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Betty Everett

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Biography

At the age of nine, Everett began playing the piano and singing gospel music in church. She continued these activities while growing up until moving to Chicago in 1957 to pursue a career in secular music. She recorded for various small local labels before she was discovered in 1963 by A&R musical director Calvin Carter, from the then fast-growing independent label, Vee-Jay Records.

That same year, an initial single failed, but her next Vee-Jay release, a bluesy version of “You’re No Good” (written by Clint Ballard, Jr. and later a #1 hit for Linda Ronstadt), just missed the U.S. top 50. Her third single, the catchy “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss)”, was her biggest solo hit (a surprise for Everett, who did not want to record it and allegedly felt that the song was too silly). It peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and made #1 on the Cashbox R&B chart.

Her other hits included “I Can’t Hear You”, “Getting Mighty Crowded” (covered by Elvis Costello in 1980), and several duets with Jerry Butler, including “Let It Be Me” which made the US Top 5 in 1964 and was another Cashbox R&B number 1. After Vee-Jay folded in 1966, she recorded for several other labels, including Uni, Fantasy, and ABC.

After an unsuccessful year with ABC, a move to Uni brought another major success in 1969 with “There’ll Come A Time”, co-written by producer and lead singer of The Chi-Lites, Eugene Record, This rose to #2 in the Billboard R&B listing (#26 on the Hot 100) and topped the Cashbox chart.

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