Melba Moore has been a staple of American soul music for more than fifty years.
Having grown up in New York City and Newark, Ms. Moore was the daughter of an R&B singer, and she was quick to follow in her mother's footsteps. She recorded her first song in 1967, "Magic Touch," which was released nineteen years later and has since become a soul classic. Success later came for her on Broadway as a cast member of the original Broadway production of Hair and as Lutiebelle in Purlie, a musical about blacks in the Jim Crow South; her performance won her the 1970 Tony for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical.
Ms. Moore followed that up with two LPs, 1970's I Got Love and 1971's Look What You're Doing to The Man. Her first big pop success, though, came with her single "This Is It," from 1976, written by disco producer Van McCoy; a few years later she scored again with "Pick Me Up I'll Dance," produced by the legendary Philly soul team of Gene McFadden and John Whitehead. During this time, Melba Moore was a popular variety-show guest, jokingly introduced on one of them by "Mary Tyler Moore Show" actor Ted Knight as "Melba Tyler Moore." (Personal memory. :-D )
Her eighties hits include "Love's Comin' At Ya,""Keepin' My Lover Satisfied" and ""Livin' For Your Love", and Ms. Moore proved then that she not only could be soulful, she could rock. Her 1985 single "Read My Lips" got her nominated for a Best Female Rock Vocal Performance Grammy.
Ms,. Moore has not only racked up more hit singles since the mid-eighties. She also returned to Broadway, having been in the 2007 revival of Ain't Misbehavin', and she's done some other stage work as well. Still active as of this writing, Melba Moore isn't ready to quit.