We are sad to report the death of legendary jazz singer Gloria Lynne at the age of 81. The New York City native reached her peak of popularity in the 1960s with songs like "June Night" and the beautiful "I Wish You Love."
Signed to the Everest label in the late 50s, it took several years before her career took off. In the 1960s she had several hits including "June Night", "Love I Found You", "I'm Glad There Is You", "I Wish You Love" (1964)—which became her signature song—and her answer to Gene McDaniels's "Tower Of Strength", "(You don't have to be a) Tower Of Strength", a pop hit that proved how versatile she could be in the studio.
After her time with Everest Records she moved to Fontana and recorded such albums as Soul Serenade, Love And A Woman, Where It's At, and Here, There And Everywhere, all of which showcased her versatility in jazz, RnB, soul and melodic "pop". During her earlier years on-the-road Gloria Lynne shared bills with some of the giants of RnB, jazz, pop and standards including Ray Charles, Billy Eckstine, Johnny Mathis and Ella Fitzgerald. Notable TV specials include two with Harry Belafonte and duets with Billy Eckstine. As Lynne moved into jazz in her later career she worked with top flight musicians and arrangers and performed with many of the jazz greats, including Quincy Jones, Bobby Timmons, Philly Joe Jones, Harry "Sweets" Edison.
She famously wrote lyrics for “Watermelon Man” with Herbie Hancock, and “All Day Long” with Kenny Burrell. New York City proclaimed July 25, 1995 as Gloria Lynne Day. In 1996 Lynne received the International Women of Jazz Award and she was honored with a Pioneer Award by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1997. Other awards and recognitions include the National Treasure Award from the Seasoned Citizens Theatre Company (2003); induction into the National Black Sports and Entertainment Hall of Fame; Living Legend Award from the State of Pennsylvania (2007).
In June 2007 High Note Records released Gloria's latest CD From My Heart To Yours, a musical journey from James Taylor ("The Secret O' Life"), Michel Legrand ("How Do You Keep The Music Playing") and styling on classics like "It's Magic". Lynne continues to record and write near her home in New York. In February 2008 British writer/performer Graham Hunter published the first of a six-part feature and rare interview with Lynne in the UK Beat Magazine, renewing interest in the soul singer/songwriter.
On May 6, 2008, Gloria Lynne was presented with a special award for 'Outstanding Achievement In Jazz' at the New York MAC Awards and on October 22, 2010 she was honored at the Schomburg Library in NYC by Great Women In Music founder Roz Nixon for her many contributions to the music industry and the world.
She was a talented singer who will be missed.