Dee Dee Warwick

Turning Around

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Dee Dee Warwick spent most of her career in the shadow of her significantly more famous sister, Dionne Warwick, and that's a shame, since Dee Dee was a very gifted soul singer with a style quite different than that of her sibling. Dee Dee Warwick had a stronger and more forceful instrument than Dionne, revealing a clear gospel influence, and she could belt out deep Southern soul with passion and authority. Dee Dee's first album for Atco, 1970's Turning Around, is a small triumph; produced by Dave Crawford with Jim Dickson and the Dixie Flyers backing her up, this is top-notch Southern soul with a bit of rock & roll flash in Charlie Freeman's guitar and no shortage of groove in Sammy Creason's drumming. Crawford rounded up a great set of songs for Warwick on these sessions; "She Didn't Know (She Kept on Talking)" is a slow and slinky cheating song that was a well deserved R&B hit, "I'm Glad I'm a Woman" speaks of a happier romance with no shortage of heart and happiness, Warwick gives Jimmy Webb's "If This Was the Last Song" a reading that fuses intelligence and emotional power, and her take on Charlie Rich's "Who Will the Next Fool Be" is a bluesy triumph of a woman done wrong. One thing Dee Dee had in common with Dionne was a welcome sense of restraint, and while the performances on Turning Around don't hold back on the emotional intensity, she doesn't overplay, and even when she's getting happy on these tunes, she sounds honest rather than histrionic. Turning Around should have established Dee Dee Warwick as a powerhouse talent and a star in her own right; that didn't quite happen, but four decades after it was released it still sounds like a classic from the tail end of soul's golden age that deserves rediscovery.

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