THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD
643) Barbara Lewis — “Baby That’s a No No”
Here is a late career classic that should have been a single, should have been a hit! Barbara grew up near Ann Arbor, Michigan, my home for law school. The Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame notes that she was discovered by former Ann Arbor disc jockey Ollie McLaughlin and that she is ranked “second to only Aretha Franklin in terms of chart success for female solo artists from the state of Michigan”. (https://michiganrockandrolllegends.com/index.php/mrrl-hall-of-fame/298-barbara-lewis)
“No No” appeared on Barbara’s ‘70 album for the Stax subsidiary Enterprise Records. Richie Unterberger says that:
Although this late-’60s album isn’t nearly as well known as Barbara Lewis’ poppier mid-’60s hits, this is excellent sweet soul that avoids slickness. . . . Lewis recorded this set of strong soul-pop in Chicago.
[The album] gave her sound a grittier approach, without compromising the smooth and poppy elements integral to the singer’s appeal. It passed mostly unnoticed . . . .
As Unterberger rightly proclaims, “[p]op-soul doesn’t get much better than Barbara Lewis, whose seductive, emotive croon took ‘Hello Stranger’ to number three in 1963.”(https://www.allmusic.com/artist/barbara-lewis-mn0000123132)
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