"Cry To Me" Performed by Betty Harris (1963)

October 29, 2008

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My plan for today was to follow up “The Name Game” with two more female led light-hearted tunes this week. But I happened to see and play this song off of my hard drive and couldn’t stop listening to it  — so decided to share it with you. Now you can enjoy this wonderful deep soul song sung by a teenage Betty Harris in 1963.

This was one of those songs I heard the grown folks listen to as child: it would be playing while the adults were “partying” and I was in bed supposedly asleep.  I would listen and enjoy and feel the music, but never understood the lyrics – I just knew that the person singing was going through something pretty painful (SMILE). Now as an adult I find out that it was a child, not much older than me, singing the song and that she didn’t have a clue either (LOL).

As an adult I also happen to love the blues and soul (as I do just about all genres of music) and this song is no exception. It is a true soul classic.

Born in Florida, the daughter of preachers, Betty Harridick left the gospel music world and her home at 17 to pursue a career in secular music. She began by apprenticing with Big Maybelle. Then she moved to California and recorded the single “Taking Care of Business” for the Douglas label in 1960.

Her next stop was New York City where she auditioned for songwriter Bert Berns at the Brill Building singing her version of “Cry to Me.”

In 1963, after being in the music business for a few years, Betty Harris recorded a slowed down version of Solomon Burke’s hit of the year before, “Cry to me”, produced by the original record’s producer, Bert Berns, and released on the Jubilee record label. Taken at a slower pace, Betty’s rendition turned the song into a top 10 R&B hit [#23 Pop] and Deep Soul classic. Two further singles were released on Jubilee, also produced by Bert Berns, with “His Kiss”, another Deep Soul ballad, making the lower part of Billboard Pop and R&B charts. (SOURCE)

After retiring in 1970, Harris made a comeback to music in 2001. Read about her both in and out of the music industry at these great web pages:

Let’s keep these great oldies alive.

  • Soul Legends (2010) (maurycio.wordpress.com)
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Filed under:Bert Russell,Betty Harris,Blues/Soul,Cry to Me,Fabulous Female Vocalists,Jubilee,R&B/Soul,Sixties

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 hagar's daughters October 30, 2008 at 5:57 pm

Keep the music coming. Ms Harris’ voice on this recording grips me. I remember grown folks playing this song and most of the women would get really quiet.


2 sondan November 13, 2008 at 3:35 pm

Thanks HD,

I definitely will keep it coming.

You made me LOL about the “grown folks” cause I have some of those same memories. Now that I am grown I get it.(SMILE)


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