Classics: Loleatta Holloway – Hit And Run (Walter Gibbons Mix) (Gold Mind Records)
A Gospel/Soul singer, Loleatta Holloway most likely transformed her status when signing on Norman Harris’ Gold Mind’ label back in 1976.
‘Hit And Run’, the opening cut to her ‘Loleatta’ album which marked her debut for the label, stands as one of her signature cuts. As to Walter Gibbons‘ masterpieces in terms of post-production. Propelling both of them at the top of the Disco scene. With Holloway as the diva responsible for extra gems such as ‘Love Sensation’ and ‘Run Away’. And Gibbons as a driving force to count with in the then emerging mixing/remixing circuit. Crafting classics such as The Joubert Singers‘ ‘Stand On The Word’. But also Double Exposure‘s ‘Ten Percent’. Not to mention Gladys Knight‘s ‘It’s A Better Than Good Time’.
Hard to believe 40 years have gone since ‘Hit And Run’ saw the light. Don’t you think?
A Chicago, IL native, Loleata Holloway spent most of her life in the Windy City. She started singing in her teens along with her mom’s group, The Holloway Community Singers. She then joined famed Gospel group The Caravans in the mid-60’s. A couple of years later, she met her future producer, manager, and husband Floyd Smith. Together, they released ‘Rainbow ’71’, a Curtis Mayfield song which Gene Chandler had recorded back in 1963.
Holloway signed a recording contract with Atlanta-based Soul Music label Aware. There, she recorded recorded two albums – ‘Loleatta’ (1973) and ‘Cry To Me’ (1975) – both of them produced by Floyd Smith. The title track from the second album eventually rose to #10 Billboard R&B and #68 on the Hot 100. But before the label could really establish her, it went out of business.
After the Aware label folded, Loleata switched to Norman Harris‘ Gold Mind label, a subsidiary of New York’s Salsoul Records. There, she delivered a string of Disco classics. From ‘Hit & Run’ produced by Norman Harris with mixing work courtesy of Walter Gibbons. To ‘Runaway’ along with the Salsoul Orchestra. Not to mention ‘Love Sensation’ produced by Dan Hartman with whom she also recorded ‘Relight My Fire’…
She jumped into House vibes back in 1987, releasing the Farley Jackmaster Funk produced ‘So Sweet’ on the then emerging DJ International Records label. Extra recognition coming soon after, after Italian studio project Black Box used her vocal part from ‘Love Sensation’ on ‘Ride On Time’. Holloway, however, didn’t get credited for this, but successfully sued the group, which led to an undisclosed court settlement in her favor. She eventually collaborated with another Italian act by the likes of Cappella with both of them dropping the classic ‘Take Me Away’ in 1992.
Loleata also recorded with producers such as Cevin Fisher, GTS and Fire Island. Eventually sharing the vocal duties with Jocelyn Brown on AgeHA‘s 2003 ‘A Better World’ on King Street.
The posthumous ‘Can’t Let Go’ is her latest release to date. Writen and produced by long time friend Yvonne Turner who happened to sing backing vocals on Loleata Holloway‘s 1992 ‘Strong Enough’ on Active Records.
Loleata Holloway sadly passed from heart failure on Mar. 21, 2011, aged 64.
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