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Shirley Goodman
Shirley Goodman
Shirley Goodman enjoyed one of the more remarkable second acts in pop music history, resurfacing some two decades after her initial success as half of the hitmaking R&B duo Shirley & Lee with the early disco smash "Shame, Shame, Shame." Born June 19, 1936, in New Orleans, Goodman first developed her piercing vocal style in her Baptist church choir, additionally harmonizing with friends on area street corners. She made her official debut at age nine, appearing in a local amateur revue. When she was 13, Goodman joined with several schoolmates to record the demo "I'm Gone," produced by Cosimo Matassa -- when Matassa played the master for Aladdin Records owner Eddie Messner some months later, the exec pinpointed Goodman's high-pitched wail and tracked the girl down, offering her a record deal and partnering her with another local teen, Leonard Lee, a longtime family friend whose deep, bluesy voice proved an ideal complement. With Dave Bartholomew installed as producer, Shirley & Lee cut their debut single, "I'm Gone," opting against traditional harmonies in favor of a contrasting boy-girl duet structure that would prove deeply influential on the development of ska and reggae.
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