Mable John, who recorded for Motown and Stax and later labored with Ray Charles, died Aug. 25 at her house in Los Angeles. Her nephew, Kevin John, confirmed the demise, however didn’t give a trigger. She was 91.
“We loved her and she was a kind person,” Kevin John mentioned of his aunt, the older sister of R&B star Little Willie John.
John had a wealthy career in music. She was the primary solo feminine artist signed to Motown (then Tamla Records) by Berry Gordy Jr. and recorded the songs “Who Wouldn’t Love A Man Like That,” “Actions Speak Louder Than Words,” “No Love,” “Looking for a Man,” and “Take Me,” the latter with background harmonies by The Temptations.
John left Motown within the mid-Nineteen Sixties to affix Memphis label Stax Records. There she teamed with the songwriting workforce of Isaac Hayes and David Porter for her 1966 hit “Your Good Thing (Is About to End),” which reached No. 6 on Billboard’s Hot R&B chart and No. 95 on the Billboard Hot 100. The tune was later lined by Lou Rawls, Etta James, Bonnie Raitt, and others.
After Stax, John turned the musical director and a singer in Ray Charles’ Raelettes backing band. There she collaborated on dozens of songs throughout her decade-long keep.
Following her stint with Charles, John left the music business and have become a minister, founding Los Angeles’ Joy Community Outreach, which assists with feeding and clothes the homeless.
She made her onscreen debut as a veteran blues singer in John Sayles’ 2007 movie Honeydripper, and was featured within the Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom.
John was born on Nov. 3, 1930 in Bastrop, Louisiana. The oldest of 9 youngsters, she moved to Detroit within the early Nineteen Forties and took a job with the Friendship Mutual Insurance Company, based by Bertha Gordy, the mom of a younger music producer, Berry Gordy Jr..
“He became my vocal coach, my manager and, within a couple of years, my record producer,” John recalled to writer Susan Whithall, in keeping with Motown Classic’s website.
John made her skilled musical debut at Detroit’s Flame Show Bar, the place she opened for Billie Holiday in 1959. A year earlier than that, she had signed with Gordy’s Tamla Records, the label that turned Motown.
Information on survivors and memorial plans was not instantly accessible.