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Subject: Re: Debbie Stevens

Dan D.
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Date Posted: Tue April 28, 2020 18:07:16
In reply to: Jason uk 's message, "Debbie stevens" on Tue April 28, 2020 12:48:30

Wiki write- up-

Reba Jeanette Smith (February 1, 1928- February 17, 2001), known professionally as Debbie Dean, was an American singer who was the first white solo artist to record for Motown.


Born Reba Jeanette Smith on February 1, 1928 in Corbin, Kentucky. She was the fourth child of Walter B. Smith, a railroad engineer by his wife, Alma, a housewife.

Debbie Dean recorded as Penny Smith and Debbie Stevens at various labels before arriving at Motown in the early 1960s, and was Motown's first white female solo recording artist, signed by Berry Gordy.

Unlike most of the early Motown recording artists, she was neither an R&B or blues singer. Her first single at Motown was "Don't Let Him Shop Around," (1961) an answer record to the Miracles #1 R&B and #2 pop hit, "Shop Around." Dean's perky vocals with a noticeable southern twang barely reached Billboard's Hot 100 charts with the song.

Subsequent singles were even less successful and at the age of 34 (significantly older than most Motown acts at the time), she was dropped from the label. Several years later, after a meeting with Motown producer/writer Deke Richards, Dean rejoined the Motown roster as a writer/singer, and collaborated with Richards (born Dennis Lussier) on songs for the Supremes, Temptations, Smokey Robinson, Martha and the Vandellas, Edwin Starr, and other Motown artists. She later co-wrote and recorded "Why Am I Lovin' You" on Motown's V.I.P. label. The song has since become a Northern Soul favourite.

She died on February 17, 2001 in Ojai, California.

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Subject Author Date
Re: Debbie stevensSue (in Arizona) (listing for Debbie Dean)Wed April 29, 2020 10:21:35

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