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January 25, 2023 45 min
TRUE HOUSE STORIES® W/ MELBA MOORE # 102 Melba Moore began her recording career in 1967, cutting the track "Magic Touch" which was left unreleased until 1986. In later years it became an enormous track on the Northern Soul Scene, eventually leading to Moore performing it live in 2009 at the Baltic Soul Weekender 3 in Germany north of Hamburg. In 1967 she began her performing career as Dionne in the original cast of the musical Hair along with Ronnie Dyson, Paul Jabara and Diane Keaton. In 1975 Melba Moore signed with Buddha Records and released the critically successful R&B album, Peach Melba, which included the minor hit, "I Am His Lady". The following year she scored her first significant hit with the Van McCoy penned “This Is It “, which reached the Billboard Hot 100, the top-20 position on the R&B chart, and top-10 in the UK, becoming her biggest success in that country. In 1976 she scored her third Grammy nomination with the R&B ballad "Lean on Me", which had been recorded originally by Vivian Reed and later by Moore's idol Aretha Franklin who recorded the song as a B-side to her 1971 hit “Spanish Harlem". The song is most notable for Moore's extended long note at the end. In 1983 she re-recorded the song as a tribute to McCoy, who had died four years earlier. Throughout the rest of the 1970s, Moore struggled to match the success of "This Is It" with minor R&B/dance hits. However, her hit 'Pick Me Up, I'll Dance' released in May 1979 produced by McFadden and Whitehead and released on Epic Records did have considerable UK disco success, reaching UK chart position 48, along with a further hit that same year, also produced by McFadden and Whitehead with a cover version of the Bee Gees' hit “You Stepped Ito My Life”, which reached the top 20 on the R&B charts and 47 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 1982 Moore signed with Capitol Records and reached the top 5 on the R&B charts with the dance-pop / funk single "Love's Comin' at Ya”, which also hit the top 20 in the UK (on EMI America EA 146) and became a sizable hit in some European countries for its post-disco sound and followed by "Mind Up Tonight", which was another top 40 hit in the UK reaching position number 22. A string of R&B hits followed, including 1983's "Keepin' My Lover Satisfied" and "Love Me Right", 1984's "Livin' for Your Love", 1985's "Read My Lips"—which later won Moore a third Grammy nomination (for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance), making her just the third black artist after Donna Summer and Michael Jackson to be nominated in the rock category—and 1985's "When You Love Me Like This”. Moore has been married once and has a daughter. Melba Moore was engaged in a four-year relationship with television star Clifton Davis during the early 1970s. Davis later admitted that the relationship failed due to his drug abuse and mistreatment of Moore. In September 1974, Moore married record manager and business promoter Charles Huggins. Moore and Huggins divorced after 17 years of marriage in 1991. In 1999, Huggins filed suit against Moore claiming that she had publicly defamed him by stating that he abused her economically. Melba Moore has described herself as a "born-again Catholic” and listen to her share the rest of her story right here on True House Stories.
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