Dee Dee Warwick:
She Didn't Know (She Kept on Talking)
The recent passing of Dee Dee Warwick, sister of Dionne, has been covered in the news and on music blogs lately, and I rue the fact that I had to wait until today to have something to post. But better late than never, considering how many RIPs have been presented here lately!
Dee Dee, like most siblings of more-famous artists, failed to reach her sister's fame. Neither her singing style nor the material she recorded was as pop-friendly as the Bacharach-David concoctions that made Dionne a household name, but in this soul fan's opinion, her recordings are much more interesting. (Now, that's not to say that I don't like Dionne; it's just a point I'm trying to make.)
I decided to do a Dee Dee Double Feature today, first with her biggest hit, "She Didn't Know (She Kept on Talking)," a Southern soul ballad on Atco with which Warwick broke into the R&B Top 10. I don't have my reference books handy, but Raeford Godfrey (aka Ray Gerald) did a great version of the tune for Spring Records as well. This is one of those tunes that hits deep.
My favorite Dee Dee Warwick side is her version of Elvis Presley's 1969 hit "Suspicious Minds," and I'll make it the second half of today's feature. Warwick's version came out a couple of years after Presley's, and everything about this record works to make it a fine soul record: the Dixie Flyers replace the slightly-countrified groove of Presley's record with a bumping R&B groove, the Sweet Inspirations (who, interesting, did the backgrounds on Elvis's version as well) provide fine support, and Dee Dee brings a declarative but soulful vocal performance.