Music story guest blog by Ruddy Adam.
I suppose everybody has to have one claim to fame. This is ours, however fleeting and however small our involvement. I doubt this girl would know us from a melted snowball, but we did have a part in her career, though no doubt someone would have found her with the voice she has.
Back in the 1960s up through 1979, my friend Sam and I used to go to a black club on the seedy side of town, which was called the Ark. We knew the owner, one Peter Rabbit, and the place not only stayed open until daylight, they often had some good singers. Like El and me, Sam was a night person.
One night in 1974, Sam, El, and I left his nightclub and dropped in the Ark to see who was singing. There was this tiny, young black girl standing there. Now Sam didn’t know music, but he had excellent taste for good songs and singers, and he loved good music. When he heard it, he knew it!
We were sitting there not paying much attention, chatting and all, and out broke this voice that stunted our chatter. We all looked at each other in astonishment. We were floored! It was Loretta Holloway singing Jazz and Blues. Nothing new, just old favorites.
After listening to a set, we went up and talked to her for a few minutes. She was humble and sweet, and other than friends and her church telling her she could sing, she had no idea. Sam, always the sarcastic cynic, said, “That can’t be her singing, not in this place.” Well, it was.
Over twenty-years later we discovered a great pianist, songwriter, and singer, but were not able to follow through helping her. She is a musical genius, though, and has a successful teaching business in a large Southern City. She’s better off to tell you the truth, because the music and acting businesses are horrible places with people of ill repute and selfish designs running them.
The next day El and I went to I’d say the richest man in the state back then, who had told us a couple of weeks before he was looking for a singer to promote. We urged him to go see Loretta. He went that night, and Loretta never sang at the Ark again. She has won hundreds of awards and has sung all over the world.
This girl can sing, folks. Here she is with a couple of songs.
Enjoy, Ruddy Adam
Loretta Holloway singing “Everything Must Change”
Loretta Holloway singing “The Way He Makes Me Feel”