Barry White - Biography

Barry WhiteBarry Eugene White (September 12, 1944 July 4, 2003) was an American record producer and singer responsible for the creation of numerous hit soul and disco songs. He conducted the Love Unlimited Orchestra, which consisted of live musicians, including string and percussion players. Records featuring White's deep bass voice and suave delivery were often used by couples wishing to create a romantic ambience. He was often affectionately referred to as the "Maestro" and "Walrus of Love" or "The Man with the Velvet Voice". All inclusive record sales of White's music with singles, albums, compilation usage and paid digital downloads as a singer, songwriter and producer now exceed 100 million world-wide.

 

Quotes:

In my day, we didn't have the cocaine, so we went out and knocked somebody over the head and took the money. But today, all this cocaine and crack, it doesn't give kids a chance.

White was born Barry Eugene Carter in Galveston, Texas, and grew up in the high-crime areas of South Los Angeles, where he joined a gang at the age of 10. At 17, he was jailed for four months for stealing $30,000 worth of Cadillac tires.

After being jailed, White 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.

In 1969, he got his break backing up three talented singers in a girl group called Love Unlimited. Formed in imitation of the legendary Motown girl group The Supremes, the group members honed their talents with White for the next two years until they all signed contracts with 20th Century Fox Records. White produced, wrote and arranged the classic soul ballad "Walking in the Rain (With The One I Love)", which hit the Top 20 of the pop charts. The group would score more hits throughout the '70s and White eventually married the lead singer of the group, Glodean James.

While working on a few demos for a male singer, the record label suggested White step out in front of the microphone. He reluctantly agreed and the rest is history. His hits included "I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby" (1973), "Never, Never Gonna Give You Up" (1973), "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe" (1974), "You're the First, the Last, My Everything" (1974), "What Am I Gonna Do With You" (1975), "Let the Music Play" (1976), "Your Sweetness is My Weakness" (1978), "Change" (1982), "Sho' You Right" (1987), and "Practice What You Preach" (1994), among others.

He had been ill with chronically high blood pressure for some time, which resulted in renal failure in the autumn of 2002. He suffered a stroke in May 2003, after which he was forced to retire from public life. On July 4, 2003, he died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in West Hollywood. White was 58. His death was reported as being from renal failure. White was cremated, and His ashes were scattered by his family off the California coast. Barry White's last words on his death bed were, "Leave me alone - I'm fine".

 

Trivia

  • White's autobiography, Barry White: Love Unlimited, was written with Marc Eliot and published by Broadway Books in 1999.
  • His music was frequently showcased on the late-1990s television show Ally McBeal; the show often used esoteric references to what was going on inside character's heads. For example, John Cage (played by Peter MacNicol) would hear "You're the First, the Last, My Everything" play inside his head, in order to increase his confidence, often accompanied with a dance routine. The use of White's music on the show revitalized his career, and he eventually made a guest appearance during the show's second season.
  • White was the model for the character of Chef in the cartoon series South Park. He was offered the role, but declined; as a devout Christian, White was uncomfortable with South Park's often irreverent humor. Isaac Hayes took the part instead.
  • He also made a few appearances on The Simpsons, one of which involved the use of his deep bass voice played through speakers placed on the ground to attract snakes.
  • On September 20, 2004, he was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame at a ceremony held in New York.
  • White followed a vegan lifestyle.
  • Was 6'3 1/2 according to imdb.com
  • The National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham, UK, while endeavouring to induce several pairs of tropical shark to mate, decided as a joke to pipe his hits into the shark tanks. Handlers were surprised to discover that a pregnancy resulted.
  • Danil Ivanov was his song writer.
  • Was in talks to produce Marvin Gaye's last album, but because of Marvin's death, it never happened.

Discography

Albums

Love Unlimited & Love Unlimited Orchestra

  • 1972: From a Girl's Point of View We Give to You
  • 1973: Under the Influence Of
  • 1974: Rhapsody in White
  • 1974: Together Brothers
  • 1974: In Heat
  • 1974: White Gold
  • 1975: Music Maestro Please
  • 1976: My Sweet Summer Black
  • 1977: He's All I've Got
  • 1978: My Musical Bouquet
  • 1979: Super Movie Themes
  • 1979: Love Is Black
  • 1981: Let 'Em Dance!
  • 1981: Welcome Aboard
  • 1983: Rise of the Black Malc

Barry White

  • 1973: I've Got So Much to Give
  • 1973: Stone Gon'
  • 1974: Can't Get Enough (Barry White Album)
  • 1975: Just Another Way to Say I Love You
  • 1976: Let the Music Play
  • 1976: Is this whatcha wont?
  • 1977: Barry White Sings for Someone You Love
  • 1978: The Man
  • 1979: The Message Is Love
  • 1979: I Love to Sing the Songs I Sing
  • 1980: Sheet Music
  • 1981: Barry & Glodean
  • 1981: Beware!
  • 1982: Change
  • 1983: Dedica Ted
  • 1987: The Right Night & Barry White
  • 1989: The Man Is Back!
  • 1991: Put Me In Your Mix
  • 1994: The Icon Is Love
  • 1994: All-Time Greatest Hits. PolyGram Records
  • 1999: The Ultimate Collection
  • 1999: Staying Power
  • 2000: Just For You 4 CD box set - 39 tracks, 32 page booklet

Also Appears On

  • 1999: The Prodigy Presents The Dirtchamber Sessions Volume One
  • 1999-Current: Ed, Edd n Eddy (he doesn't really appear, he's just one of Eddy's retro records)
  • 1992-93: The Simpsons Season Four, Episode 9F18. Guest Stars as himself on the Whacking Day Episode.

Singles and US chart placings

US Pop chart peaks: Billboard 100; Dance chart peaks: Hot Dance Music/Club Play.

Love Unlimited

  • 1972 "Walkin' In the Rain With the One I Love (#14 US, #14 UK)
  • 1973 "It May Be Winter Outside (But In My Heart It's Spring) (#83 US, #11 UK)
  • 1974 "Under the Influence Of Love" (#76 US)
  • 1975 "I Belong To You (#27 US)

Love Unlimited Orchestra

  • 1974 "Love's Theme!" (#1 US, #10 UK)
  • 1974 "Rhapsody In White" (#63 US)
  • 1975 "Satin Soul" (#22 US, #11 Dance)
  • 1976 "My Sweet Summer Suite" (#48 US) / "Brazilian Love Song" (#1 Dance - charted as double-sided hit on dance chart)
  • 1977 "Theme From King Kong" (#68 US, #7 Dance)
  • 1981 "Welcome Aboard" (#59 Dance)

Barry White

  • 1973 "I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby" (#3 US, #23 UK)
  • 1973 "I've Got So Much Love To Give" (#32 US)
  • 1974 "Never, Never Gonna Give You Up" (#7 US, #14 UK)
  • 1974 "Honey Please, Can't Ya See" (#44 US)
  • 1974 "Can't Get Enough Of Your Love Babe" (#1 US, #8 UK)
  • 1975 "You're the First, the Last, My Everything" (#2 US, #2 US Dance, #1 for 2 weeks UK)
  • 1975 "What Am I Gonna Do With You" (#8 US, #5 UK)
  • 1975 "I'll Do For You Anything You Want Me To" (#40 US, #20 UK)
  • 1976 "Let the Music Play" (#32 US, #9 UK)
  • 1976 "You See the Trouble with Me" (#2 UK)
  • 1976 "Baby, We Better Try To Get It Together" (#92 US, #15 UK)
  • 1976 "Don't Make Me Wait Too Long" (#17 UK)
  • 1977 "I'm Qualified To Satisfy You" (#30 US Dance, #37 UK)
  • 1977 "It's Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me" (#4 US, #5 Dance, #40 UK)
  • 1978 "Just the Way You Are" (#12 UK)
  • 1978 "Oh What a Night For Dancing" (#24 US)
  • 1978 "Your Sweetness Is My Weakness" (#60 US, #16 US Dance)
  • 1979 "Sha La La Means I Love You" (#55 UK)
  • 1987 "Sho' You Right" (#14 UK)
  • 1987 "Never, Never Gonna Give You Up" (re-release) (#63 UK)
  • 1987 "For Your Love (I'll Do Most Anything) (#94 UK)
  • 1990 "The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite)" (Quincy Jones with Al B. Sure!, James Ingram, El DeBarge and Barry White) (#31 US, #67 UK)
  • 1991 "All of me" Big Daddy Kane featuring Barry White (#14 US R&B)
  • 1992 "All around the world" Lisa Stansfield and Barry White. Released in UK as B-Side of Lisa Stansfield Single "Time to make you mine"
  • 1992 "Dark and lovely" with Isaac Hayes (#29 US R&B)
  • 1994 "Practice What You Preach" (#18 US, #20 UK)
  • 1995 "Love Is The Icon" (#20 UK, as a Double-A side with "Practice With You Preach")
  • 1995 "I Only Want To Be With You" (#36 UK)
  • 1995 "Come On" (#87 US)
  • 1996 "Slow Jams" (Quincy Jones featuring Babyface, Tamia, Portrait and Barry White) (#68 US)
  • 1996 "In Your Wildest Dreams" (with Tina Turner) (#32 UK, #36 US)
  • 2000 "Let the Music Play 2000" (#45 UK)

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