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Tue, 01.01.1929

Arthur Prysock, Baritone Singer born

Arthur Prysock

Arthur Prysock, a Black singer, was born on this date in 1929.

He was born in Spartanburg, S.C. He moved to Hartford, Connecticut, to work in the aircraft industry in the early 1940s.  He also sang with a local band and was spotted in 1944 by band leader Buddy Johnson, who signed him as a male vocalist.  Despite his relative lack of record success, he was a mainstay of the cabaret and concert-hall circuits.  Prysock sang on several of Johnson’s hits, first on Decca ("Jet My Love," 1947 and "I Wonder Where Our Love Has Gone," 1948) and Mercury ("Because,", 1950).

In 1952, Prysock went solo and signed with Decca. He had an immediate R&B hit, "I Didn’t Sleep a Wink Last Night"’ (1952), but his popularity as a live performer with Black audiences was lacking.  He was essentially a band and ballad singer, not an R&B singer. He recorded R&B classics like Roy Brown’s "Good Rocking Tonight." In the 1960s, Prysock joined Old Time records, where he had an R&B hit with a fine version of Ray Noble’s thirties "It’s Too Late Baby, It’s Too Late" (1965) and Verve ("A Working Man’s Prayer," 1968).

In the seventies, in the wake of successful reissues of his recordings, he had a surprise disco hit with "When Love Is New" (Old Time, 1977) and in 1985, he recorded his first new album, "Arthur Prysock" (Milestone) in almost a decade to critical and commercial approval. Heavily influenced by Billy Eckstine, Prysock’s rich baritone enabled him to sustain his career for over five decades.

Arthur Prysock died on June 7, 1997.

To Become a Musician or Singer



All Music

ASCAP Biographical Dictionary
R. R. Bowker Co., Copyright 1980
ISBN 0-8351-1283-1

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