Alyson Williams is one of many of today's great singers who learned her craft surrounded by the very best. Her musical roots stem from some of the finest soul music ever made, having sung with all time greats such as Melba Moore, Curtis Hairston and Bobby Brown.
A backing vocalist and lead singer for soul group High Fashion, it was inevitable that Alyson would go it alone, and the end of the 1980s revealed one of the most gorgeous soul albums of the era, "Raw". The ballads are rich and full, and many of you will recognise the definitive classic "I Need Your Lovin'". (a small reminder for those in "Sample This Artist" to the right). The up-tempo tunes also demonstrated her versatility, the album providing a fantastic blend of mellow soul and funky dance beats. Copies of this are getting scarce these days - it's only available on import - so snap them up while they are available.
A self-entitled LP followed, but we had to wait over a decade for a further release, the aptly named "It's About Time". It was well worth the wait.
Why Alyson didn't get the profile and recognition she deserved remains a mystery, but thanks to the fantastic Expansion Records Alyson is back at the forefront of soul once again. She demonstrated this to perfection at London's Jazz Cafe in January 2008, where she appeared with fellow soul legends Shirley Jones
and Jean Carne
- quite a combination of talent!
Take a listen here to snippets from three of the tracks taken from the latest release, and hear for your yourself just how beautiful Alyson's voice is.
We are puzzled why soul music as good as this doesn't get the airplay it clearly warrants. Young "R&B" artists, who have been in the business for five minutes, get the backing and support of an industry which perhaps would do well to learn a little about the true heritage of soul music.
Singers such as Alyson Williams are a central part of this heritage, and can draw upon the experience of a lifetime surrounded by and working with the very finest. This factor, together with her incredible natural talent, dictates that she rightfully deserves her place as one of all time greats.
Young soul singers developing their craft could learn so much from singers such as Alyson Williams, who provides an exemplary example of how it should be done. But it frustrates us a little that developing soul singers have little opportunity to learn from singers such as Alyson, since albums such as "It's About Time"
are unfairly overlooked by the radio schedulers and A&R men.
In the meantime, those of us who know of her magical voice and are fortunate to have been caught under its spell will to continue to enjoy her music for a long, long time to come.
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Mary J Blige
Alyson Williams is the daughter of bandleader/trumpeter Bobby Booker.
Alyson has sung background vocals for various artists including, Curtis Hairston, Melba Moore ('Love's Coming At Ya'), B.B. & Q., Cashflow, Unlimited Touch, Bobby Brown and Barbara Mitchell.
Her break came when she was enlisted to the ranks of High Fashion alongside Eric McClinton and Melisa Morgan.
On the break up of High Fashion, Alyson sang with the group The Affair before moving onto a solo career.
Her first single 'Yes We Can Can' was released on the Def Jam label in 1987.
At the label, she established herself as an in demand vocalist, duetting with many of her label mates including Chuck Stanley ('Make You Mine Tonight') and Oran 'Juice' Jones ('How To Love Again').
Her first album release came in the shape of 'Raw' in 1989. The album produced the singles 'My Love Is Raw' and 'Sweet Talk'.
The album included a duet with the Blue Magic vocalist Ted Mills on 'We're Gonna Make It'.
Alyson also recorded with Tashan on the track 'Do You Wanna Know', taken from his 'On The Horizon' outing.
She, additionally, toured with him in the United Kingdom.
In 1991, Alyson recorded 'She's Not Your Fool' for the soundtrack to the movie 'Livin' Large'.
The track was included upon her 1991 set 'Alyson Williams'.
Alyson released a new album entitled 'It's About Time' for the Expansion Records label in the UK in 2004.
This profile and the discography below were kindly supplied by the incredible Soul Walking site, the leading resource on soul music on the web.
Cooked (the Remix Album) (Def Jam 1990)
Alyson Williams (Columbia 1991)
It's About Time (Expansion Records 2004)
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