Is It Hurting You?)", Yuro showed an emotional but elegant vocal style that owed a debt to Dinah Washington and other black jazz singers, she saw as a child. Phil Spector lent his touch, so the catchy wall-of-sound song of revenge, has a timeless sound.
Many listeners in the early 1960s thought Yuro was black. Others thought she was a Japanese boy. She opened for Frank Sinatra on his 1962 tour of Australia, getting rave reviews and causing some unfavorable comparisons for Frank. He never asked her again, but they were life long friends.
In 1963, Yuro released Make the World Go Away, an album of country and blues standards. Timi was at her vocal peak. This recording includes a powerful title track of the same name, which charted #22 on Billboard. She does a beautifully understated version of Willie Nelson's "Permanently Lonely", and two different blues takes of "I'm Movin' On", which was her secret code for leaving Liberty Records.
In 1964, she signed on with Mercury Records and made a string of singles that did not fare well. A couple crept into the Billboard Bubbling Under the Hot Hundred Charts. She did, however, team up with producer Quincy Jones, to make one of her finest albums and her personal favorite, "The Amazing Timi Yuro".
This R&B classic is a lush, plush Quincy production all the way. Sadly the album did not do well, as this was the beginning of the British Invasion.
In 1965, she travelled all over the UK with Quincy Jones, promoting her records and ended up in Italy for the San Remo Festival. Competing with Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark and Shirley Bassey, she won accolades and an award for her rendition of Ti Credo. She also appeared in a live televised concert on Italian television, which received rave reviews.
Disappointed with her general lack of success at Mercury in the American market, she signed another contract with Liberty in 1968. Her one last effort there was the fantastic LP "Something Bad on My Mind".
To this very day, her original Northern Soul classic "It'll Never Be Over For Me" 45 rpm record, which was only issued in the UK, has sold on Ebay for an astonishing $1000.00 to $1800.00 when it rarely comes up for auction.
Timi, while still under contract to Liberty, went back to Italy for the 1968 San Remo Festival, in which her rendition of Le Solite Cose, again won over the Italian critics. One last album was slated by Liberty, which was Timi's Live at PJ's album, but for some reason, it was shelved.
It later appeared on a the rare Timi Yuro Album released by United Artists in 1976, and only in part. Fortunately, RPM Records in the UK has recently released the entire concert album plus outtakes. By 1969, Timi had performed in venues all over the USA, Europe, Australia and the Orient.
Sadly the Beatles and the British Invasion had taken their toll on Timi's and so many other artists of the 1960's, that her career soon lost its momentum, and she quit the music business altogether after her marriage in 1972.
Her next attempt to return was in 1975, when she signed with Playboy label and recorded Southern Lady. This effort crept into the Hot 100 for one week and then vanished forever.
Her last attempt was in 1979, with the Frequency release of "When Something's Wrong with My Baby". This went nowhere. After all these years, Timi had charted 10 hits in the top 100, 3 in the top 40.
In 1979, Timi was diagnosed with throat cancer and was told she would never sing again. However, by 1981, after surgery and a clean bill of health, Timi began to sing again. She amazingly not only had her voice restored, but her voice had a new depth, richness and profound maturity.
Then seemingly out of nowhere came a letter from an unknown to Timi record producer in Holland. Being a long time fan, he proposed she record an album of standards for the Dureco label in the Benelux.
He told her what songs to sing. She rerecorded her hits Hurt, What's a Matter Baby and Make the World Go Away; plus the Brenda Lee hits All Alone Am I and I'm Sorry; Cry by Johnnie Ray; and other songs by the Righteous Brothers, Kitty Kallen, Buddy Holly, Joan Weber, Elvis Presley, Little Anthony & the Imperials, Vikki Carr, the Platters, Ray Charles, and other hits of the 1950's and 60's Yuro contemporaries.
The 1981 album "All Alone Am I" was a huge smash. When she attended the Record 10 Gala, which was televised, she tore the roof off. Her renditions of Hurt, You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling and All Alone Am I, had the Dutch audience of 10,000 people standing and screaming to the point the auditorium appeared it might collapse.
The ovation and flowers flooded the stage and the album rushed to the top of the charts giving Timi a Triple Platinum LP and two top singles, Hurt (for the second time) and All Alone Am I (Brenda, eat your heart out!).
This vinyl LP (3 x Triple Platinum in the Benelux) brought her from nearly forgotten obscurity to major stardom in the Netherlands.
More success followed with her 1982 album "I'm Yours" which also topped the charts, as did her single version of the Bobby Helms classic, "You Are My Special Angel".
Soon another LP followed in the same year, "Today" which was a very personal effort she made with Willie Nelson, with both Willie dueting and playing for Timi on some tracks.
In 1983, Arcade Records released some new Timi treasures "With a Song in My Heart", "Crying in the Chapel", "All in the Game" and "I Love You for Sentimental Reasons". These songs released on the LP "For Sentimental Reasons" turned out to be the very last new Yuro recordings she would ever record and some of the hardest to still obtain.
Her doctors redetected the throat cancer in 1985. Unable to sing, her larynx and a lung were eventually removed. We were most fortunate that Timi amazingly had that one more chance to made the string of incredible Northern Soul recordings before losing her voice permanently.
Valiantly she fought cancer, but on March 30, 2004 in Las Vegas, she succumbed to brain cancer. Her voice will never be stilled. Timi's work is admired in the United States as well as in Great Britain, the Netherlands and throughout the world.
Her fans have included Elvis Presley (who had a Top 10 country hit with his 1976 version of "Hurt" and asked her blessing before recording it) and Morrissey, "who did his own version of Timi's "Interlude". P.J. Proby knew Timi Yuro from their time in Hollywood together, and often mentions it during his performances of "Hurt".
Although Timi is the only person who is solely identified with the song, others who recorded it were Juice Newton, Dinah Washington, Carly Simon and Connie Francis.
Along with Frank Sinatra, her many friends included Diana Ross (who she called "Sis")and Mary Wilson (Supremes), Lou Christie, Brenda Lee, Dusty Springfield, Lesley Gore, Bobby Darin ("who taught me everything I know about singing on stage", Johnnie Ray, Connie Francis and Elvis (When you've been kissed by Elvis Presley, honey, you've been kissed!!!").
She is survived by her husband and her daughter Milan; three grandchildren Sienna, Nico and Italia and brother, Tony.
The White Soul of Timi Yuro
By Kathleen C. Richardson
In the summer of 1961 with the release of the R&B ballad ‘Hurt’, Timi Yuro broke barriers by becoming America’s first white female soul singer. The song, a hit for Roy Hamilton in 1958, was performed with such soaring power and palpable emotion listeners on both sides of the color line assumed she was black. Even the great Ray Charles (with whom Timi shared the bill at the Fox Theatre in Detroit in September 1961) would not be convinced that she was white. When she performed at the famed Apollo Theatre in Harlem that year, the black audience audibly gasped when, to their astonishment, a tiny white girl entered the stage, although her rousing performance of ‘Hurt’ quickly won over the famously demanding audience.
Rosemary Timothy Yuro inherited heir feisty nature and her innate musical ability from her Italian grandmother, Vincenzina, and was encouraged to sing from an early age. Her mother, Edith, arranged for singing lessons where the young prodigy studied songs like ‘Vesti la guibba’ from Leoncavallo’s opera Pagliacci, Cole Porter’s ‘So in Love’ from the Broadway hit ‘Kiss Me Kate’ and the popular ‘Poor Butterfly’ from ‘The Big Show’ which she learned to sing in an accomplished soprano.
Under the name Bambina Rosemary she would often perform at her grandmother’s bar located on Chicago’s notoriously crime-ridden south side. Detesting the inebriated and otherwise unsavory clientele, Rosemary found reward when she could escape the bar and run downstairs to the basement apartment of a black couple, the Houston’s who worked for her grandmother. Here Mrs. Houston would entertain her with the latest recordings of popular black artists. Rosemary was intrigued and excited by what she heard. The rhythms and feelings of the songs by Mildred Bailey (the big lady with the little voice) and a local singer who would eventually become known as the Queen of Soul, Dinah Washington, were so full of life, so full of feeling, so different from the opera she had been learning. Occasionally the couple would bring her along to attend the local Baptist church where she was exposed to the excitement and fervor of black gospel music and she loved every minute of it.
Her father, Louie was a domineering and abusive Italian man, particularly to his wife, who, after years of working in a candy factory and cooking spaghetti had lost the shapely figure of her youth and become quite heavy. As for his daughter, he tolerated the opera lessons but would not abide her singing the type of songs she was learning at the Houston’s and would smack her about when she tried. Rosemary’s older brother Tony escaped the melee by joining the marines at 17, forging his mother’s signature on the enlistment papers since he was underage. Unfortunately for him, the Korean War was in full swing and he found himself in midst of the worst battle of the war. Wounded, he was returned to Camp Pendleton in Southern California to recuperate. When his parents and sister traveled out to California to see him, the exposure to the comfortable climate in the ‘land of opportunity’ convinced them to leave Chicago. Louie secured a transfer with the Pie Oh My Pizza crust company and they settled into a little white frame house in the predominantly Jewish neighborhood of West Hollywood.
The adjustments to the move proved difficult for Rosemary. Far from the life she knew in her old Italian neighborhood where extended family lived close by and weekly family gatherings were commonplace, she felt like an outsider among the more sophisticated Jewish girls. She coped by throwing herself into music, singing herself in her room and beginning to write her own songs. Edith arranged for an audition with the well-known ‘vocal coach to the stars’ Lillian Goodman. Under the tutelage, Rosemary’s singing progressed and she even made some of her first recordings. After Louie suffered a mild heart attack, Lillian waived her rather steep fee she was so impressed by Rosemary’s abilities. With Louie out of work and to make ends meet, Edith opened a pizza parlor close to downtown LA. The eatery quickly became popular with the locals. Rosemary helped out in the kitchen, serving and cashiering. Sometimes customers could hear her singing in the kitchen and, to her delight, they would ask her to come out to perform for them.
Rosemary attended Fairfax High School, known for its many famous alumni, not least of which were Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller who crafted many of Elvis’ hits. She typically kept to herself, but one day as she walked down the school hallway, a schoolmate who had apparently seen her full name on some papers in class, called out to her tauntingly, ‘Hey Timothy!’ Rosemary ignored the tease, but as other heard it, the name stuck. Realizing it wasn’t going to go away, her girlfriend suggested that she change the spelling to a more feminine Timi and thus was born Timi Yuro. She joined the schools a Capella choir where two of her choir mates were Phil Spector and Marshall Lieb. Phill and Marshall would soon form a group called the Teddy Bears and have a huge hit with ‘To Know Him is to Love Him’. Spector would later move on to become the famed record producer and creator of the early ‘60’s ‘Wall of Sound’ after producing Timi’s second biggest and most influential hit, ‘What’s a Matter Baby’. Marshall Lieb would also go on to produce her final album with Liberty Records, ‘Something Bad on My Mind’.
Her father had always been a strict disciplinarian, but with her teenage years upon her, Rosemary began to rebel more than ever and the atmosphere at home became increasingly difficult. When she was 16, she met an Italian guy five years her senior who had recently relocated from the east. She admired his fine Italian suits, flashy car and assured demeanor. Hoping this was an opportunity to escape the volatility at home, the couple was married in June of 1957. But happiness at her newfound freedom soon turned to tears as her husband began to beat her. Upon learning of her daughter’s predicament, Edith promptly brought her back home and after only six months of marriage filed divorce papers.
Having left school due to her brief marriage, Rosemary turned to helping out full time at the pizza parlor and promised her parents to get her diploma by attending night school. The experience, however, had made her more determined than ever to make it as a singer. She had met a guy named Raul at the pizza parlor, and since he was over 21, he would sneak her into clubs at night. Raul worked as an entertainer/dancer in some of the Sunset Blvd night clubs and had connections in the music business. During one of these outings they went to see a young singer by the name of Troy Walker. His Irish-Cherokee heritage blessed him with stunning good looks and he had a wonderful singing voice. At Raul’s encouragement, Rosemary went up to sing with him and the sound they made together was fantastic. Rosemary began joining him on various gigs from bar mitzvahs, to sock hops to local night spots.
Moving around in the LA music circles, Rosemary eventually crossed paths with guitarist Larry Bright. Born Julian Ferebee Bright in Virginia, his family moved to Texas and placed him in the care of a black nanny who referred to him as her ‘l’il whit bastard’. She taught him in the ways of voodoo and Southern Texas blues. After a brief stint in the Navy he decided to try break into the burgeoning LA music scene, often sitting in with the house band at The Sea Witch, a Sunset Blvd dive bar. He quickly gained a reputation as a dynamic guitarist and heavy drinker with a penchant for odd behavior. Larry proved to be his own worst enemy, losing out on a number of opportunities that could have brought him fame and fortune except for his loud mouth and drunken ways and, ultimately had only one hit ‘Mojo Workout’ in 1960. Despite his bad behavior, Rosemary was smitten by his blonde good looks and undeniable musical talent. Once she had her mind made up there was no turning back. They began a passionate and often tumultuous relationship due to Larry’s constant womanizing. He eventually deserted her by running off to Las Vegas to marry an attractive redhead named Diane. The betrayal left her shattered and she fell into a deep depression.
With hopes of cheering her daughter up and with buoyed by the success of the pizza parlor, Edith decided she wanted to further improve the family finances by opening a fashionable Italian restaurant. With backing from her mother, Edith opened the restaurant which she named Alvolturno’s, after her mother’s birthplace in Italy. Located on Pico Blvd, it was sandwiched between a Jewish neighborhood to the north and an Hispanic neighborhood to the south. As a result demand for upscale Italian food never materialized. It wasn’t long before the restaurant was on the brink of bankruptcy. Rosemary, with the encouragement of her friend Raul and duet partner Troy, suggested that her parents put in a stage and create a rock ‘n roll venue on the weekends. Louie was against the idea at first, but finally relented when he realized it was that or certain failure. Besides, at least if his daughter were performing there, it would be much easier to keep track of her. Flyers were put up at all the local high schools and local rock bands engaged. Edith, a character in her own right, greeted the kids at the door with ‘I don’t want no benzedeenies or no pop here, I gonna break your legs’ (referring to Benzedrine a.k.a. speed and pot a.k.a. marijuana). In any event, the first weekend was a huge financial success. Subsequent events were equally popular and it became a regular hot spot on the local music scene.
There was no lack of talent willing to play for a plate of spaghetti and many future stars spent time performing at what became known as Mama’s. Rosemary would get up and sing tear-jerking songs in her passionate, operatic style while Raul performed as a dancing waiter. PJ Proby washed dishes and performed with Marshall Lieb as the Moondogs, the Chordials performed (Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett later of ‘Monster Mash’ fame was the bass singer), Johnny Rivers played guitar, and Sonny Knight would stop in to play piano and sing. Sonny (Joseph Coleman Smith) had a hit in 1956 with ‘Confidential’ an R&B ballad sung in a controlled vibrato that reached #17 on the pop charts. Since then he had been working as a session pianist and for Liberty Records as an A&R man. He recognized Rosemary’s talent immediately and he and Rosemary spent many hours after the restaurant closed at night working to develop her own style. He was eventually able to interest Liberty in signing her although the studio brass was only interested in Timi and Troy as a duo. After realizing that Troy (who was Gay) was much too flamboyant for their tastes, they quickly lost interest.
Nevertheless, Rosemary was able to get some solo recording dates but found the music and the arrangements were uninspired or just plain corny. Her recording of ‘That’s Amore’ from that period sounds almost like a television commercial and shows none of her signature passion or formidable vocal range. Rosemary confided to her mother her frustration at her treatment but it didn’t seem there was much they could do about it since Liberty had her under contract.
It all came to a head when Rosemary discovered that a guy she had been dating named Joe was sleeping with her singing partner, Troy. Livid at yet another betrayal, she realized she had to get out of her contract with Liberty and make it on her own. She knew there were plenty of small labels in LA willing to sign her and let her sing what and how she wanted. Liberty headquarters was located on Sunset Blvd, within a mile or two of Rosemary’s home so she made an appointment to see Al Bennett, Liberty’s VP at the time. With Sonny waiting for her across the street at IHOP (a popular pancake house), Rosemary sat waiting for three days to confront the record executive. Finally, on Friday June 16, 1961, when the secretary left to go to the ladies room, she saw her chance and burst into his office. Distraught at seeing him sitting around playing cards with some other Liberty management, she delivered her ultimatum. The surprised executive called her bluff and asked to hear her sing. She complied by singing a few bars of ‘Hurt’ which she and Sonny had spent innumerable hours working on. Duly impressed, Al called for Clyde Otis, one of the first black record executives who had worked with Rosemary’s idol Dinah Washington and directed Brook Benton’s career, to hear her. Sonny was dispatched from the pancake house to play piano. Although Clyde was initially skeptical that a white girl could sing with soul, he was astounded by what he heard.
Realizing they had a hit in the making, a recording date was set for early next week. At the session they recorded the two ballads ‘Hurt’ and ‘I Apologize’ in addition to ‘I’m confessin (that I love you) (originally slated as a follow-up to ‘Hurt’) and ‘A Little Bird Told Me’ an upbeat song with a James Burton-like guitar riff in the middle. ‘I Apologize’ was selected for the ‘B’ side to ‘Hurt’ which was an unfortunate choice as it turned out to be a hit at his own right. The single was issued by the end of the week and sold at least 100,000 copies in LA alone. On July 22 Rosemary traveled to Philadelphia to perform the song on American Bandstand and two days later ‘Hurt’ entered the Billboard Top 100 chart. The ‘little girl with the big voice’ was born.
From the biography ‘The original White Soul Diva-The life and music of Timi Yuro’ by Kathleen C. Richardson. (awaiting publication)
Timi Yuro Chart Positions U.S. Hot 100
1979 "When something is wrong with my baby" (Frequency 101) -
Liberty Records was a United States-based record label. It was started by chairman Simon Waronker in 1955 with Alvin Bennett as president and Theodore Keep as chief engineer. It was reactivated in 2001 in the United Kingdom and had two previous revivals.
In 1957, Liberty acquired the jazz label, Pacific Jazz Records. In 1963, the Liberty Records label was sold to Avnet (an electronics corporation) for $12 million. Avnet also bought Blue Note Records, Imperial Records, Dolton Records, Aladdin Records and Minit Records. After two years of losses, Avnet sold the labels back to Al Bennett for $8 million.
In 1966, a reissue label, Sunset Records, was started to deal with previously issued records from the new labels. Liberty recordings were first distributed in England by Decca Records on London Records, then by EMI, which released the recordings on the Liberty label.
Liberty established a branch office in London, which signed acts such as the Bonzo Dog Band. Ron Kass, onetime president of Liberty Records, later became the head of the Beatles' record label, Apple Records. In 1968, Liberty was bought for $38 million by Transamerica Corporation (an insurance company) and combined with their other label United Artists Records.
Transamerica was unfamiliar with the recording industry; Alvin Bennett was fired after six months and things evolved from bad to worse. The company shut down Dolton and transferred Dolton's artists to Liberty; later they shut down Imperial and Minit and transferred their artists to Liberty.
Finally, in 1971, all releases were shifted to United Artists Records and Liberty Records was no more. In 1978, Artie Mogull and Jerry Rubinstein acquired United Artists and Liberty Records (with money they borrowed from Capitol Records). In February of 1979, EMI foreclosed on them and has owned the rights of the Liberty labels since then.
In 1980, EMI dropped the United Artists name and revived the Liberty name. Initially, EMI used Liberty to reissue the United Artists, Liberty and Imperial catalogues. From 1980 until 1984, Capitol used Liberty as a country label, featuring such artists as Kenny Rogers.
In 1992, EMI renamed its Capitol-Nashville Records label to Liberty Records (featuring Garth Brooks), before switching back to the Capitol Nashville name three years later.
Records artists were:
The Bonzo Dog Band
Bud & Travis
Johnny Duffy, aka John Duffy
Eddie & the Showmen
Ricky Lynn Gregg
Jan & Dean
Gary Lewis & The Playboys
The Johnny Mann Singers
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Patience & Prudence
Ike & Tina Turner