Thursday, January 15, 2009

Madeline Bell

Since we recently posted our 2003 Dusty Springfield Series on The Forgotten Hits Web Page, (Click here: Forgotten Hits - DUSTY SPRINGFIELD) I thought that this might make a nice time to revisit One Hit Wonder Madeline Bell ... one of Dusty's back-up singers who managed her own fifteen minutes of chart fame here in The United States with a Top 40 Hit back in 1968. (I'm kidding, of course ... Bell has spent nearly 50 years carving out a very successful career in music, stage and advertising and is STILL performing and recording in Europe today. Unfortunately, here in America we quite often seem to treat our recording artists as more of the "Flavor Of The Week" variety ... and discard them for good once their records have left the charts, in favor of playing the same 200-300 "proven" oldies instead ... but hey, I'm not complaining ... that's what makes a service like Forgotten Hits such a vital contributor to keeping this great music alive!!!)

Ten months before the superstar pairing of Diana Ross and the Supremes and The Temptations topped the charts with THEIR version of this hit, Madeline Bell scored a VERY respectable chart showing with her take on "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" back in The Spring of 1968. (It peaked at #26 on The Billboard Chart ... and we heard it on the radio all the time here in Chicago back then ... and I immediately fell in love with the song. Quite honestly, I was surprised to hear The Supremes and The Temptations interpret it as a "duet" ... I've always thought the song worked much better in the first person!!!)

Madeline Bell was born in Newark, New Jersey, and, in the early '60's, seemed to find her calling singing Gospel Music with The Glovertones and The Alex Bradford Singers. In 1962 she joined the cast of the off-Broadway musical "Black Nativity." When the touring production went to England, Madeline decided to stay and successfully forged her own musical career ... first singing back-up for Dusty ... and later fronting the British band Blue Mink, who scored their own minor U.S. Hit with a song called "Our World" (#64, 1970). (Famed British songwriter Roger Cook was the founding member of this band ... and together they also scored a #3 Hit in The U.K. with a song called "Melting Pot". In all, they would place seven singles on The British Charts between 1969 and 1973.)

Bell became a pretty successful jingles singer after that ... and did a fair amount of session work, too, working as a background singer for Kiki Dee, Cliff Richard, Tom Jones, Joe Cocker and Elton John, to name just a few. She returned to The U.S. Charts one last time in 1979, singing lead on a song called "Female Of The Species" for a Liverpool rock group called Space.

Since the millennium, Madeline has continued to record and perform regularly with both The SAS Band and as a solo artist. In 2003, she was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by The Music Heritage Foundation in London for her "significant and outstanding contribution to the music industry." (So much for any perceived "Fifteen Minutes of Fame" scenario!!!)

DIDJAKNOW?-1: The first artist to record "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" was Dee Dee Warwick, Dionne's little sister. Her 1966 version peaked at #88 and has been long forgotten, but THIS was the version that first inspired Madeline Bell to take a crack at the song.

DIDJAKNOW?-2: As a favor to her former back-up singer, Dusty Springfield sang the backing vocal on Madeline's biggest hit, I'm Gonna Make You Love Me.

For all the latest on Madeline Bell, be sure to visit her web page here:
Click here: Madeline Bell Homepage - the official web site for U.S. singer, resident in Europe.

TRIPLE TREAT: Madeline Bell's version of "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" is our featured Forgotten Hit today ... but we thought that we'd ALSO share with you the Dee Dee Warwick original version ... along with the #1 Hit by Diana Ross and the Supremes and The Temptations. Enjoy!

Madeline Bell

Dee Dee Warwick

Diana Ross and the Supremes with The Temptations


I couldn't be happier than to pass along this greeting to all of our readers from Madeline Bell herself!:

Hello Kent;
Happy New Year!
Thank you for the message. It’s good to know there are still many, many people interested in some of the best music, and the best times in the music business.
My version of “I’M GONNA MAKE YOU LOVE” was originally recorded by Dee Dee Warwick, who recently passed away. In my opinion the best singer of her time.
I’d recorded an album in London (Mostly cover versions). Some beautiful person in the US offices of Philips / Mercury loved IGMYLM, printed 10k copies and sent them to DJ’s across America. Thankfully, the interest snowballed.
I have recorded the song again on a CD “ANOTHER TOUCH”. If you click the link below you’ll more info. This CD is of new arrangements of 60’s and 70’s favourites.
Stay warm!