Freda Payne: From Jazz to Pop And Back Again | WYPR

Freda Payne: From Jazz to Pop And Back Again

Nov 12, 2020

Freda Payne sings at Baltimore's Keystone Korner jazz club tonight, Friday and Saturday.
Credit Freda Payne/Keystone Korner

Tom's guest is singer Freda Payne.  Some might know Ms. Payne for the 1970 Holland-Dozier-Holland song she recorded called Band of Gold.  It was a huge, international top-40 hit single for the then-28 year-old singer.  Payne had a solid run in the R&B genre, with another gold-record hit two years later, an anti-Vietnam War song called Bring the Boys Home.

Despite her success in the 1970s with R&B, the Detroit-born singer’s first love, and the abiding thread in her diverse career, has always been jazz.  She grew up listening to Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. In the early 60s, well before her pop hits, she began working in New York with artists like Quincy Jones. At the age of 22, her debut album – After the Lights Go Down Low and Much More! (a jazz recording including songs by Duke Ellington and other standards) -- was released on the prestigious Impulse label.  She has since recorded numerous jazz albums and toured the international jazz circuit.  Her most recent release was the 2014 CD, Come Back to Me LoveShe says another CD is in the works.

Freda Payne’s career has taken her from the concert stage to Broadway, to movies and TV, and this weekend, it is taking her to Baltimore’s Keystone Korner for a three-night gig, starting tonight at 7:30.  For ticketing and streaming information, click here.  Freda Payne joins us on Zoom…