I'm so sad to hear that singer Joyce Sims died this week at 63 — no cause given.
When I was in college in Chicago, I — a Top 40 fanatic — was exposed to so many club songs that never crossed paths with Casey Kasem. Chicago, a music mecca, was a place where songs came out weeks or months before other places, it seemed, and where obscure R&B, dance and import records felt like national number ones to us.
I discovered Joyce's 1987 debut album at the record store around the corner from me in Hyde Park. She had a wailing voice like no other.
She was touring as recently as weeks ago. Here she was at the end of August:
Born on August 9, 1959, in Rochester, New York, Sims made a splash with her first release, the single "(You Are My) All and All" in `1986. It went Top 20 in the U.K. and was a hot dance hit in her home country.
But her biggest success was the spine-tingling "Come Into My Life," which was a U.S. Top 10 R&B hit. In the video, she sits at a piano — but it wasn't just a pose, she was a multi-instrumentalist.
Other single releases include "Lifetime Love" (1987), "Walk Away" (1987), "Love Makes a Woman" (1988), "Looking for a Love" (1989), "Take Caution with My Heart" (1989), "All About Love" (1990), "Who's Crying Now" (1994), "Praise His Name" (2004), "What the World Needs Now" (2006), "Running Back to You" (2012), and "Saving All My Love" (2012).
She's survived by her husband and two children.
So many — too many — '80s acts seem to have died off, even faster than '60s and '70s acts. Jerry Lee Lewis is still running around and we're burying Joyce Sims?! Incomprehensible.