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Cissy Houston

A soul singer who is known primarily as Whitney Houston's mother rather than for her own considerable talents, Cissy Houston was born Emily Drinkard and began her career as a member of her family's gospel group, the Drinkards. In the early '60s, she joined forces with a floating group of singers known simply as the Group (including at various points Doris Troy and Dee Dee Warwick) to provide backup vocals on numerous soul, pop, and rock sessions. They contributed to many Atlantic sessions in particular, and Atlantic executive Jerry Wexler signed the act to the label in 1967. Named the Sweet Inspirations, they recorded some excellent gospel-flavored soul in the late '60s, managing a few hits (as well as continuing to back up other artists, most notably Aretha Franklin) before Houston left to go solo at the end of 1969. She recorded an impressive album for Commonwealth United in 1970, Presenting Cissy Houston, which yielded a couple of small R&B/pop hits: "I'll Be There" and "Be My Baby." Much in the manner of the Sweet Inspirations, although the material consisted of fairly well-worn soul, rock, and pop tunes, the state-of-the-art arrangements and gospel-ish vocals made them sound fresh. Her contract was sold to Janus Records later in the year, and while she issued a few singles there until the middle of the '70s, she never received the support and promotion she deserved. A case in point was her little-known original version of "Midnight Train to Georgia," taken to the top of the charts about a year later by Gladys Knight & the Pips. Houston recorded several albums for Private Stock beginning in the late '70s, as well as continuing her regular work on sessions and commercial jingles. She recorded a duet with daughter Whitney ("I Know Him So Well") in 1987, and cut a duet album with veteran soul singer Chuck Jackson in 1992. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi
full bio

Comments

I loved whitney
jlmetzger82
Thank you for sharing your beautiful daughter with us. The blessing of your beautiful and powerful voice was passed on to Whitney. I pray that God continues to give you strength and continue to bless you and your family.
Let JESUS change your life Amen*978*4m1 4 y ~
I have been a fan of hers since her Sweet Inspiration days. Please keep your faith and lean on God for your strength Ms. Houston. Whitney is with the Lord now and she is no longer suffering or in any pain. God bless you.
Love her we ALWAY remember her
msimpson_gra n t
I miss whitney
Awesome! God bless
msimpson_gra n t
Sorry for your lisscissy
It was in Whitney's DNA to be a dynamic singer! Her mother's voice is one of a kind--- she really sings from the heart! Ms. Houston, thank you for sharing your gift of singing with your daughter. WE MISS HER!! Continue to lean on God, he knows how to heal our hurts and sorrows. REMEMBER THE GREAT TIMES YOU SHARED WITH WHITNEY -- ONE DAY YOU'LL SEE HER AGAIN! STAY BLESSED!
syrups9907
Her performance of Bridge Over Troubled Waters on BET awards was the most moving version I've ever heard and that includes Aretha. What a tribute to Whitney, there was hardly a dry eye in the house.
jeffearl2003
Will forever remember her single Think it Over. This club song was a deviation from her traditional gospel music. The club action in East Orange and Newark, NJ was vibrant, thanks to a home grown gal, Sissy Houston.

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