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*Betty Everett was born on this date in 1939. She was a Black rhythm and blues singer.
Born in Greenwood, MS, she began playing the piano and singing in church at an early age. Everett moved to Chicago during the late 1950s, a very busy city even during the 50s. It was hard for her during her first years because of its overpopulation.
As a teenager, she performed with Muddy Waters and Magic Sam and recorded for several local labels, including Cobra and Onederful. But her big hits came when she signed with VeeJay Records.
Everett recorded "The Shoop Shoop Song" (It's In His Kiss) in the spring of 1964, which became a top ten song. Other songs like "I Can't Hear You" and "Getting Mighty Crowded" were not as successful. She sang a duet with Jerry Butler, and "Let It Be Me" also made the top ten that year. There were other Betty Everett/Jerry Butler duets. "There'll Come A Time" was her first entry in the soul charts, making it number two. It was also her last top-40 hit. Everett had five more songs to make the soul charts on Uni and Fantasy labels by 1971.
Everett received the BMI Pop Award in 1964 and 1991 and the BMI R&B Award in 1964. She made a successful tour of England in the mid-60s. In 1969, "There'll Come A Time" reached number 2 in the R&B charts, giving her momentum that continued into the early 1970s. Everett's last chart entry was in 1978 with "True Love (You Took My Heart)." Cher took her version of "The Shoop Shoop Song" to the top of the charts in 1991.
Betty Everett died on August 21, 2001.
Heart & Soul
A Celebration of Black Music Style in America 1930-1975
by Merlis Davin Seay, Forward by Etta James
Copyright 2002, Billboard Books