After much effort and perseverance, Adriana has provided us with an item that has been on my wantlist for some time, Carrie McDowell's debut album! This is another album that I only had on cassette and wanted desperately to feature on the Isle, but the CD was not easy to find, as Adriana can attest. ;) But she makes wishes come true! Thanks a ton Adriana! (And thanks to Robert as well, who coincidentally sent me this album the same day, but from the vinyl. I appreciate the effort, Robert!) Carrie was born in Iowa in the 1960s. She first showed off her vocal talents at the age of 8 on the local talent show 'Bill Riley's Talent Sprouts'. She then toured with an all-kid band, Love Train. This led to an appearance on 'The Tonight Show', which led to appearances with entertainment legends like George Burns, Danny Thomas and Jerry Lewis. With a new band, she also opened for the likes of Stevie Wonder and Liberace. In 1976, at the age of 13, she released a single with her versions of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" and "Sing, Sing, Sing". Despite her success, her mother wanted her to concentrate on her education and pulled her from the spotlight to attend school. She wouldn't return to the music scene until she was 18, moving to New York and then Los Angeles, where her powerful demo got her signed to Motown Records. This was quite a coup, as there were very few white artists signed to Motown up to that point. Her album was primarily produced by legendary Motown artist and producer Willie Hutch, with assistance from other popular Motown producers. It was part funk/dance tracks and part ballads, which adequately featured her strong vocals. The first single release was "Casual Sex". Though the title was suggestive, the song failed to attract much attention. It was promptly remixed with a dancier vibe by Bruce Forest and retitled "Uh Uh, No No Casual Sex" (though the song was against promiscuity, the original title made it seem it was promoting it). The song became a minor Billboard Dance and R&B hit. (To download the original version and the B-side of the single, "Prove It", go to Lost Pop Treasures HERE.) Though another song, the ballad "When A Woman Loves A Man", was released as a promo single, the lack of proper promotion and the failure of her first single to cross over to the pop charts, which was Motown's hope, led to Carrie being dropped from the label. During her time with Motown Carrie had met guitarist Michael Hodge, and the two married in 1989. They moved to Nashville in 1991 and began recording as Two Hearts. They released two country-laced gospel albums, Stand Your Ground in 1992 and Give 'Em The Word in 1993. They continued to tour the world, often performing at charity events, and in 2008 the couple released a Christmas album as Michael & Carrie Hodge. Carrie finally released another solo album as Carrie Hodge in 2010 titled Never Forget, but the album consisted of tracks taken from the Two Hearts records. Since then, Carrie has been said to be working on new gospel and R&B records as well as an autobiography, so expect to hear more from her soon.
UPDATE: Adriana pointed out that in 1989 Carrie had two more upbeat funk/dance songs on a compilation called Arcade, "New Start" and "Why Did He Break My Heart". You can download the songs off of iTunes HERE. And DJ Digital found a page that includes a new pic of Carrie along with some streaming songs: "Almost Like Being In Love", "I'm Afraid the Masquerade Is Over" and "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" (I don't think it is the version she recorded as a child, but I could be wrong). Visit the page HERE. Thanks guys!
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