Sun. Dec. 05, 2021

Loleatta Holloway – Can’t Let You Go

Single Of The Week: Loleatta Holloway – Can’t Let You Go (Yvonne Turner Main Mix) (Vega Records)

‘Can’t Let You Go’ is pretty much how countless music lovers felt when hearing about the passing of Loleatta Holloway on Mar. 21, 2011. And even though she’s sadly no more around, the souvenir of her remains in memories. It is to say how this song which is one of her ultimate recordings is such an emotion in itself…

Forget the fact someone has rated it as soulful House Music. As here again, it’s more a matter of convenience. As a matter of fact, ‘Can’t Let You Go’ goes way beyond that. Bringing me back to the souvenir of Mel Cheren (West End Records) who would most likely describe it as R&B/Dance if he was still with us nowadays. Therefore, not surprising considering the CV of the one who produced (and eventually) remixed it. In other words, Yvonne Turner whom one might remember for the boiling remixes she did back in the 80’s. From Willie Colón ‘Set Fire To Me’ to Oleata Adams‘ ‘Circle Of One’.

‘Can’t Let You Go’ most likely stands as a timeless piece of Soul/Dance Music with a modern twist…
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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 And Run’ produced by Norman Harris with mixing work courtesy of Walter Gibbons. To ‘Run Away’ 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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