thelma houstonThelma Houston (born on May 7, 1946 in Leland, Mississippi) is an R&B\disco singer\songwriter and actress who scored her one and only number-one charting song back in 1977.

Thelma was born in Leland, Mississippi where her mother worked as a cotton picker. She would later move to Long Beach, California with her family where she primarily grew up. After getting married and having two children, she joined the Art Reynolds Singers gospel group where she was the lead singer of the group.

Between 1966 and 1967, Thelma released the singles “Baby Mine” and “Don’t Cry My Soldier Boy”, but neither of them made the charts at all. After that, she signed a record deal with the Dunhill Records label.
sunshower
In 1969, she released her debut album “Sunshower” which managed to peak at #50 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart. The album was produced by Jimmy Webb.

The four singles released from the album: “Everybody Gets To Go To The Moon”, “Sunshower”, “If This Was The Last Song” and a cover version of the Rolling Stones song, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” failed to make any impact on the charts at all.
save the countryIn 1970, Thelma released the single “Save the Country” which managed to peak at #70 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
1972In 1971, she signed a record deal with Motown Records and in 1972, she released her third self-titled album under the MoWest record label. It’s unknown how or if the album made the charts at all.
bobby mcgeeA cover version of Roger Miller’s song “Me and Bobby McGee” was released as a single, but didn’t make the charts.

In 1973, Thelma was set to start in a biopic of singer Dinah Washington, but the project ended up getting cancelled due to difficulties in getting clearance from Dinah Washington’s relatives.
wrong for so longIn 1974, Thelma released the single “You’ve Been Doing Wrong for So Long” which peaked at #64 on Billboard’s Hot Soul Singles chart, staying on the chart for 6 weeks. The song earned her a Grammy Award nomination for “Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.”

During that same year, Thelma joined the cast of The Marty Feldman Comedy Machine where she portrayed various characters during the show’s skit, but the show was cancelled in August.
got the music in meIn 1975, Thelma released her third album “I’ve Got the Music in Me” featuring a group of session players called Pressure Cooker under record label Sheffield Lab.

It’s unknown how or if the album was successful or not, but the album went on to become a benchmark vinyl recording for audiophiles. During that same year, she appeared in a made-for-television film called “Death Scream.”

In 1976, Thelma recorded songs for the soundtrack of the film “The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings” (which starred actors James Earl Jones & Billy Dee Williams).

During that same year, she was featured in a tribute to Berry Gordy during the American Music Awards broadcast where she sang the song “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy.”

Thelma’s version of the song “Do You Know Where You’re Going To” which was supposed to be released as a single, but it ended up getting pulled & Diana Ross ended up recording the song for the film “Mahogany” (which she also starred in).

In 1976, Thelma sang backing vocals for Jermaine Jackson’s album “My Name Is Jermaine.”
any way you like itIn late October of that same year, she released her fourth album “Any Way You Like It” which peaked at #11 on the Billboard 200 chart and #5 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart.
don't leave me this wayThe lead single from the album, a cover version of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes’ song “Don’t Leave Me This Way” was originally given to Diana Ross, but it was reassigned & given to Thelma instead. After a record pool in Boston unanimously reported positive reception from audiences in discos, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” was released as a single.

The song first topped Billboard’s Hot Soul Singles chart for a week in February of 1976, but nine weeks later, it topped the Billboard Hot 100 for a week in April of 1976, becoming Thelma’s only number-one hit song to date.

“Don’t Leave Me This Way” was also successful in other countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Sweden, Germany, Australia, France & Italy. It also earned Thelma a Grammy Award for “Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female” at the 20th Annual Grammy Awards in 1978.
any way you like it singleThe follow-up single, the title song managed to top Billboard’s Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart (along with “Don’t Leave Me This Way).
last thing i doThe last single released from the album “If It’s the Last Thing I Do” peaked at #47 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #12 on Billboard’s Hot Soul Singles chart (staying on the chart for 13 weeks). It also managed to chart in Canada as well.
don't know why i love youA cover version of Stevie Wonder’s song “I Don’t Know Why I Love You” was released as the second single in Europe. It’s unknown how or if the single charted there.
thelma and jerryIn 1977, Thelma and singer Jerry Butler released their first duet album together called “Thelma & Jerry” which peaked at #53 on the Billboard 200 & #20 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart.
lifetime thingThe two of them managed to make the Billboard charts with the single “It’s a Lifetime Thing” which peaked at #84 on Billboard’s Hot Soul Singles chart (staying on the chart for only 3 weeks).
devil in meDuring that same year, Thelma released her fifth album “The Devil in Me” which peaked at #64 on the Billboard 200 chart and #29 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart.
here againThe lead single “I’m Here Again” peaked at #21 on Billboard’s Hot Soul Singles chart (staying on the chart for 17 weeks) and #18 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music\Club Play Singles chart.
I Can't Go On Living Without Your LoveThe follow-up single “I Can’t Go On Living Without Your Love” flopped, failing to make the Billboard charts at all.

Thelma also appeared in the film “Game Show Models” and was supposed to star in a film version of the play “Me and Bessie,” but apparently, it looks like those plans never materialized & the film was never released.
Love MasterpieceIn 1978, Thelma was featured on the soundtrack to the film “Thank God It’s Friday” with the track “Love Masterpiece.” The song was released a single, but didn’t make the charts.
ready to rollDuring that same year, she released her sixth album “Ready to Roll” which peaked at #74 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart, but missed the Hot 100.
Saturday Night, Sunday MorningThe only single to chart was “Saturday Night, Sunday Morning” which peaked at #34 on the Billboard Hot 100, #19 on Billboard’s Hot Soul Singles chart (staying on the chart for 17 weeks) and #33 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music\Club Play Singles chart.
two to oneAlso in that same year, she released her second duet album with Jerry Butler called “Two To One.” It’s unknown how or if the album was successful (unlike their first duet album).
ride to rainbowIn 1979, Thelma released her eighth album “Ride to the Rainbow” which was a commercial flop, failing to make any impact on the charts at all.

A remixed version of the song “Saturday Night, Sunday Morning” was featured on the album in its 12-inch version. During that same year, she appeared in an independent film called “The Seventh Dwarf.”
breakwater catIn 1980, Thelma released her ninth album “Breakwater Cat” on RCA Records which didn’t appear to make the Billboard album charts at all.
suspicious mindsThe sole single released from the album “Suspicious Minds” became a popular club hit, but it’s unknown how or if the song made the charts.
Never Gonna Be Another OneIn 1981, Thelma released her tenth album “Never Gonna Be Another One” which peaked at #144 on the Billboard 200 chart and #51 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart.
If You Feel ItThe lead single “If You Feel It” peaked at #6 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music\Club Play Singles chart and #35 on Billboard’s Hot Soul Singles chart (staying on the chart for 13 weeks).
96 tearsThe follow-up single, a cover version of Question Mark and the Mysterians’ song “96 Tears” peaked at #22 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music\Club Play Singles chart and #76 on Billboard’s Hot Soul Singles chart (staying on the chart for 5 weeks).
Reachin' All AroundIn 1982, Thelma’s eleventh album “Reachin’ All Around” was released. The album consists of previously unreleased music that was recorded while Thelma was signed to Motown Records. It’s unknown how or if the album charted at all.
1983By 1983, Thelma had moved on to MCA Records where she released her twelfth self-titled album. The album failed to chart at all on the Billboard charts.
working girlThe first single from the album “Working Girl” peaked at #46 on Billboard’s Black Singles chart (staying on the chart for 8 weeks).
Just Like All The RestThe follow-up (and last) single from the album “Just Like All the Rest” peaked at #80 on Billboard’s Black Singles chart (staying on the chart for 5 weeks).
Qualifying HeatIn 1984, Thelma released her thirteenth album “Qualifying Heat” which peaked at #30 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart.
hold me tightThe lead single “You Used To Hold Me So Tight” peaked at #7 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music\Club Play Singles chart, #13 on Billboard’s Hot Black Singles chart (staying on the chart for 15 weeks) and managed to peak at #49 on the U.K. Singles chart, making the highest charting single from the album.
fantasy heartbreakThe second single “Fantasy and Heartbreak” failed to make any impact on the charts at all.
good timesThe third single “I’d Rather Spend the Bad Times with You, Than the Good Times with Someone New” peaked at #4 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music\Club Play Singles chart.
(I Guess) It Must Be LoveThe last single to chart from the album “(I Guess) It Must Be Love” peaked at #80 on the U.K. Singles chart and #59 on Billboard’s Hot Black Singles chart (staying on the chart for 9 weeks).
into the nightIn 1985, she was featured on the soundtrack to the film “Into the Night” with the track “Keep it Light.”

During the mid-1980s, Thelma guest-starred in television shows such as “Cagney & Lacey” and “Simon & Simon.” In 1987, she also appeared in the CBS Afterschool Special “Little Miss Perfect” and a year later, she appeared in the film “And God Created Woman.”
lean on meIn 1989, Thelma released a cover version of Bill Withers’ song “Lean on Me” (featuring gospel music group The Winans) which was featured in the Morgan Freeman film also entitled “Lean on Me.” Her version managed to peak at #73 on Billboard’s Hot Black Singles chart (staying on the chart for 6 weeks).
throw you downIn 1990, Thelma released her fourteenth studio album “Throw You Down” on Reprise Records. It’s unknown how or if the album made any impact on the charts at all.
Out Of My HandsThe lead single “Out of My Hands” peaked at #82 on Billboard’s Hot R&B Singles chart (staying on the chart for 5 weeks).
HighThe follow-up single “High” peaked at #6 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music\Club Play Singles chart.

In 1994, Thelma participated in an AIDS benefit in New York, performing gospel music with artists such as Cece Peniston, Chaka Khan and Phoebe Snow under the name “Sisters of Glory” where they released an album called “Good News in Hard Times” in 1995.
Don't Leave Me This Way (Remix '95)In 1995, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” was revived in several remixes and it managed to peak at #19 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music\Club Play Singles chart and #35 in the United Kingdom.

After that, Thelma released the singles “I Need Somebody Tonight” (in 1996) and “All of That” (in 1998). She also provided lead vocals on guitarist Scott Henderson’s album “Tore Down House” in 1997 & in 1998, she appeared in the films “54” and “Beloved.”

In 2000, Thelma toured in Australia as a cast member in the stage musical version of “Fame.” After returning to the U.S., she toured with Nile Rodgers & Chic and was even one of the opening acts of Cher’s “Farewell” tour in Toronto in 2003.

On September 20, 2004, Thelma’s version of “Don’t Leave Me This Way” was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame in New York City.
a womans touchIn August of 2007, she released her first album in 17 years claled “A Woman’s Touch” on Shout Factory Records. In 2009, Thelma appeared on the TV shows “American Idol” and “America’s Got Talent” performing “Don’t Leave Me This Way.”
forty twoIn 2013, Thelma collaborated with Los Angeles-based producer Janitor and released an EP called “Forty-Two” on SoundCloud.
PrintThese days, Thelma continues to be active in the entertainment business. She is still touring all over the U.S. and even has own 90 minute band show called “Thelma Houston: My Motown Memories & More.”

To see Thelma Houston’s official website, go to:
http://www.thelmahouston.com/

To see a fan-made video for “Baby Mine,” go to:

To see a fan-made video for “Don’t Cry, My Soldier Boy,” go to:

To see a fan-made video for “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (from her debut album “Sunshower”), go to:

To see a fan-made video for “Save the Country,” go to:

To see a fan-made video for “Me and Bobby McGee,” go to:

To see a video of Thelma performing “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” go to:

To see a fan-made video for “Any Way You Like It,” go to:

To see a fan-made video for “If It’s the Last Thing I Do,” go to:

To see a fan-made video for “I Don’t Know Why I Love You,” go to:

To see a fan-made video for “I’m Here Again,” go to:

To see a fan-made video for “I Can’t Go on Living Without Your Love,” go to:

To see a fan-made video for “It’s a Lifetime Thing,” go to:

To see a fan-made video for “Love Masterpiece,” go to:

To see a fan-made video for “Saturday Night, Sunday Morning,” go to:

To see a fan-made video for “Suspicious Minds,” go to:

To see a fan-made video for “If You Feel It,” go to:

To see a fan-made video for “96 Tears,” go to:

To see a fan-made video for “Working Girl,” go to:

To see a fan-made video for “Just Like All the Rest,” go to:

To see a fan-made video for “You Used to Hold Me So Tight,” go to:

To see a fan-made video for “Fantasy and Heartbreak,” go to:

To see a fan-made video for “I’d Rather Spend the Bad Times with You, Than the Good Times with Someone New,” go to:

To see a fan-made video for “(I Guess It Must Be Love),” go to:

To see the music video for “Lean on Me,” go to:

To see the music video for “Out of My Hands,” go to:

To see a fan-made video for “High,” go to:

To see the music video for the 1995 remixed version of “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” go to:

To see a fan-made video for “I Need Somebody Tonight,” go to:

To see a fan-made video for “All of That,” go to:

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