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African American women singers

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Fresh Air Remembers Donna Summer, Queen Of Disco

In 2003, Donna Summer appeared on Fresh Air to talk about her memoir, Ordinary Girl, her hit Love to Love You Baby and her collaborator, record producer Giorgio Moroder. We remember Summer -- who died Thursday at the age of 63 -- with excerpts from that interview.


Etta James: The 1994 Fresh Air Interview

Etta James, the legendary vocalist who is perhaps known for her version of the song "At Last," has died. She was 73. Fresh Air remembers the singer with excerpts from a 1994 interview about her lengthy career.


Ruth Brown: Remembering Miss Rhythm

Rhythm-and-blues singer Ruth Brown died last week at the age of 78 from complications following a heart attack. Brown got her start in the 1940s and influenced an entire generation of singers including Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Little Richard and Bonnie Raitt. Her hits include "Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean" and "Teardrops From My Eyes." Later, she appeared in John Waters' film Hairspray and in the Broadway hit Black and Blue. She published an autobiography, Miss Rhythm, in 1996. Rhythm." This interview originally aired on Dec. 22, 1997.


Remembering Singer LaVern Baker

Baker, one of America's great rhythm-and-blues singers of the 1950's, died earlier this week. She was 67. The Associated Press says the cause was heart complications. Baker was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. Her hits included "Tweedlee Dee," "Jim Dandy," and "I Cried a Tear." After living in the Philippines during the '70's and '80's, Baker made a comeback in the '90's when she appeared on Broadway in "Black and Blue." (REBROADCAST FROM 3/26/91).


The "Amazing Grace" of Gospel Singer Marion Williams

Williams died on Saturday at the age of 66. Her trademark, a long-lasting high A-flat "whooo," has been adopted by most gospel singers and soul singers like Little Richard and Aretha Franklin. A pioneer of gospel music, she started singing with the Clara Ward Singers, the first gospel group to perform outside the church. A self- proclaimed "Holy Roller", in 1993 WILLIAMS received the MacArthur Foundation grant and the Kennedy Center Honars Award in Washington for her lifetime achievement in the arts.We replay out 1993 interview with her.

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