"The little girl with the big voice."
August 22, 2009 7:18 AM   Subscribe

Timi Yuro, an Italian-American singer born in Chicago (where, the story goes, her nanny snuck her into clubs to watch singers like Dinah Washington and Mildred Bailey), was arguable the greatest blue-eyed soul artist of the '60s.

In 1961 she had her first (and biggest) hit with a cover of Roy Hamilton's emotional ballad "Hurt", so powerfully sung that many listeners first assumed she was a man, African-American, or both. Follow-ups "I Believe" (a duet with Johnnie Ray) and "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" were also successful, but established her in the public's mind as a cabaret performer rather than a soul singer. This all changed with the release of her next single, the r&b barnburner "What's A Matter Baby" and the 1963 LP Make The World Go Away, a collection of soulful country covers that included goose pimple-inducing renditions of "Leavin' On Your Mind" and the title track, which would prove to be her last significant U.S. hit. "Can't Stop Running Away" and "Interlude" went on to become Northern Soul favourites, but by the end of the '60s she had more or less left the music business, resurfacing only to record a few stray singles (including a 1979 cover of "Nothing Takes The Place Of You") before she was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1980. In 1984 she was forced to undergo a tracheotomy operation, which ended her singing career, but she lived on until March 30th, 2004, when she passed at the age of 63.
posted by The Card Cheat (8 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Nice post. My own favourite: It'll never be over for me
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:52 AM on August 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Hurt is a wonderful song!

I first became aware of Timi Yuro through her association with Johnnie Ray. They did few songs together if I recall correctly. Johnnie had more than his share of cheese but he also had some great, great songs.

Looking forward to hearing some more Timi.
posted by ericthegardener at 10:44 AM on August 22, 2009

Just listened to your link PeterMcDermott. I gotta get me some of that!
posted by ericthegardener at 10:48 AM on August 22, 2009

Not to dominate the thread but I forgot to post the Johnnie Ray/Timi Yuro song. Frankly not nearly as cool as her solo stuff.
posted by ericthegardener at 10:56 AM on August 22, 2009

Thanks. My mom had a bunch of Timi Yuro albums, but I have not heard her since I was a kid.
posted by litlnemo at 2:17 PM on August 22, 2009

Elvis covered "Hurt" in the Aloha concert. Was he doing the Timi version or the original? Me thinks the girl...
posted by bonefish at 3:20 PM on August 22, 2009

Thanks for posting this Card Cheat, you've brought back a bunch of old memories. Timi's voice is significant part of my youthful years. I see that despite the small number of comments you've run a high percentage of Mefites favoriting this post.
posted by X4ster at 5:43 PM on August 22, 2009

Her nanny?
posted by ethnomethodologist at 7:37 PM on August 22, 2009

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