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Judy Cheeks


Judy Cheeks

Judy was born into a musical family. Her father, the Reverend Julius Cheeks, was the definitive hard gospel singer, famed for a gritty, powerful baritone which influenced not only the next generation of gospel performers but also secular stars including James Brown, Wilson Pickett and Sam Cooke. Her father was so well respected and known in the gospel community that her godfather was Sam Cooke.
Judy's recording career began in 1973 when she was signed to United Artists Records. Her first album was a mixture of soul, pop and R&B, "Judy Cheeks" tanked at the sale bins and quickly disappeared.
Having gotten her first taste of singing and recording, Judy took jobs as a studio background singer. This second career choice would serve her well over the ensuing years as her recording career was often spotty at best.
During her years of session work her voice graced many popular albums and she worked with a host of top-notch talent such as: Donna Summer, Hubert Kah, Alphaville, Al Corley, Roger Chapman, Dionne Warwick and Stevie Wonder to name a few.
In 1977 she stepped out in front with the release of her 12" single "Mellow Lovin'." The song was co-written by Judy and recorded in Munich at the famed MusicLand Studios, which was busy churning out disco hits by the dozens.
The song, with a mix by Tom Moulton, reached the top ten in the club charts. Salsoul Records was so impressed with it's success that they asked for an entire album. Released in 1978, "Mellow Lovin'," the album, was an immediate hit. "Darling, That's Me" became a huge late-night classic and a highly sought after collector's item as well. It appears on the promotionl-only version of "Mellow Lovin'."
Her move from the main Salsoul label to it's subsidiary Dream Records produced one additional 12" single, 1980's "Don't Wanna Love You Again." Then she once again disappeared.
Touring and session work carried her through the 1980's till her opportunity to record as a soloist came again in 1988. Her album, "No Outsiders" provided some great material with tracks like: "One Way" and "Love Me Like You Used To." Still success and recognition eluded her. The Polydor album slipped into the cutout bins, barley noticed.
1994 saw her luck change when she teamed with red-hot producers Brothers In Rhythm. The previous year she had released "So In Love (The Real Deal)" to moderate success, which brought her to the attention of Brothers In Rhythm who were putting together tracks for the "Brilliant!" compilation series. Their union produced her first top ten club hit in over 17 years. "Reach" spawned several remixes and led to an album contract with Popular/Critique Records.
The ensuing 12" singles: "As Long As You're Good To Me," "Respect" and "Joy To My World" were all top ten hits here and abroad. All are featured on her fourth and most recent album "Respect."
Judy has experienced a greater success in the 1990's than she did in disco's heyday. She is without a doubt one of the more unusal success stories of the disco era, having a 17 year gap between hits and becoming more successful in her later career than in the beginning. She continues to record and do session work, and is as active and vital as ever today


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