Devoted fans of the late singer Phyllis Hyman describe her as a songstress extraordinaire with a no-nonsense attitude, and a lavish, larger than life stage persona. Deep-voiced and statuesque, Phyllis sang with a life affirming energy and emotional intensity found in few other female vocalists. Born in Pittsburgh and raised in Philadelphia, her professional career began in New York city where, during an engagement, she was spotted by producer Norman Connors and contemporaries Jean Carne and Roberta Flack among others. Phyllis was immediately offered a guest appearance on Connors’ You Are My Starship album, which included her rendition of Betcha By Golly Wow.
In 1977 Buddah Records released her self-titled debut LP which featured the hits Loving You/Losing You and I Don’t Wanna Lose You. A year later Hyman was signed to Arista Records. Her premiere album for the label was Somewhere In My Lifetime, released on 1978. The title track (produced by then newcomer Barry Manilow, a longtime admirer of Hyman’s) became Phyllis’ first radio hit. A cover version of Exile’s Kiss you All Over was remixed for club play as part of Arista’s promotion, showcasing her versatility. The following year You Know How To Love Me hit the record stores, and the title track became one of Hyman’s biggest dance anthems. She would include it in her repertoire until the time of her passing. (Continue Reading…)