Evelyn Thomas [born Ellen Lucille Thomas in August of 1953 in Chicago, Illinois] is a female dance singer who started her career in the 70’s, but achieved success on the dance charts in the 80’s. Evelyn originally sang gospel, disco, and jazz music before switching to dance music.

Evelyn was discovered by British music producer Ian Levine, who was visiting the United States in 1975 looking for new talent for his new record company, Voltafine Production Company. Impressed with Evelyn’s talent and singing voice, Levine cut some tracks for Evelyn and secured her a record deal with 20th Century Records.

In 1976, Evelyn made her first chart appearance on the U.K. Top 30 with the song, “Weak Spot.” She released a follow-up single, “Doomsday,” but it flopped and contract issues complicated Evelyn’s new successful music career.


Later, Evelyn signed to Casablanca Records and released her debut album, “I Wanna Make it On My Own” in 1978, but the label didn’t do much to promote her debut album.

Not soon after, Evelyn moved on to the AVI Records label and released the double A-side single, “Have a Little Faith in Me\No Time to Turn Around” which later prompted the label to release it into an LP under the name “Have a Little Faith in Me.” Evelyn recorded 3 new tracks, but due to the backlash of disco music at the end of the 70’s, they were never released and Evelyn’s career had stalled by the beginning of the 80’s.
By 1984, Ian Levine had re-established himself as a producer and invited Evelyn to London to record a new track called “High Energy” for Evelyn’s third album of the same title.

A few weeks after the single was released, “High Energy” became a hit. It topped the charts in Europe and Germany. In the US, the song topped Billboard’s Hot Dance Music\Club Play Singles chart and managed to peak at #85 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it her only appearance on the Hot 100.

Despite the success of the song, Evelyn never got paid for the song nor did the co-writer of the song, Fiachra Trench and the only one who got paid from the song was Ian Levine.

During 1984, the word “High Energy” had become a term for DJ’s in the US and Europe, mostly in the gay clubs where DJ’s who preferred to play records with a certain BPM [or Beats Per Minute] threshold had found many mainstream songs lagging in tempo. The term became abbreviated into “Hi-NRG.”

The second single from the “High Energy” album, “Masquerade” received heavy airplay in Europe, it failed to make into the UK Top 40 chart, but it managed to peak in the top 20 on Billboard’s dance charts. The third single, “Heartless” managed to peak at #84 on Billboard’s R&B chart in 1985.

Even though Evelyn didn’t chart on the pop or R&B charts as much, she managed to score successful, moderate hits on the dance charts. In 1986, Evelyn’s cover version of Diana Ross & The Supremes’ song, “Reflections” managed to peak at #18 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music\Club Play Singles chart. Another single released during the summer of 1986 fared better.

Evelyn released the single, “How Many Hearts” which peaked at #11 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music\Club Play Singles chart and #33 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart.

A year later in 1987, Evelyn released her fourth album, “Standing at the Crossroads” on Nightmare Records.

 

The single, “No Win Situation” peaked topped the UK’s Hi-NRG music chart [which is now defunct]. After releasing two more singles, “Only Once in a Lifetime” and “This is Madness,” Evelyn left the music business and had seemingly faded into obscurity.

But in 1993, Evelyn released the single, “Move Your Body” and in the spring of 1997, music act Redemption featuring Evelyn Thomas scored a minor club hit with the song, “Tell the World.” In 2004, a remix of “High Energy” became a worldwide gay club hit.

In May of 2008, Evelyn took part in the major RTL Disco Tour, performing throughout France. While she was in Europe, Evelyn started working on a comeback, completing several new tracks in different countries and teamed up with Ian Levine for the first time in 20 years, recording new tracks. In 2009, Evelyn was working on releasing a duet with singer Carol Jiani on the song, “Are You Man Enough.”

To see the music video for “High Energy,” go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6uVXJ3x2Sk

To see the music video for “Masquerade,” go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rm05KWP_mHo

To see the video for “Weak Spot,” go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK0HPLZwLcM

Advertisements