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Barry White

Say the name Barry White and you'd be hard pressed to follow it with the name of any other recording artist with such a huge, cross-sectional following. He was at home appearing on Soul Train, guesting with a full band on The Today Show, and appearing in cartoon form in various episodes of The Simpsons. During the '70s, Dinah Shore devoted a full hour of her daily syndicated Dinah! show to White. While there was a period where Barry White wasn't releasing records or making the pop charts, he did stay active touring and appearing on other artists' records including Quincy Jones' "The Secret Garden (The Seduction Suite)," Regina Belle, and rap star Big Daddy Kane's "All of Me." It's surprising to find out that such an illustrious career almost didn't happen because White wasn't interested in being a recording artist.

Born in Galveston, TX, Barry White grew up singing gospel songs with his mother and taught himself to play piano. Shortly after moving from Texas to South Central Los Angeles, White made his recording debut at the tender age of 11, playing piano on Jesse Belvin's "Goodnight My Love." He made his first record when he was 16 with a group called the Upfronts. The song was called "Little Girl" on a local L.A. label called Lummtone Records. Later he worked for various independent labels around Los Angeles, landing an A&R position with Bob Keane, the man responsible for the first pop recordings by Sam Cooke. One of his labels, Mustang, was hot at the time with a group called the Bobby Fuller Four in 1966. White was hired for 40 dollars a week to do A&R for Keane's family of labels: Del-Fi, Mustang and Bronco. During this time, White flirted with the idea of being a recording artist, making a record for Bronco called "All in the Run of a Day." But he chose to stick with his A&R duties. One of the first groups he worked with was the Versatiles who later changed their name to the 5th Dimension. White's first big hit came from an artist familiar to dancefloor denizens -- Viola Wills, whose "Lost Without the Love of My Guy" went Top 20 R&B. His salary went up to 60 dollars a week. White started working with the Bobby Fuller Four. Bob Keene and Larry Nunes -- who later became White's spiritual advisor and true friend -- wanted to cut a female act. White had heard about a singer named Felice Taylor. They had three hit records, "It May Be Winter Outside," "I'm Under the Influence of Love," and "I Feel Love Coming On." They were huge hits in England. White started making 400 dollars a week.

When Bronco went out of business, White began doing independent production. Those were some lean times for White. Veteran arranger Gene Page, who would later arrange or co-arrange White's hits, helped him out, giving him work and non-repayable loans. Then three years later, Paul Politti, who also worked at Bronco, contacted him to tell him that Larry Nunes was interested in starting a business with him. Nunes had started cutting tracks for a concept album he was working on. Meanwhile, White had started working with this girl group who hadn't done any singing professionally. They rehearsed for almost a year. White wrote "Walkin' in the Rain (With the One I Love)" with lyrics that were inspired by conversations with one of the singers, Glodean James (who would later become White's second wife). White christened the group Love Unlimited.

Larry Nunes took the record to Russ Regan, who was the head of the Uni label owned by MCA. Love Unlimited's From a Girl's Point of View became a million-seller. Soon after, Regan left Uni for 20th Century Records. Without Regan, White's relationship with Uni soured. With his relationship with Uni in chaos and Love Unlimited contract-bound with the label, White decided he needed to work with another act. He wanted to work with a male artist. He made three song demos of himself singing and playing the piano. Nunes heard them and insisted that he re-record and release them as a recording artist. They argued for days about it. Then he somehow convinced White to do it. White was still hesitating up to the time the label copy was made. He was going to use the name "White Heat," but the record became the first Barry White album. That first album was 1973's I've Got So Much to Give on 20th Century Records. It included the title track and "I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby."

White got a release from Uni for Love Unlimited and they joined him over at 20th Century Records. Then he had a brainstorm for another concept album. He told Regan he wanted to do an instrumental album. Regan thought he had lost it. White wanted to call it the Love Unlimited Orchestra. The single, "Love's Theme," went to number one pop, was a million-seller, and was a smash all over the world. The song earned him a BMI award for over three million covers.

For the next five years, from 1974 to 1979, there was no stopping the Barry White Hit Train -- his own Stone Gon, Barry White Sings Love Songs for the One You Love ("It's Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next to Me," "Playing Your Game Baby"), Let the Music Play (title track, "You See the Trouble with Me"), Just Another Way to Say I Love You ("I'll Do for You Anything You Want Me To," "Love Serenade"), The Man ("Your Sweetness Is My Weakness," "Sha La La Means I Love You," "September When We Met," a splendid cover of Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are"), and Love Unlimited's In Heat ("I Belong to You," "Move Me No Mountain," "Share a Little Love in Your Heart," and "Love's Theme," with lyrics). He also scored a soundtrack for the 20th Century Fox film The Together Brothers, enjoying a resurgence on home video.

His studio band included such luminaries as guitarists Ray Parker, Jr. (pre-Raydio, co-writer with White on "You See the Trouble With Me"), bassist Nathan East, Wah Wah Watson, David T. Walker, Dean Parks, Don Peake, bassist Wilton Felder of the Crusaders, Lee Ritenour, drummer Ed Greene, percussionist Gary Coleman, and later keyboardist Rahn Coleman. His hit streak seemed, well, unlimited. Then it all derailed. Russ Regan and another ally, Hosea Wilson, left 20th Century Records and White was left with management that he thought of in less than glowing terms.

White left after fulfilling his contract with two more album releases, Love Unlimited Orchestra's My Musical Bouquet and his own I Love to Sing the Songs I Sing. White signed a custom label deal with CBS Records. At the time it was touted as one of the biggest deals ever. He started a label called Unlimited Gold. The roster included White, Love Unlimited, the Love Unlimited Orchestra, Jack Perry, and a teenaged singer named Danny Pearson who charted with a song called "What's Your Sign Girl." He also did a duet album with Glodean James called Barry & Glodean. Aside from the gold album The Message Is Love, most of the albums weren't huge sellers. After eight Barry White albums, four Love Unlimited albums, four Love Unlimited Orchestra albums, constant touring, and dealing with the rigors of the music industry, White decided to take a break.

Then in 1992, White signed with A&M, releasing the albums The Man Is Back, The Right Night & Barry White, and Put Me in Your Mix (which contains a duet with Issac Hayes, "Dark and Lovely"). The Icon Is Love became his biggest-selling album since the '70s releases, going multi-platinum. It includes the platinum single "Practice What You Preach." The production lineup includes Gerald Levert and Tony Nicholas, his godson Chuckii Booker, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and White and his longtime friend Jack Perry. While some later efforts buried his vocals in whiz-bang electronic effects, on The Icon Is Love, White's deep steam engine baritone pipes are upfront in the mix. Staying Power followed in 1999, showcased in the best tradition of soul music where the focus is the singer and the song. The album earned White two Grammys. White's career took him from the ghetto to international success with 106 gold and 41 platinum albums, 20 gold and ten platinum singles, with worldwide sales in excess of 100 million.

White, who suffered from hypertension and chronic high blood pressure, was hospitalized for kidney failure in September of 2002. He was undergoing dialysis treatment, but the combination of illnesses proved too much and he died July 4, 2003 at a West Hollywood hospital. By the time of his death, Barry White had achieved a near-universal acclaim and popularity that few artists achieve and even fewer within their own lifetime. ~ Ed Hogan & Wade Kergan
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Love Collection

Disc 1

1. Can't Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe

2. Oh What A Night For Dancing

3. I've Got So Much To Give

4. Standing In The Shadows Of Love

5. Don't Make Me Wait Too Long

6. Just The Way You Are

7. Love's Theme

Disc 2

1. Let's Get Busy

2. Love Is Good With You

3. For Real Chill

4. Break It Down With You

5. Volare

6. Put Me In Your Mix

7. Who You Giving Your Love To

8. Love Will Find Us

9. We're Gonna Have It All

x

Track List: The Ultimate Collection

Disc 1

1. I'm Gonna Love You, Just A Little More Baby

2. I've Got So Much To Give

3. Never, Never Gonna Give You Up

4. Honey, Please Can't Ya See

5. Can't Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe

7. You're The First, The Last, My Everything

8. What Am I Gonna Do With You

9. I'll Do For You Anything You Want Me To

10. Let The Music Play

11. You See The Trouble With Me

13. Don't Make Me Wait Too Long

14. I'm Qualified To Satisfy You

Disc 2

1. Love's Theme

2. It's Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me

3. Oh What A Night For Dancing

4. Playing Your Game, Baby

5. Your Sweetness Is My Weakness

6. Just The Way You Are

9. It Ain't Love Babe (Until You Give It)

10. Love Makin' Music

11. Sho' You Right

12. Put Me In Your Mix

13. Practice What You Preach

14. Come On

15. Staying Power

x

Track List: All-Time Greatest Hits

1. Love's Theme

2. I'm Gonna Love You Just A Little More, Baby

3. I've Got So Much To Give

4. Never, Never Gonna Give You Up

5. Honey Please, Can't Ya See

6. Can't Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe

7. You're The First, The Last, My Everything

8. What Am I Gonna Do With You

9. I'll Do For You Anything You Want Me To Do

10. Let The Music Play

11. You See The Trouble With Me

12. Baby, We Better Try To Get It Together

13. Don't Make Me Wait Too Long

14. I'm Qualified To Satisfy You

15. It's Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me

16. Playing Your Game, Baby

17. Oh, What A Night For Dancing

18. Your Sweetness Is My Weakness

19. Just The Way You Are

20. Satin Soul

x

Track List: The Icon Is Love

1. Practice What You Preach

2. There It Is

3. I Only Want To Be With You

4. The Time Is Right

5. Baby's Home

6. Come On

7. Love Is The Icon

8. Sexy Undercover

9. Don't You Want To Know?

10. Whatever We Had, We Had

x

Track List: Put Me In Your Mix

1. Let's Get Busy

2. Love Is Good With You

3. For Real Chill

4. Break It Down With You

5. Volare

6. Put Me In Your Mix

7. Who You Giving Your Love To

8. Love Will Find Us

9. We're Gonna Have It All

10. Dark And Lovely

x

Track List: The Man Is Back!

1. Responsible

2. Super Lover

3. L.A. My Kinda Place

4. Follow That And See (Where It Leads Y'all)

5. When Will I See You Again

6. I Wanna Do It Good To Ya

7. It's Getting Harder All The Time

8. Don't Let Go

9. Loves Interlude/Good Night My Love

x

Track List: Greatest Hits Vol. 2

1. How Did You Know It Was Me?

2. It's Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me

3. I'm Qualified To Satisfy You

4. You Turned My Whole World Around

5. Your Sweetness Is My Weekness

6. Sha La La Means I Love You

7. Let The Music Play

8. Oh What A Night For Dancing

x

Track List: The Man

1. Look At Her

2. Your Sweetness Is My Weakness

3. Sha La La Means I Love You

4. September When I First Met You

5. It's Only Love Doing Its Thing

6. Just The Way You Are

7. Early Years

x

Track List: Sings For Someone You Love

1. Playing Your Game, Baby

2. It's Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me

3. You're So Good You're Bad

4. Never Thought I'd Fall In Love With You

5. You Turned My Whole World Around

6. Oh What A Night For Dancing

7. Of All The Guys In The World

x

Track List: Let The Music Play

1. I Don't Know Where Love Has Gone

2. If You Know, Won't You Tell Me

3. I'm So Blue And You Are Too

4. Baby, We Better Try To Get It Together

5. You See The Trouble With Me

6. Let The Music Play

x

Track List: Barry White's Greatest Hits

1. What Am I Gonna Do With You

2. You're The First, The Last, My Everything

3. Can't Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe

4. Honey Please, Can't Ya See

5. Love Serenade

6. Never Never Gonna Give You Up

7. I'm Gonna Love You Just A Little More, Baby

8. I've Found Someone

9. I've Got So Much To Give

10. Standing In The Shadows Of Love

x

Track List: Just Another Way To Say I Love You

1. Heavenly, That's What You Are To Me

2. I'll Do For You Anything You Want Me To

3. All Because Of You

4. Love Serenade

5. What Am I Gonna Do With You

6. Let Me Live My Life Lovin' You Babe

7. Love Serenade (Part II)

x

Track List: Can't Get Enough

1. Mellow Mood (Pt. I)

2. You're The First, The Last, My Everything

3. I Can't Believe You Love Me

4. Can't Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe

5. Oh Love, Well We Finally Made It

6. I Love You More Than Anything (In This World Girl)

7. Mellow Mood (Pt. II)

x

Track List: I've Got So Much To Give

1. Standing In The Shadows Of Love

2. Bring Back My Yesterday

3. I've Found Someone

4. I've Got So Much To Give

5. I'm Gonna Love You Just A Little More Baby

x

Track List: Stone Gon'

1. Girl It's True, Yes I'll Always Love You

2. Honey Please, Can't Ya See

3. You're My Baby

4. Hard To Believe That I Found You

5. Never Never Gonna Give Ya Up

x

Track List: The Best Of Barry White: 20th Century Masters The Millennium Collection

1. I'm Gonna Love You Just A Little More Baby

2. Never, Never Gonna Give You Up

3. Can't Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe

4. What Am I Gonna Do With You

5. Let The Music Play

6. It's Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me

7. Playing Your Game, Baby

8. Oh What A Night For Dancing

9. Love Makin' Music

10. Sho' You Right

11. Practice What You Preach

12. Staying Power

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Barry's legacy to the music world will live on forever. His music is timeless.
Report as inappropriate
So very true !!! :'( :'(
Report as inappropriate
Lo mejor y más variado de la música , gran artista y compositor u genio musical
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elliecupcake 2 0 1 5
Brian why do't you play a song like this for me!!
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UNDRRATED & A VERY MASTERFUL GENIUS GONE MUCH TOO SOON
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fidelperezda r i a s
Nice dancing song with your great voice!!!
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elliecupcake 2 0 1 5
Why is it always you!!! I picked the station�����
Report as inappropriate
jamieb12871
Yeah ...just drop em ...or as Teddy use 2 say...leave it @ the door
Yeah ...let Wm know ...
U know... They know
Report as inappropriate
candythecoug a r
Mr White, this is a classic....
Report as inappropriate
Me
Report as inappropriate
Whewww .... Whats tha Gans"ters Name
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ms.kgonzales
I waited for you, and wait, wait,wait,wa i t . . . o n l y for you!
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He's a Legend.
Report as inappropriate
What can you say THE master
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moleculematt
Never never gonna give you up Barry white.
Report as inappropriate
Barry White the king of romantic music. Every song he has sang are so beautiful and has so much meaning to them .
Report as inappropriate
Always got the women ,singing Barry's songs , one of the great one ! RIP.
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Soul Perfection!!
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Baby making music
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elliecupcake 2 0 1 5
What is there left to say !! Me to you!!!
Report as inappropriate
MAKES U WANT 2 MAKE (REAL -LOVE ) ALL NIGHT LONG AND THEN SOME. MISS U 4 MUCH. MR. BARRY WHITE. I REALLY DO LOVE ALL OF YOUR SONGS PLUS LOVE UNLIMITED SONGS AS WELL. WHILE U WERE HERE U DID YOUR THANG ALL THE WAY 2 THE FULLEST OK. RIP LIKE U DESERVE 2. U HAVE YOUR WINGS
Report as inappropriate
Nothing like listening to Barry White soft music romantic music and making love to the one you love.
Report as inappropriate
barryspaeth
Can't enough of your music, babe !
Report as inappropriate
Barry White the king of love
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Not only a great artist with a great voice but a great man
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elliecupcake 2 0 1 5
Pearls or gold locket
Report as inappropriate
I loved Berry White he was very sexy an his eyes are beautiful I love every bit of him RIP I loved you songs
Report as inappropriate
elliecupcake 2 0 1 5
Just for you!! Really good huh !!
Report as inappropriate
elliecupcake 2 0 1 5
Yes I did it alll for you!! And purely enjoyed every minute of it !!!!!��
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My life
Report as inappropriate
Mmmmmmm!!!!! Move me baby ... rock roll me ,, mmmmm... sway me baby oh ya !!!
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Dance with me on Twitter
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Love his music.
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samslabs2000
The man was stellar bass no body can copy his groove!!!
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Luv it
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Barry White , the man !!! Just great songs.
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mannyv007
Can't live without his music..for real!!
Report as inappropriate
Big ups to Barry
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Lɛtts Daռċɛ
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What an amazing man !!!!
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What an amazing artist & showman!! Thanks for all the great music. RIP Barry!!!
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Hahaaahaaa wit smiles
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Always loved yom
yr music You are missed!! R.I.P.
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This is a beautiful song RIP BW
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U r one of the greastest all time romantic heart warming singers ever
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What a rich legacy; a beautiful and talented man. R.I.P.
Report as inappropriate
Sounds so soulful...mi s s you much
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Love You Warren
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These words are what a woman wants to hear. Love u Berry.
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Love you Barry my man
Show more

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