Priscilla Bowman

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Priscilla Bowman (born Priscilla I. Mills, May 30, 1928 – July 24, 1988) was an American jazz and rhythm and blues singer who had a No. 1 hit single on the Billboard magazine R&B chart in 1955 with the song "Hands Off". She was the lead singer for the Jay McShann band.

Biography[edit]

The daughter of Ethel and Solomon Mills, she was born in Kansas City, Kansas,[1] and has been called the city's "original rock 'n' roll mama."[2] She was influenced by singers Ruth Brown and Annie Laurie.[1] She joined the Jay McShann band in the early 1950s. In 1955 the band signed with Vee-Jay Records, and Bowman recorded two sessions with them. One of the songs, "Hands Off", became a hit and stayed at No. 1 on the R&B chart for three weeks in December 1955.[3]

She recorded three sessions for Vee-Jay and its subsidiary label, Falcon, as a solo singer between 1957 and 1959 but could not repeat her success.[2] However, in 1958 she was the first to record the song "A Rockin' Good Way", with uncredited vocal backing by The Spaniels.[4] The song was written with Brook Benton and became a hit when Benton recorded it himself as a duo with Dinah Washington in 1960.[5]

Bowman recorded again for Abner Records in 1959 and continued to record and make personal appearances, some with McShann, through the mid-1970s. She retired to family life.[1] A compilation album of her recordings, An Original Rock & Roll Mama, was released in 1986.

Bowman died in July 1988 from lung cancer at the age of 60.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues - A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara: Praeger Publishers. p. 354. ISBN 978-0313344237.
  2. ^ a b "Vee-Jay". Campber.people.clemson.edu. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 298.
  4. ^ JC Marion (2006). "Hands Off : Priscilla Bowman". Home.earthlink.net. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  5. ^ Rob Finnis and Tony Rounce, Booklet with CD "You Heard It Here First", Ace Records CDCHD1204, 2008
  6. ^ Rock, Doc. "The Dead Rock Stars Club - The 1980s". Thedeadrockstarsclub.com. Retrieved 30 August 2017.

External links[edit]