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Parent Issue
Day
30
Month
July
Year
1975
OCR Text

Tliougli she's only 26 years oíd, Carolyn (ravvfi)rd has been playing music in one form or another for 24 years. She knew how to slng almost before she knew how to walk, and by the time she was in junior high school she had mastered piano, clarinet and trombone. Two weeks before her fourteenth birthday, destiny struck. She won the WCHB talent contest by virtue of her marrow-melting voice, along with the fact that she had collected enougli Tip Top breadwrappers to make the finals. Her prize was a five-year contract with Motown Records. For a few years, things looked promising for the budding star. She toured with Stevie Wonder, the Supremes, the Temptation$ and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles - in fact, all the bigtime Motown acts of the era. (To this day, she remains a good friend of Smokey.) But after Motown released three singles which failed to "click," the company lost interest in her. Because her contract was the standard one which guaranteed her nothing and allowed the record company to treat her as a Raggedy Ann doll, Motown never even released an album of hers. They did release her, however, from her contract in 1967, and for the next few years Carolyn worked nightspots around Detroit, with occasional gigs as a waitress in between. She moved to Los Angeles and worked with an all-female group, then toured with Latin singer Charo for awhile on the East Coast. Now she's back in her home town, having seen more than her share of the mercurial aspects of show biz. Two years ago, she signed another record contract, this time with the Philadelphia International label of Leon Huff and Kenny Gamble. Again, her contract left much to be desired in terms of her own artistic control, and she still has no album to show for her eflorts. A collection of 1 3 songs - many of which she wrote - is in the can in Philadelphia, waiting to see the light of day. And if the two singles Philly International has released is any indication, the album is going to be astounding. Her current single, "It Takes Two To Makc One." in fact, is an ampie example of her talent. Her voice and phrasing has the sensitivity and subtlety of Mary Wells at her best, and her amazing octave range and oom-pah is reminiscent of Aretha behing out in all her soulfulness. Though she's had plenty of discouragement, and is still not a penny richer for all her recording work, Carolyn is still patiënt and confident that her time will come. She knows that, given a chance, all her hard work will bear fruit. At last week's Afro-American Ethnic Festival, Carolyn displayed the poise and natural audience rapport that will some day carry her over the top, as 10,000 people swayed and bopped to the high energy spell she wove. Backing her up were the Sexy Scorpios. her three female singers, and the Faststeppin' Fleetwoods, four flashy young men who are an appropriate continuad on page 8 & 9 of the KULCHUR section.