Dionne Lister Biography & Facts
Marie Dionne Warrick (born December 12, 1940) is an American singer, television host, and former Goodwill Ambassador for the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization.
Warwick ranks among the 40 biggest hit makers between 1955 and 1999, based on her chart history on Billboard's Hot 100 pop singles chart. She is one of the most-charted female vocalists of all time, with 56 of her singles making the Hot 100 between 1962 and 1998 (12 of them Top Ten), and 80 singles in total – either solo or collaboratively – making the Hot 100, R&B and/or adult contemporary charts.
Marie Dionne Warrick, later Warwick, was born in Orange, New Jersey to Lee Drinkard and Mancel Warrick. Her mother was manager of the Drinkard Singers, and her father was a Pullman porter, chef, record promoter and CPA. Dionne was named after her aunt on her mother's side. She had a sister, Delia ("Dee Dee"), who died in 2008, and a brother, Mancel Jr., who was killed in an accident in 1968 at age 21. Her parents were both African American, and she also has Native American and Dutch ancestry.She was raised in East Orange, New Jersey and was a Girl Scout for a time. After finishing East Orange High School in 1959, Warwick pursued her passion at the Hartt College of Music in West Hartford, Connecticut. She landed some work with her group singing backing vocals for recording sessions in New York City. During one session, Warwick met Burt Bacharach, who hired her to record demos featuring songs written by him and lyricist Hal David. She later landed her own record deal.
Many of Warwick's family were members of the Drinkard Singers, a renowned family gospel group and RCA recording artists who frequently performed throughout the New York metropolitan area. The original group, known as the Drinkard Jubilairs, consisted of Cissy, Anne, Larry, and Nicky, and later included Warwick's grandparents, Nicholas and Delia Drinkard, and their children: William, Lee (Warwick's mother) and Hansom. When the Drinkard Singers performed on TV Gospel Time, Dionne Warwick had her television performance debut.
Marie instructed the group, and they were managed by Lee. As they became more successful, Lee and Marie began performing with the group, and they were augmented by pop/R&B singer Judy Clay, whom Lee had unofficially adopted. Elvis Presley eventually expressed an interest in having them join his touring entourage. Dionne began singing gospel as a child at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey.
Other singers joined the Gospelaires from time to time, including Judy Clay, Cissy Houston and Doris "Rikii" Troy, whose chart selection "Just One Look", when she recorded it in 1963, featured backing vocals from the Gospelaires. After personnel changes (Dionne and Doris left the group after achieving solo success), the Gospelaires became the recording group the Sweet Inspirations, who had some chart success, but were much sought-after as studio background singers. The Gospelaires and later the Sweet Inspirations performed on many records cut in New York City for artists such as Garnet Mimms, the Drifters, Jerry Butler, Solomon Burke and later Warwick's recordings, Aretha Franklin and Elvis Presley. Warwick recalled, in 2002's Biography, that "a man came running frantically backstage at the Apollo and said he needed background singers for a session for Sam "the Man" Taylor and old big-mouth here spoke up and said 'We'll do it!' and we left and did the session. I wish I remembered the gentleman's name because he was responsible for the beginning of my professional career."The backstage encounter led to the group being asked to sing background sessions at recording studios in New York. Soon, the group were in demand in New York music circles for their background work for such artists as the Drifters, Ben E. King, Chuck Jackson, Dinah Washington, Ronnie "the Hawk" Hawkins, and Solomon Burke, among many others. Warwick remembered, in Biography, that after school, they would catch a bus from East Orange to the Port Authority Terminal, then take the subway to recording studios in Manhattan, perform their background gigs and be back at home in East Orange in time to do their school homework. Her background vocal work would continue while Warwick pursued her studies at Hartt.On June 25, 2019 The New York Times Magazine listed the Gospelaires among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.
While she was performing background on the Drifters' recording of their 1962 release "Mexican Divorce", Warwick's voice and star presence were noticed by the song's composer, Burt Bacharach, a Brill Building songwriter who was writing songs with many other songwriters, including lyricist Hal David. According to a July 14, 1967 article on Warwick in Time, Bacharach stated, "She has a tremendous strong side and a delicacy when singing softly — like miniature ships in bottles." Musically, she was no "play-safe girl. What emotion I could get away with!" During the session, Bacharach asked Warwick if she would be interested in recording demonstration recordings of his compositions to pitch the tunes to record labels, paying her $12.50 per demo recording session (equivalent to $110 in 2020). One such demo, "It's Love That Really Counts" – destined to be recorded by Scepter-signed act the Shirelles – caught the attention of the President of Scepter Records, Florence Greenberg, who, according to Current Biography (1969 Yearbook), told Bacharach, "Forget the song, get the girl!"Warwick was signed to Bacharach's and David's production company, according to Warwick, which in turn was signed to Scepter Records in 1962 by Greenberg. The partnership would provide Bacharach with the freedom to produce Warwick without the control of recording company executives and company A&R men. Warwick's musical ability and education would also allow Bacharach to compose more challenging tunes. The demo version of "It's Love That Really Counts", along with her original demo of "Make It Easy on Yourself", would surface on Warwick's debut Scepter album, Presenting Dionne Warwick, which was released in early 1963.
In November 1962, Scepter Records released her first solo single, "Don't Make Me Over", the title of which Warwick supplied herself when she snapped the phrase at producers Burt Bacharach and Hal David in anger. Warwick had found out that "Make It Easy on Yourself" — a song on which she had recorded the original demo and had wanted to be her first single release — had been given to another artist, Jerry Butler. From the phrase "don't make me over", Bacharach and David created their first top 40 pop hit (No. 21) and a top 5 U.S. R&B hit. Warrick's name was misspelled on the single's label, and she began using the new spelling, "Warwick", both professionally and personally.After "Don't Make Me Over" hit in 1962, she answere.... Discover the Dionne Lister popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Dionne Lister books.