b. 17 March 1952, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Susie Allanson’s grandmother taught her to play piano and she began singing in churches and at rodeos. In 1970, she successfully auditioned for a role in a 12-month touring production of Hair. She then spent 18 months touring with the original company of Jesus Christ Superstar, sang on the show’s album and appeared in the film version. In 1974, she moved to Los Angeles, where she did studio work and sang backing vocals on the recordings of various artists. She joined ABC Records the following year, after meeting producer Ray Ruff, who produced her debut album in 1976. She married Ruff and when ABC folded, she recorded her debut chart hit, ‘Don’t Keep Me Hangin’ On’, on his own Oak label. She then joined Warner Brothers, where she recorded her second album, which, through her husband’s production and promotion, produced three country hits including Top 10 placings for ‘Maybe Baby’ (a 1958 Buddy Holly pop hit) and the title track, ‘We Belong Together’. In 1979, recording on the Elektra /Curb label, she registered further Top 10 hits with her version of the Bee Gees’ 1968 pop hit ‘Words’ and ‘Two Steps Forward And Three Steps Back’. The same year she was named by Billboard as the year’s Most Promising Female Country Artist. She and Ruff divorced in 1980 and she moved to United Artists (recording on their Liberty label), where she registered six mostly minor hits, the biggest being ‘Dance The Two Step’.
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