By Jen Eide
Here's a great performance of The Davis Sisters singing "By and By" from 1964. That's Ruth Davis singing lead and then Jackie Verdell stepping out singing second lead towards the middle part of the tune. Jackie is a powerful singer. She certainly made an impression on a young Aretha Franklin who remembers her in her 1999 autobiography Aretha: From These Roots: "I also considered Jackie Verdell of the Davis Sisters one of the best and most underrated female soul singers of all time. It was through Jackie that I learned the expression 'Girl, you peed tonight'--meaning you were dynamite. Several nights Jackie sang so hard she literally had a spot or two on her robe from peeing. Singing far too hard, I also peed here and there in the early days; I quickly realized no one should sing that hard." Jackie Verdell is another one of those singers that ''crossed over'' to the secular side, but sadly not much came of her career--a few singles here and there for Peacock and Decca and occasional session work. I just noticed she's credited on the back cover of Van Morrison's Moondance.
It's a Davis Sisters double feature! Here's "On the Right Road" with Ruth Davis lead backed by a full choir. When Ruth Davis starts shoutin' the whole room catches fire. Jackie Verdell is standing with the rest of the Davis Sisters on the lower right.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
By Jen Eide