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  • Barry Eugene White
  • The Maestro
  • White Barry

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Barry White (1944)

Barrence Eugene Carter

Type :  

  Summary  

Barry White, born Barry Eugene Carter (September 12, 1944 – ), was an American composer and singer-songwriter.

A two-time Grammy Award-winner known for his distinctive bass voice and romantic image, White's greatest success came in the 1970s as a solo singer and with the Love Unlimited Orchestra, crafting many enduring soul, funk, and disco songs such as his two biggest hits, "You're the First, the Last, My Everything" and "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe."

Worldwide, White had many gold and platinum albums and singles, with combined sales of over 100 million, according to critics Ed Hogan and Wade Kergan.
His influences include southern soul artists like Isaac Hayes, Clarence Carter, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin plus Motown artists The Supremes, The Four Tops and Marvin Gaye. Along with Isaac Hayes, White is considered by Allmusic.com as the first singer who played disco music before the actual period of the late 1970s.

  Biography  

 early life
Barry White was born Barry Eugene Carter in Galveston, Texas, and grew up in the high-crime areas of South Central Los Angeles. White was the elder of two brothers; his brother Darryl is 13 months younger. He grew up listening to his mother's classical music collection, and first took to the piano emulating what he heard on the records. His introduction to music later led to him playing piano on Jesse Belvin's hit single, "Goodnight My Love."

White recalled that, " I had a normal squeaky kid voice. Then as a teenager, that completely changed. My mother cried because she knew her baby boy had become a man."

  Gang life and jail sentence
During his teenage years, White and his brother got involved with crime and gang activity. At age 17, he was jailed for four months for stealing $30,000 worth of Cadillac tires.

While in jail, White listened to Elvis Presley singing "It's Now or Never" on the radio, an experience he later credited with changing the course of his life.

 music career
After his release from jail, he left gang life and began a musical career at the dawn of the 1960s in singing groups before going out on his own in the middle of the decade.

The marginal success he had to that point was as a songwriter. His songs were recorded by rock singer Bobby Fuller and TV bubblegum act The Banana Splits. He was also responsible in 1963 for arranging "Harlem Shuffle" for Bob & Earl, which became a hit in the UK in 1969. He discovered disco artists, Viola Wills and Felice Taylor in 1965 and signed them to Mustang/Bronco Records, for which he was working as A&R manager for Bob Keane.

  The 1970s as producer
In 1972, he got his big break producing a girl group he had discovered called Love Unlimited. Formed in imitative style of the Motown girl group The Supremes, the group members had gradually honed their talents with White for two years previously until they signed contracts with Uni Records. His best friend, music industry businessman Larry Nunes, helped to finance their album. After it was recorded, Nunes took the recording to Russ Regan, who was the head of the Uni label owned by MCA. The album, 1972's From A Girl's Point of View We Give to You... Love Unlimited became a million album seller.

White produced, wrote and arranged their classic soul ballad, "Walking In The Rain With The One I Love", which climbed to #14 in the Billboard Hot 100 Pop chart and #6 on the Billboard R&B chart in late 1972. This single also reached #12 in the UK chart. White's voice can clearly be heard debuting in this piece as he plays the lover who answers the phone call of the female lead.

Soon after, Regan left Uni for 20th Century Records. Without Regan, White's relationship with Uni soured. With his relationship with Uni over and Love Unlimited contract-bound with the label, White was able to switch both his production deal and the group to 20th Century Records. (They recorded several other hits throughout the 1970s, including "I Belong To You," which spent over five months on the Billboard R&B chart in 1974 including a week at #1. White also married the lead singer of the group, Glodean James, on July 4, 1974.)

  The 1970s as solo artist
White wanted to work with another act but decided to work with a solo male artist. While working on a few demos for a male singer, he made three song demos of himself singing and playing, but Nunes heard them and insisted that he re-record and release them himself as a solo recording artist. After arguing for days about it, White was finally persuaded to release the songs himself although he was initially reluctant to step out in front of the microphone.

He then wrote several other songs and recorded them for what eventually became an entire album of music. He was going to use the name "White Heat," but decided on using his given name instead. White was still hesitating up to the time the label copy was made. It eventually became the first solo White album, 1973's "I've Got So Much to Give". It included the title track and his first solo chart hit, "I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby", which also rose to #1 on the Billboard R&B charts as well as #3 on the Billboard Pop charts in 1973 and stayed in the top 40 for many weeks.

Other chart hits by White included "Never, Never Gonna Give You Up" (#2 R&B, #7 Pop in 1973), "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe" (# 1 Pop and R&B in 1974), "You're the First, the Last, My Everything" (#1 R&B, #2 Pop in 1974), "What Am I Gonna Do with You" (#1 R&B, #8 Pop in 1975), "Let the Music Play" (#4 R&B in 1976), "It's Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next to Me" (#1 R&B, #4 Pop in 1977) and "Your Sweetness is My Weakness" (#2 R&B in 1978). White also had a strong following in the United Kingdom where he scored five Top 10 hits and one number 1 for "You're The First." His popularity as a singer of love songs, coupled with his large size, led to him acquiring the affectionate nickname "The Walrus of Love".

  The Love Unlimited Orchestra
In 1972 White created The Love Unlimited Orchestra, a 40-piece orchestral group to be used originally as a backing band for the girl-group Love Unlimited. However, White had other plans, and in 1974 he released an album of their music titled Rhapsody in White, yielding the composition "Love's Theme", reaching #1 on the Billboard Pop charts. It was one of only a handful of instrumental recordings ever to do so.

White is sometimes credited with ushering in the "disco" sound, seamlessly combining R&B music with classical music. Some also regard "Love's Theme" as the first hit in the actual "disco era", but Nino Tempo and 5th Ave. Sax's song "Sister James" had already reached the Billboard Hot 100 a few months before and had a disco sound in its own right.

He would continue to make albums with the Orchestra, but never achieved the same kind of success with his debut album. The Orchestra ceased to make albums in 1983, but continued to support White as a backing band.

  The 1980s
After six years White left 20th Century in 1979 to launch his own label, Unlimited Gold, with CBS/Columbia Records. Although White's success on the pop charts slowed down as the disco era came to an end, he maintained a loyal following throughout his career. Despite several albums over the next three years he failed to repeat his earlier successes, with no singles managing to reach the Billboard Hot 100 except for 1982's "Change," climbing into the Billboard R&B Top 20 (#12). His label venture was exacting a heavy financial cost on White, so he concentrated on mostly touring and finally folded his label in 1983.

After four years he signed with A&M Records, and with the release of 1987's The Right Night & Barry White, the single titled "Sho' You Right" made it to the Billboard R&B charts, peaking at #17.

In 1989 he released The Man Is Back! and with it had three top 40 singles on the Billboard R&B charts: "Super Lover", which made it to #34, "I Wanna Do It Good to Ya", which made it to #26, and "When Will I See You Again", which made it to #32.

  The 1990s
A 1970s nostalgia fad allowed Barry White to enjoy a renewed wave of popularity in the 1990s. After White took part in a Quincy Jones record titled Back on the Block, on the song titled "The Secret Garden ", which topped the R&B chart in 1990, he mounted an effective comeback with several albums, each one more successful than the last. He returned to the top of the charts in 1991 with the album Put Me in Your Mix, which reached #8 on the Billboard R&B Albums chart and the song by the same name reached #2 on the Billboard R&B singles chart.

In 1994 he released the album The Icon Is Love which went to #1 on the Billboard R&B album charts, and the single "Practice What You Preach" gave him his first #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart in almost 20 years, and was nominated for a Grammy in the Best R&B Album category (it lost to TLC's CrazySexyCool).

In 1996, White recorded the duet "In Your Wildest Dreams" with Tina Turner. 1996 also saw the release of Space Jam and its soundtrack, on which White had a duet with Chris Rock, called "Basketball Jones," a remake of Cheech & Chong's "Basketball Jones" from 1974.

His final album, 1999's Staying Power, resulted in his last hit song "Staying Power," which placed #45 on the Billboard R&B charts. The single won him his only two Grammy Awards in the categories Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance.

 acting career
Over the course of his career, White sometimes did voice-over work for TV and movies. He voiced the character Bear in the 1975 film Coonskin and also played the character Sampson in the movie's live-action segments.

He appeared as himself in a couple episodes of The Simpsons, and most importantly the episode "Whacking Day" in which Bart and Lisa used his famously deep bass singing voice, played through loudspeakers placed on the ground, to lull and attract snakes. White was a fan of the show, and had reportedly contacted the staff about wanting to make a guest appearance.

He played the role of a bus driver for a Prodigy commercial in 1995, and he also portrayed the voice of a rabbit in a Good Seasons salad dressing mix commercial, singing a song called "You Can't Bottle Love."

In addition, he did some work for car commercials, most famously for Oldsmobile, and later on, Jeep.

He also provided voice over for Arby's Restaurant commercials on TV and Radio to promote their 'Market Fresh' menu.

Also his voice can be heard in Apple's first iBook commercial.

He made two guest appearances on the comedy-drama TV series Ally McBeal, as his music was often featured on the show in dream sequences.

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  Played movies  

  Played TV shows  

  Albums 

  Tracks  

Name Duration Released
It May Be Winter Outside (But In My Heart It's Spring) 00:00 2005
Walking In The Rain 00:00 2005
Satin Soul 00:00 2005
Love's Theme 00:00 2005
I'm Qualified to Satisfy You 00:00 2000
Don't Make Me Wait Too Long 00:00 2000
My Sweet Summer Suite—Love Unlimited Orchestra 00:00 2000
Let the Music Play 00:00 2000
Baby Blues—Love Unlimited Orchestra 00:00 2000
Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe 00:00 2000
I've Got So Much to Give 00:00 2000
I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby 00:00 2000
Midnight and You—Love Unlimited Orchestra 00:00 2000
Get Up 06:11 1999
Which Way Is Up 05:42 1999
I Get Off on You 06:30 1999
The Longer We Make Love 05:48 1999
Don't Play Games 07:24 1999
Slow Your Roll 05:46 1999
Staying Power 06:10 1999
Thank You 05:46 1999
Low Rider 05:17 1999
Sometimes 06:55 1999
There It Is 07:03 04/10/1994
Whatever We Had, We Had 10:41 04/10/1994
Practice What You Preach 05:59 04/10/1994
Don't You Want to Know? 06:51 04/10/1994
Sexy Undercover 04:51 04/10/1994
Love Is the Icon 04:38 04/10/1994
Come On 05:50 04/10/1994
Baby's Home 08:17 04/10/1994
The Time Is Right 05:46 04/10/1994
I Only Want to Be With You 05:01 04/10/1994
I Wanna Do It Good to Ya 06:00 1989
When Will I See You Again 05:51 1989
Follow That and See (Where It Leads Y'All) 05:04 1989
L.A. My Kinda Place 04:50 1989
Super Lover 04:52 1989
Responsible 04:41 1989
Don't Let Go 09:08 1989
It's Getting Harder All the Time 05:09 1989
I'm Ready for Love 05:09 1987
Love Is in Your Eyes 07:22 1987
There's a Place 07:25 1987
For Your Love (I'll Do Most Anything) 06:23 1987
Sho' You Right 07:43 1987
As Time Goes By 05:51 1987
Good Dancin' Music 07:05 1987
Who's the Fool 06:36 1987
Share 07:05 1987
Oh Me, Oh My, (I'm Such a Lucky Guy) 04:59 1979
Love Ain't Easy 05:36 1979
Once Upon a Time 06:01 1979
Any Fool Could See 04:45 1979
Girl, What's Your Name 04:08 1979
You're the One I Need 04:23 1979
I Love to Sing the Songs I Sing 02:47 1979
Hung Up In Your Love 04:11 1979
It Ain't Love, Babe 04:22 1979
How Did You Know It Was Me 06:47 1979
Call Me, Baby 08:04 1979
I'm on Fire 05:39 1979
I Can't Leave You Alone 03:25 1979
September When I First Met You 06:52 1978
Sha la la Means I Love You 07:27 1978
Your Sweetness Is My Weakness 08:08 1978
Look At Her 06:20 1978
Early Years 06:27 1978
Just the Way You Are 07:04 1978
It's Only Love Doing Its Thing 04:01 1978
You're So Good You're Bad 06:06 08/1977
It's Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next to Me 06:59 08/1977
Playing Your Game, Baby 07:12 08/1977
Of All The Guysn I the World 04:00 08/1977
Oh What a Night for Dancing 03:55 08/1977
You Turned My Whole World Around 07:47 08/1977
Never Thought I'd Fall in Love With You 04:48 08/1977
You See the Trouble with Me 03:29 01/1976
Baby, We Better Try to Get It Together 04:28 01/1976
I'm So Blue and You Are Too 07:07 01/1976
If You Know, Won't You Tell Me 05:05 01/1976
I Don't Know Where Love Has Gone 04:57 01/1976
I Wanna Lay Down With You Baby 08:54 11/1975
Your Love - So Good I Can Taste It 12:29 11/1975
Let Me Live My Life Lovin' You Babe 10:17 03/1975
What Am I Gonna Do with You 03:36 03/1975
Love Serenade 04:43 03/1975
All Because of You 06:34 03/1975
I'll Do for You Anything You Want Me To 06:07 03/1975
Heavenly, That's What You Are to Me 04:59 03/1975
Mellow Mood 00:00 02/1974
I Can't Believe You Love Me 00:00 02/1974
You're The First,The Last,My Everything 00:00 02/1974
All In The Run Of A Day 00:00 1974
Long Black Veil 00:00 1974
Your Heart And Soul 00:00 1974
Under The Influence Of Love 00:00 1974
I've Got The World To Hold Me Up 00:00 1974
I Feel Love Coming On 00:00 1974
Midnight and You 00:00 1974
Rhapsody in White 00:00 1974
Barry's Theme 00:00 1974
Bring Back My Yesterday 00:00 11/1973
Standing in the Shadows of Love 00:00 11/1973
Never never gonna give you up 07:55 10/1973
Hard to believe that I found You 06:59 10/1973
You're My Baby 09:08 10/1973
Honey Please, can't Ya see 05:11 10/1973
Girl it's true, Yes I'll always Love You 08:36 10/1973
I Found Someone 05:54 1973

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  Sources

Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Barry White", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.