Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

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REESE, Della

(b Dellareese Taliaferro, 6 July '32, Detroit) Pop/soul singer with big beautiful voice who began in her teens as a gospel singer with Mahalia Jackson troupe. Recorded for Jubilee, had no. 12 hit 'And That Reminds Me' '57, further Hot 100 entry with 'Sermonette' (Cannonball Adderley tune with words by Jon Hendricks); switched to RCA, hit with 'Don't You Know' (no. 2), 'Not One Minute More' (no. 16), both '59; several more lesser hits through '61. Chart LPs on RCA were Della '60 (top 40), Special Delivery '61, best-of Classic Della '62; came back to charts on ABC '65--6 with minor hit singles, LP Della Reese Live with Bill Doggett, Shelly Manne. Her big voice could have made her an American Shirley Bassey, but she had far more class than that; she was influential (said to be Martha Reeves's favourite singer) and continued popular in clubs. Other LPs: Della on Deja Vu; Della By Starlight on RCA International; Della Della Cha Cha Cha on RCA reissued '87 in UK; I Like It Like Dat on Jasmine, Sure Like Lovin' You on President, Something Cool on Allegiance; tracks from an LP on Applause c'82 reissued on Dunhill CD Jazzy Ladies '87 (other tracks by Carmen McRae, Lena Horne). She had a good role in film Harlem Nights '89. Strangely, not one Reese album was listed in US Schwann catalogue '96. The Best Thing For You '64 made at Basin Street East for RCA reissued '97 on Jasmine, A Date With Della (live at Mr Kelly's in Chicago) combined with The Story Of The Blues with Sy Oliver, and compilation The Jubilee Years both on Westside CD, all in the UK.