b. Birmingham, England. Vocalist Powell never achieved the recognition his superb voice deserved. He came to prominence during the early 60s beat boom with his group, Keith Powell And The Valets, playing in the clubs and dance halls of the Midlands and the North West. Columbia Records’ A&R executive Norrie Paramor signed the band in 1963. They made their debut with ‘The Answer Is No’, which was succeeded by ‘Tore Up’ and ‘I Should Know Better (But I Don’t)’ (both 1964). Having switched to Pye/Piccadilly Records in 1965, Powell embarked on a solo career with an excellent version of the Impressions’ ‘People Get Ready’. Two strong soul-styled releases ensued, ‘Come Home Baby’ and ‘Goodbye Girl’, before Powell began recording concurrently with Billie Davis. Credited to Keith And Billie, their first offering was ‘When You Move, You Lose’, a vibrant, dance-based number which later became a favourite on the northern soul circuit. The pair’s rousing rendition of Sam And Dave’s ‘You Don’t Know Like I Know’ followed, after which Powell resumed solo work with ‘Victory’. He and Davis were reunited for ‘Swingin’ Tight’, after which their partnership was sundered. Powell’s Pye career ended in 1966 with ‘It Keeps Rainin’’. He subsequently forged a career as a compère and performer on the cabaret circuit, and also worked in South Africa and Nashville. Increasingly drawn towards country music, Powell signed a five-year publishing deal in October 1999 with Ritz Records. Earlier in the year he recorded a country CD, Heartless, for promotional use.
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