There have been many rock and roll artists throughout time, and there is an unstoppable growing to these numbers even today. Many of these artist were influenced by artists before them and those artists were also influenced by people before them. The list goes on and on of how much of an impact artists have on one another and will continue to have not only on artists to come but anyone who may hear there music. Though the list of female artists in rock n’ roll is no comparison to all the males in rock n’ roll females made a very big impact of rock n’ roll that many people may not release today.
Females, though underrepresented in this genre of music still stood by one another and were able to keep there music alive throughout the ears. Kiki Dee was a female artists that made a big impact on nor only artists in rock n’ roll but to everyone who has heard her music and who will hear her music in the years to come. Kiki Dee was a female artist that influenced many and that left a big mark in terms of the realm of Rock n’ roll.Kiki Dee was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, in 1947, but at this time she was known as Pauline Matthews. Under her new name of Kiki Dee began her music career by singing with bands from the British area.
After signing with local bands in Yorkshire was seen by a record company’s music soout that was looking for a new sound, in 1963. Kiki was first signed as a solo artist to Fontana Records. Fontana Records was known for sign many popular artists and groups such as The Spencers and The Pretty Things. She would later release her first single “Early Night” in 1963 and recorded her first album “I’m Kiki Dee”. This album not only inculded her singing but also a lot of Phil Spector tracks and covers such as “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and “How Glad I Am”.
Her 1965 release “Why Don’t I Run Away From You” and many other songs sung by Kiki Dee became a very popular hits and was a songs that charted at this time. Kiki’s 1968 single “On a Magic Carpet Ride” still is popular and still can be recognized today by many because many people needed a new song in the soul circuit and this is what was given to them. During the beginning years of Kiki’s career she began to gain a reputation for backing may singers such as Dusty Springfield.
She was especially known for working of his song “Little By Little”. This was just the start of her career but this most definitely would not be the end because as time went on she began to gain more popularity with her voice in the songs she sung. Continuing with her music career, Kiki began appearing on very popular TV shows like the Morecambe and Wise, The Two Ronnies and The Benny Hill. In 1970 Kiki became the first signed with Tamla Motown making her the first female british artist to sign with Motown.
She would later make and release her able that same year. After her album was released and became popular she started to work with legendary producer Frank Wilson on new tracks including “The Day Will Come Between Sunday and Monday” and “For Once In My Life”. These albums were recorded in the original Motown studio in Detroit.
As said by thegauridan.com “Like Dusty, the young Kiki Dee could make you believe that her world had ended or – with more upbeat material – like she’d unlocked a Pandora’s box of new possibilities.”(Paphides)Once her music career began to take off she then signed onto Elton John’s Rocket Record Label in the early 1970’s. After signing with them she then earned her first UK Top 20 in 1973 with the song “Amoureuse”. Though this song was not originally written for her or by her this some helped get her name out into the music world and also helped her gain a reputation and a sense of her music style. Once Kiki had signed on with Elton she could be heard singing backing vocals on Elton John’s global smash album “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”.
Some songs on this album that were popular at the time were “Bennie and the Jets”, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” and many others. During this period Kiki recorded two albums produced by Elton and decided that she wanted to write her own music so she started songwriting for the first time.1974 saw Kiki riding high on both the UK and US charts with “I’ve Got the Music in Me”, which was written by Bias Boshell, Kiki’s keyboardist. Continuing to work with Elton, they would produce one of these most popular songs that they are known for, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”. This song took the #1 spot for 4-week on the US charts as well as reaching No.1 in many other countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Italy.
Though this song was very popular and was at the top of the charts for many weeks, according to allmusic.com, a popular website contains information about music and musicians ” It did not, however, make Kiki Dee a long-term star, though she scored a couple of subsequent hits in England and turned to the stage with some success, especially by starring in Blood Brothers in the West End”(Ruhlmann). In 1981 “Star” from the album Perfect Timing gave Kiki another hit in the top 20’s.
This song would later become the theme music to the BBC TV programme Opportunity Knocks a popular show. In 1984 she would begin her first venture into musical theatre with an American show called Pumpboys and Dinettes. This how starred Paul Jones, Brian Protheroe, Carlene Carter (daughter of June Carter), Gary Holton and Julian Littman. This was a start to a new path in her career as a singinger and as a songwriter, she would move from music onto musical theater. In 1985 Kiki performed Live Aid concert, a historial concert, to over 72,000 people at Wembley Stadium with one her her most popular songs “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” with Elton and performing backing vocals on the other songs in his set. She would later take the lead in Willy Russell’s musical Blood Brothers, two years later, in which she took on the role originally played by Barbara Dickson.
She would then tour the UK for several months before Bill Kenwright brought the show into London’s West End in 1988. Kiki would later received an Olivier Award nomination in 1989 in the Best Actress in a Musical category for her performance.