I’ve stated before, and provided evidence, that the impact that Dionne Warwick’s influence on popular music was extremely vast during the 1960’s and Early 70s. The previous time we spent on this topic nearly 2 years ago, seemingly only skims the surface of elegant pop/soul confections that not only emerged from the United States, but from locations beyond.
Warwick’s assault on what was allowed to be presented by young women in terms of intricate, detailed music, both lyrically and melodically, was out of this world, but especially for a lower middle class 22 year old Black woman as 1962 turned into 1963. Her early work had a profound effect on the direction that the Girl Group Sound went as all of the participants in the genre had to come up with new ideas and deal with the nuances beyond the “Boy Meets Girl” dynamic. Had it not been for “Don’t Make Me Over” there’d definitely wouldn’t have been “You Don’t Own Me” a year later, for example.
Nevertheless, no one came to really steal Dionne’s time signature shifting crown. She did make room for a slate of more sophisticated hits in 1964 for Brenda Holloway (Every Little Bit Hurts) Irma Thomas (Wish Someone Would Care) and even Aretha Franklin (Running Out Of Fools).
She pointed to a future being a solo Black female that culminates in our current moment watching Beyonce and Janelle Monae being descendents of this tradition. All artists are influenced by the artists around them. So take this midsummer’s Dream to listen to some Dionne Doppelgangers.
17) Penny Carter – He Can’t Hurt Me No More
32) Deni Lynn – Don’t Ever Leave Me