Afro American History makers, Andrea Davis, Chicago, Chicago Recording Artists, Dick Rudolph, Hyde Park, Illinois, Lovin You, Mayor Emanuel, Minnie Riperton, Music genre, Neo Soul. Jazz, Rhythm and Blues, Social Justice, Stevie Wonder
Born on Chicago South Side… Minnie Julie Riperton Randolph aka Andrea Davis… November 8, 1947 . She began her singing debut in Hyde Park A Capella Choir. Joining a girl group called “GEMS”… signing a recording contract with Chess Records at the age of 16. She also had the opportunity doing something totally different and off the charts after leaving the Gems. She then joined as lead singer for a psychedelic Rock Group called the “Rotary Connection”.
During this time… she met her songwriter and producer and Dick Rudolph…They married and had two children Marc and Maya… Dick then produced her first solo album in 1969 “Come Into My Garden” which didn’t do quite well… She then returned to Rotary Connection for their last album…before joining Stevie Wonder as a backup singer… for Wonderlove. After touring with Stevie Wonder he help produced her second solo album… “Perfect Angel”… which birth one of my favorites….”LOVIN YOU” which was a lullaby for Maya her second child.
“Perfect Angel”went “GOLD” bringing her much success. Her next album didn’t meet up to her last success but nonetheless did well…Which is another one of my favorite singles “Inside My Love”…It was this particular song that inspired me to write about her today! I woke up during the night… hearing this song. I decided to Google the lyrics. I was blown away … and instantly understood where she was coming from!
When I read the lyrics to this song it was about a supernatural experience…with what she called her kindred spirit or someone that connects with her until they are inseparable or becoming one. She expressed that this person connect with her to ride her heart…
When preparing for her next album…In 1976 she became ill and was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent a radical mastectomy. By then the cancer had metastasized. She was in fact was the first celebrity to go public about her breast cancer but never told that she was terminally ill with only six months to live.. With a death sentence she still continued to share, recording her music and touring.
In 1977, She became the American Cancer Society spokesperson. In 1979, The following year President Jimmy Carter presented her with the American Cancer Society Courage Award. In 1178 she also signed a new contract with Capital Records began on the last work Minnie …this album produced the single … “Memory Lane”became my mother’s favorite on Saturday mornings
The day came at the age of 31… July 12, 1979, I can recall the day she passed… I was almost 14 yrs old… How sad Chicago was to lose her. My mother and my uncle adored her and knew her…. When we study the musical history of Chicago she is someone I want us all to remember.
Her son Marc became a musical engineer and Maya is on the regular cast of Saturday Night Live…I also want to note her husband never remarried another kindred spirit. Minnie Riperton music lives on with me… as classical and romantic… Her Soprano 5 octave range registered in the Whistle Registry…and one Chicago’s Very Own!