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Friday, 23 June 2017

Dave King born 23 June 1929


Dave King (23 June 1929 – 15 April 2002) had one of the most remarkable careers in show business. Quite apart from his brief, but enviable, chart career with pop records, he was a successful comedian in both the UK and the USA, and subsequently a brilliant and much sought after serious actor. 

Born David Kingshott in Twickenham, Middlesex, England, King left school at 12 and joined the Morton Fraser Harmonica Gang at 15. He did his National Service in the RAF and was in the unit's repertory company, returning to variety on demob and later becoming a solo act. An appearance on Television Music Hall led to compeering Show Case and being given a monthly series on the BBC in 1955.  

The next year he turned to singing while continuing to perform on television. During the seaside summer season of 1956 he performed at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool. He starred in "The Dave King Show". During the 1950s he also starred in the same show alongside Shani Wallis. In 1958 King moved to ITV with The Dave King Show which was song, dance and comedy with famous guests of the day. 
 
 
                            
 
As King was fond of impersonating Bing Crosby, it made sense that he should follow this route by making records. His first record, "Sweet Kentucky Rose", for Parlophone, in 1955 did not sell but a move to Decca resulted in his achieving several chart entries. King scored four hits on the UK Singles Chart in the middle of the 1950s. His biggest hits were "Memories Are Made of This" (No. 5, 1956) and "You Can't Be True to Two" (No. 11, 1956), both of which featured a backing group called the Keynotes. He also charted with "Christmas and You" (No. 23, 1956) and "The Story of My Life" (No. 20, 1958). He appeared on Decca Records' All Star Hit Parade charity record in 1956 along with other major Decca artists Dickie Valentine, Joan Regan, Winifred Atwell, Lita Roza and David Whitfield.

In 1959, he went to the United States and hosted the country's high-profile Kraft Music Hall on 19 occasions, but otherwise had limited success despite Mel Brooks joining his regular writers Sid Green and Dick Hills. He appeared on television with Bing Crosby in 1961 and then had a small role in his film The Road to Hong Kong. On returning to the United Kingdom, he found that the public's taste in comedy had changed. Dave's Kingdom ran on ITV in 1964, again made by ATV, but was less successful than King's earlier TV work. 

King became a straight actor with some success, starring in the films Pirates of Tortuga (1961), Go to Blazes (1962), Strange Bedfellows (1965), Up the Chastity Belt (1971), The Ritz (1976), The Golden Lady (1979), Cuba (1979), The Long Good Friday (1980), Warren Beatty's Reds (1981) and Revolution (1985). He also appeared in a number of TV series including The Sweeney (episode: "Pay Off", 1976), Hazell (1978), Pennies From Heaven (1978), The Professionals (episode: "Hijack", 1980), Rumpole of the Bailey (episode "Rumpole and the Blind Tasting" 1987) and Coronation Street (1994–95). He also appeared in a stage version of Arsenic and Old Lace, playing Mortimer Brewster. 

He married a dancer, Jean Hart, and they had two daughters, Cheyenne and Kiowa. They lived in South Cerney in Gloucestershire. His hobbies included model railways and American folklore. King died after a short illness in London on 15 April 2002, aged 72.  

(Info various mainly Wikipedia)

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Ella Johnson born 22 June 1923

 
Ella Johnson (June 22, 1919 – February 16, 2004) was an American jazz and rhythm and blues vocalist who spent her entire professional career of almost two decades as a featured singer with the orchestra led by her brother Buddy.  Her singing drew comparisons to Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. Her sweet, soulful voice features on many of the band's finest recordings. 

While some sources list her birth year as 1923, most cite 1917. Like her older brother Buddy, Ella had an early interest in music. By 1939, Buddy, who had left South Carolina for New York City, had made his first record for Decca, a major label that handled popular artists of the 1930s and 1940s including Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, and the Andrews Sisters. Buddy's first single, "Stop Pretending (So Hep You See)," was a success. While still a teenager, Ella followed her brother's footsteps to New York City, where Buddy immediately found a place for her in his band, which also included singers Arthur Prysock, Nolan Lewis, and Floyd Ryland. 

Buddy Johnson and His Orchestra became a mainstay act in New York City, where they regularly performed at Harlem's Savoy Ballroom, and they also became a popular national touring band. Ella earned praise for her ability to sing uptempo, jazzy blues tunes called "jump blues" as well as luscious ballads. In 1940 she recorded her first hit single with "Please, Mr. Johnson," a song written by Buddy. With this hit, Ella stood out among the numerous female vocalists of the era. 






 

For the rest of the 1940s, and into the 1950s, the Johnsons were a leading act in black music. The orchestra was popular not only in New York, where it caught the ear of dancers at the Savoy ballroom with its enticing walk 'em rhythm, but up and down the east coast and across the south, winning a trade award in 1949 as Kings of the One-Nighter Circuit.
 
 
                            

Ella's contribution to its success can be gauged by its hit-list: several of the band's most popular numbers were vocal features for her, such as When My Man Comes Home (No 1 in the R&B chart in 1944) and That's The Stuff You Gotta Watch (No 2 in 1945). She also gave a gorgeous reading of Buddy's song Since I Fell For You, now a standard.
 
Like many black bandleaders, Buddy Johnson was threatened by rock'n'roll in the mid-1950s, but he had a rare skill of adapting to changing styles and made a number of rock'n'roll-oriented recordings that were quite well received at the time and are not embarrassing today. Ella showed some of the same versatility, and had a further chart entry in 1956 with I Don't Want Nobody. It was their nonstop touring, however, that kept the band fresh. 

By the 1960s, the era of the big band became over-shadowed by the popularity of rock and roll, and the Johnsons could no longer book shows on the dance-hall circuit because that venue was disappearing. Buddy broke up the band, and with this move Ella's singing career effectively ended. Many have speculated why Ella Johnson never achieved the celebrity status of other female singers of her time period. Some critics have felt that she may not have had the confidence to perform without Buddy.  

In the 1960s, Ella Johnson retired from music to take care of Buddy, who was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia. After Buddy died in 1977, Ella lost a legal battle over her brother's copyrighted material and gained very little from his estate. And a short time later, her only son became the victim of murder.  

Admirers tried to persuade Ella to make a comeback, at least on record, but, as the R&B historian Peter Grendysa wrote in 1978, "the changes that have come about in studio techniques since her last session are bewildering to her, especially without Buddy's reassuring presence and direction".  

Ella never did return to the studio, and, by the mid-1980s, researchers who visited her Harlem apartment found her memory failing. Ella's condition declined in her later years as her memory lapsed. Despite fading from the public eye, her work was not forgotten. In 1992 the Rhythm & Blues Foundation honored Ella with a Pioneer Award and $15,000, in recognition of her singing career during the 1940s.

Ella Johnson died in New York of Alzheimer's in February, 2004; she was 84 years old.

 (Info edited from Gale musician profiles & The Guardian)

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

O.C. Smith born 21 June 1932


O.C. Smith (June 21, 1932 – November 23, 2001) was an American musician. His recording of "Little Green Apples", went to number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968, and sold over one million records.
 
Born Ocie Lee Smith in Mansfield, Louisiana, Smith moved with his parents to Little Rock, Arkansas, and then moved with his mother to Los Angeles, California after his parents divorce. 
 
After completing a psychology degree at Southern University, Smith joined the Air Force, and served throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. While in the Air Force, Smith began entering talent contests and toured with Horace Heidt. After his discharge in July 1955, Smith went into jazz music to pay the bills. 
Smith gained his first break as a singer with Sy Oliver and made an appearance on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts. His success on that show led to a recording contract with Cadence Records. Smith's debut release was a cover of the Little Richard hit "Tutti Frutti" in December 1955. The song was not a hit, but convinced MGM Records to sign Smith to a solo contract, resulting in three more releases, but still no hits. 
 
In 1961, Smith was recruited by Count Basie to be his vocalist, a position he held until 1965. He also continued to record with different labels, but a hit remained elusive. By 1968, Smith's then label, Columbia Records, was ready to release him from his recording contract, when he entered the charts for the first time with "Son of Hickory Holler's Tramp", which reached number 2 in the UK Singles Chart and also broke the Top 40 in the United States. In 1976 Kenny Rogers revived the hit as a country song.
 
 
                              
 
Smith changed the first part of his name to O.C. and recorded the Bobby Russell written song "Little Green Apples," which went to number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and won Russell the 1969 Grammy Award for Song of the Year. It received a gold record from the R.I.A.A. for sales of one million records.

 
He continued to record, reaching the R&B, Adult Contemporary and pop charts in his home country with the likes of "Daddy's Little Man", "Friend, Lover, Woman, Wife", "Me and You" and "Love To Burn". He also returned to the UK Singles Chart in 1977 with "Together", reaching a Top 30 position. 
After CBS, Smith united with Charles Wallert, who wrote and produced the title track as well as the album for "Dreams Come True" that returned Smith to the national charts. The Whatcha Gonna Do album, resulted in three nationally charted singles for a total of 40 weeks. This album contained "Brenda", "You're My

First, My Last My Everything" and "Spark Of Love". Additional hits "The Best Out Of Me" and "After All Is Said And Done" established Smith as a Beach Music star. Nominated for six awards at the third Beach Music Awards, Smith captured five. 

Barry White & O.C. Smith
Smith became pastor and founder of The City Of Angels Church in Los Angeles, California where he practiced for 16 years until his death in 2001 from a heart attack. Four thousand people attended his funeral. One of his last recordings, "Save The Last Dance For Me" reached the number one position on the Rhythm n' Beach Top 40 chart. 

Shortly after his death, Governor Jim Hodges proclaimed June 21, 2002, 'O.C. Smith Day' in the State of South Carolina. Smith was posthumously elected to the Carolina Beach Music Hall of Fame in November 2002. His book Little Green Apples: God Really Did Make Them that he co-wrote with James Shaw was published posthumously in 2003. (Info mainly Wikipedia)


Tuesday, 20 June 2017

T. Texas Tyler born 20 June 1916


 David Luke Myrick (June 20, 1916 – January 28, 1972), known professionally as T. Texas Tyler, was an American country music singer and songwriter. 

He was a successful figure from the late '40s through the mid-'50s, often credited with helping to popularize the sentimental country "recitation" -- a storytelling composition partly or completely spoken by the performer -- with his massive 1948 hit "Deck of Cards."  

He was born David Luke Myrick in Mena, AR, and from childhood aspired to become a country performer. As a young man, Tyler moved to Rhode Island to live with his brother, who was stationed there while serving in the Navy. He got his start working in radio in the early '30s and then spent much of the decade touring and performing on the radio, creating his stage name by combining the names of cowboy crooners Tex Ritter and Tom Tyler.  

His travels took him as far as Newport, RI, and Los Angeles. While performing in Charleston, WV, in 1939, Tyler teamed up with fiddler Clarence Clere to form Slim and Tex. They remained together playing radio stations in West Virginia until 1942, when Tyler landed a spot on the Shreveport, LA, radio station and consistent talent incubator KWKH. Tyler served in the U.S. Army during World War II.  

Following his discharge in 1946, Tyler went to Southern California and began appearing daily on the radio in Long Beach and Los Angeles. He recorded first for Black & White Records as a member of The Six Westernaires. His proximity to the new record labels that were springing up in Southern California helped his career along, and he signed with the small but growing Pasadena label Four Star. Soon he had moderate hits with several covers of widely performed country songs of the day: "Filipino Baby" (1946), followed by "Remember Me" and Jack Guthrie's "Oklahoma Hills."

Tyler had his biggest single in 1948 with the enormously popular "Deck of Cards," which peaked in the Top Three, continued to sell for years, and spawned numerous imitations. The piece had perhaps an older pedigree than any other in the country repertoire; similar poems in which a soldier uses a deck of cards as a set of religious symbols have been found dating back to the medieval era.
 
Tyler followed up that smash with another recitation: the tear-wrenchingly sentimental Mary Jean Shurtz composition "Dad Gave My Dog Away." His popularity resulted in a booking at New York City's Carnegie Hall, and in 1949 he sang a song in the Western Horsemen of the Sierras. Later that year, he had a Top Five hit with a cover of Hank Williams' "My Bucket's Got a Hole in It."
 
 
                              

He was a frequent performer on the Grand Ole Opry and Louisiana Hayride, as well as hosting his own television “Range Round Up”, in Los Angeles, and in the early '50s he favoured an upbeat, folksy style in which sung phrases were frequently introduced by a hearty, guttural swoop. He had two more major hits in 1953, "Courtin' in the Rain," and then went into a personal and professional slump with the advent of rock & roll. 

A marijuana possession arrest in Texas slowed his career, but many of his recordings were collected in the newly popular format of the LP album. He signed with the Starday label and performed several times on the Grand Ole Opry. In the '50s he became a gospel singer and Assembly of God minister, recording the all-gospel album, The Great Texan, for King in 1960.  

Tyler spent the bulk of the 1960s touring and preaching; he also recorded a gospel album for Capitol, a secular country album for Starday (Sensational New Hits of T. Texas Tyler, 1964), and three independently produced gospel albums that he sold at his revivals. 

Following the death of his first wife, Claudia, in 1968, Tyler remarried and settled down in Springfield, MO, where he preached to a local congregation and also performed occasionally. In 1971, radio personality Paul Harvey announced to his listeners that T. Texas Tyler had cancer of the stomach and had only a short time to live. Later, from Cox Medical Centre in Springfield, Tyler confirmed the report in letters sent to churches, in which he encouraged them to buy his records so that he could pay his mounting medical bills. 
 
“The man with a million friends,” who had held services in churches across America and in Canada, died on January 23, 1972, in Springfield. He is buried in Huntington, West Virginia. (Info edited from All Music & Wikipedia)
 

Monday, 19 June 2017

Al Wilson born 19 June 1939


Allen LaMar "Al" Wilson (June 19, 1939 – April 21, 2008) was an American soul singer known for the million-selling #1 hit, "Show and Tell". He is also remembered for his Northern soul anthem, "The Snake".He made a total of five albums over the course of a 13-year recording career before becoming a successful touring artist, playing at some of America’s most prestigious venues to wide acclaim.

Wilson was born in Meridian, Mississippi. He showed little interest in education but performed in school plays, sang in talent shows and won first prize in a local art contest.
He began his career at the age of twelve leading his own spiritual quartet and singing in the church choir, and performing covers of country and western hits. While he was in high school, Wilson and his family relocated to San Bernardino, California, where he worked three jobs as a mail carrier, a janitor, and an office clerk, in addition to teaching himself to play drums. After graduation he spent four years touring with Johnny Harris and the Statesmen, before joining the U.S. Navy, and singing with an enlisted men's chorus. He also developed his stand-up comedy routine in case he did not succeed as a singer. 

After a two-year military stint, Wilson settled in Los Angeles, touring the local nightclub circuit before joining the R&B vocal group the Jewels; from there he landed with the Rollers, followed by a stint with the instrumental combo the Souls. In 1966, Wilson signed with manager Marc Gordon, who quickly sought his client an acappella audition for Johnny Rivers.  

 
                              
 
Wilson was signed to the Soul City imprint and Rivers produced the sessions that yielded the 1968 U.S. R&B hit single "The Snake" (U.S. Pop #27), which became popular on the Northern Soul circuit in the United Kingdom. It also provided Wilson with his only UK Singles Chart hit, reaching #41 in 1975. The minor hit "Do What You Gotta Do" appeared that same year. In 1969, Wilson charted with his cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Lodi" (U.S. #67), and Rivers' own "Poor Side Of Town" (U.S. #75).
 
Wilson disappeared from the music industry until 1973, when he released his major hit, Show And Tell, written and produced by Jerry Fuller, the man behind Union Gap's run of hit songs in the late 1960s. Topping the Hot 100, the song on the Rocky Road label, owned by his manager, Marc Gordon, also reached #10 in the Billboard R&B chart. The resulting album's success was matched by the single, which sold well over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in December 1973. 
 
"The La La Peace Song", released in 1974, was another success, although O. C. Smith also recorded a version and sales suffered as a result. Two years later in 1976, Wilson recorded "I've Got a Feeling, We'll Be Seeing Each Other Again" for Playboy Records, produced by his manager, Marc Gordon. Although it reached #3 on the R&B chart, Wilson tried to leave Playboy Records, but was unable to get a release from his recording contract. Two years later, the label folded.

With 1979's "Count the Days" recorded in Philadelphia for Roadshow Records, Wilson scored his final chart hit and he spent the next two decades touring clubs and lounges. In 1999, Al was honoured by the California State Assembly in the First Class of Freedom Fighters for Musical Arts. In 2001, he re-recorded his hits for the album Spice of Life. 

In March 2007, many of his original master tapes were lost to a fire that swept through his home garage which he had converted into a recording studio. 
 
Wilson died on April 21, 2008 of kidney failure, in Fontana, California, at the age of 68. He was buried at the Evergreen Cemetery in Riverside, California.  (Info  mainly Wikipedia)


Sunday, 18 June 2017

Tommy Hunt born 18 June 1933


Tommy Hunt (born Charles James Hunt, June 18, 1933 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States) is an American soul/northern soul singer, and a 2001 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee as a member of famed R&B group The Flamingos. He is renowned for his deeply rich and powerful voice-.-his sharp, hip and downright impossible dance routines and his spellbinding charisma.
Born to Georgianna Derico, Hunt started his life in Pittsburgh, where his school friends, nicknamed him Tommy and it has stayed with him throughout his entire life. Music dominated his life and he was sent to reform school after spending his learning hours
practicing for and entering talent shows. He was released from reform school when he was 10, and he and his mother moved to Chicago.
After a stint in the United States Air Force, Hunt went AWOL in order to be with his mother who was dying. He served time in prison for deserting, and after his release, returned to Chicago and formed a group called The Five Echoes. While performing in a club, he was approached by Zeke Carey of The Flamingos, and asked to take Carey's place, as he had recently been drafted. Hunt was kept on after Carey returned.
In 1959 their biggest hit was "I Only Have Eyes For You" which remains their most popular song, being used in film soundtracks and on compilation albums to this date.
Hunt left the group in 1960 due to musical differences, but within three days he was approached by Luther Dixon and released "Parade Of Broken Hearts" which was slow to be picked up by the radio stations. In New York a disc jockey called Jocko Henderson introduced the song but played the B-side by mistake. The track aired was "Human", Hunt's biggest hit in the U.S. His 1962 B-side, "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself", written by Bacharach and David and produced by Leiber and Stoller, was the first recording of the song which later became a major hit for Dusty Springfield, Dionne Warwick and others.
 
                                
 
Hunt became a regular performing at The Apollo in New York alongside such artists as Jackie Wilson, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, Diana Ross and The Supremes, The Shirelles, Dionne Warwick, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Sam and Dave. To the best of his knowledge, Hunt remains the only person to have his photograph framed twice in the Apollo foyer, both with the Flamingos and as a solo artist. Several years and a couple of minor hits later, Hunt sang for the U.S. Army in Germany. By 1969 he left his homeland, travelled back to Germany, through Belgium and across the English Channel to the United Kingdom.

After several performances in the theatre clubs throughout the UK, Hunt sang at the second anniversary of the Wigan Casino, and there followed success on the Northern soul scene. Hunt was approached by Russ Winstanly and Mike Walker of the Casino and released several hits on Spark Records. The first was a cover version of a song formerly sung by Roy Hamilton, entitled "Crackin' Up". It peaked at #39 in the UK Singles Chart in October 1975.This was followed by another chart success "Loving On The Losing Side" (UK #28, 1976). 1982/83 saw Hunt win the Male Vocalist of the Year, presented by Club Mirror. His track, "One Fine Morning", reached #44 in the UK chart in December 1976.
 
With the decline of the Northern soul, Hunt's shows dwindled and he hit the cabaret circuit further afield, moving to Amsterdam in 1986, and travelling the world. In 1996, the first of his recognitions came in the form of The Rhythm and Blues Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award for the Flamingos contribution to music. In 1997, Hunt relocated to the UK and embarked on a revived Northern soul scene. 
 
In later years, having turned his hand to song-writing, Hunt penned his autobiography, Only Human, My Soulful Life, with author, Jan Warburton, which was released in December 2008.
During 2011, Hunt stared in a new live show as Tommy Hunt & The New Flamingos, with members of the Spanish vocal group Velvet Candles. This show was presented during the Screamin' Summer Festival (Barcelona, Spain).
In 2016 Tommy (who still resides in Yorkshire U.K.) and local musician Paul Davies recorded one of Tommy’s songs.  Tommy told The Lancashire Telegraph "I wrote a song about 10 years ago called 'You' which had been lying around collecting cobwebs, but I thought I've found voice I wanted for this record. We've recorded it and I sent it over to America to a promoter I know in New York who loved it. He wants to work with it and I'm hoping that it has the possibility to do something great."


The 84-year-old’s career has spanned seven decades and Tommy is still active. He recently performed at the Genting Club Sheffield in April 2017. (Info various mainly Wikipedia)

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Diahann Carroll born 17 June 1935


Diahann Carroll (born July 17, 1935 in New York, New York) is an American actress and singer.
Having appeared some of the earliest major studio films to feature African-American casts such as Carmen Jones and Porgy and Bess, she starred in 1968's Julia, one of the first series on American television to star an African American woman in a non-stereotypical role. Later she created the role of Dominique Deveraux on the popular prime time soap opera, Dynasty.
She is the recipient of numerous stage and screen awards and nominations. Carroll has been married four times and became the mother of a daughter in 1960. She is a breast cancer survivor and activist.
Carroll was born Carol Diahann Johnson in The Bronx, New York, to John Johnson and Mabel Faulk. Her family moved to the Harlem neighborhood of New York City when she was an infant. She attended Music & Art High School, along with schoolmate Billy Dee Williams.
At the age of 18, Carroll got her big break when she appeared as a contestant on the Dumont Television Network program, Chance of a Lifetime, hosted by Dennis James. On the show which aired January 8, 1954, Carroll took the $1,000 top prize for her rendition of the Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein song, "Why Was I Born?" She went on to win the following four weeks. Engagements at Manhattan's Café Society and Latin Quarter nightclubs soon followed.
Strangely, Diahann did not have any charting hits during her recording career but her stage and screen exposure ensured that most of her releases enjoyed healthy sales.
 
                             
 
Carroll's film debut was a supporting role in Carmen Jones (1954) as a friend of the sultry lead character. She then starred in the Broadway musical, House of Flowers. In 1959, she played Clara in the film version of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, but her character's singing parts were dubbed by opera singer Loulie Jean Norman. In 1962 she won the Tony Award for best actress (a first for a black woman) for the role of Barbara Woodruff in the Samuel A. Taylor and Richard Rodgers musical No Strings. In 1974 she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress  for Claudine.
Carroll is best known for her title role in the 1968 television series Julia, which made her the first African American actress to star in her own television series where she did not play a domestic worker. She was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1969, and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress In A Television Series” in 1968. Her first Emmy nomination had come in 1963 for Naked City. Some of her other earlier work included appearances on shows hosted by Jack Paar, Merv Griffin, Johnny Carson, Judy Garland and Ed Sullivan, and on The Hollywood Palace variety show.
A renewed interest in film led Diahann to the dressed-down title role of Claudine (1974), as a Harlem woman raising six children on her own. She was nominated for an Oscar in 1975, but her acting career would become more and more erratic after this period. She did return, however, to the stage with productions of "Same Time, Next Year" and "Agnes of God". While much ado was made about her return to series work as a fashion-plate nemesis to Joan Collins' ultra-vixen character on the glitzy primetime soap Dynasty (1981), it became much about nothing as the juicy pairing failed to ignite. Diahann's character was also a part of the short-lived "Dynasty" spin-off The Colbys (1985). In 1986, Diahann Carroll published her memoirs, simply entitled "Diahann!".
Throughout the late 1980s and early 90s she toured with her fourth husband, singer Vic Damone, with occasional acting appearances to fill in the gaps. Some of her finest work came with TV-movies, notably her century-old Sadie Delany in Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years (1999) and as troubled singer Natalie Cole's mother in Livin' for Love: The Natalie Cole Story (2000). She also portrayed silent screen diva Norma Desmond in the musical version of "Sunset Blvd." and toured America performing classic Broadway standards in the concert show "Almost Like Being in Love: The Lerner and Loewe Songbook." Most recently she has had recurring roles on Grey's Anatomy (2005) and White Collar (2009).
In 2010, Carroll was featured in UniGlobe Entertainment's breast cancer docudrama entitled, 1 a Minute, and she appeared as Nana in two Lifetime movies: At Risk and The Front, movie adaptations of two Patricia Cornwell novels.
A breast cancer survivor and activist, Carroll was scheduled to return to the Broadway stage in the 2014 revival of A Raisin in the Sun as Mama, but withdrew prior to opening citing the demands of the rehearsal and performance schedule. “Unfortunately I’ve been told to stop performing by my doctors,” said the velvet-voiced star of movie musicals during a Daily Express Interview. “I have acid reflux, which is very damaging to the vocal cords. I could spend all day every day and every dime I earn trying to correct it but I’ve had to accept it’s part of my ageing process. It’s a pain in the neck,” she says, pun intended.

“I can still sing in the shower but it’s not possible for me to perform for 90 minutes on stage any longer. I love singing and I miss it terribly.” (Info edited from Wikipedia & IMDB & Daily Express)