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Shirley & Company

Shirley & Company's lone hit, "Shame, Shame, Shame," heralded the commercial rebirth of singer Shirley Goodman, launching her among the earliest stars of disco some two decades after her initial success as half of the hugely popular R&B duo Shirley & Lee. 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. 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.

Shirley & Lee's debut single, "I'm Gone," opted against traditional harmonies in favor of a contrasting boy-girl duet structure that would prove deeply influential on the development of ska and reggae; the single ascended to the number two spot on the Billboard R&B charts in the fall of 1952, and made Shirley & Lee stars. Dubbed "the Sweethearts of the Blues," they spent much of the decade to follow on tour, and with 1956's classic "Let the Good Times Roll" changed course into rock & roll, cracking the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time. But internal squabbles, plummeting sales, and label problems hampered the duo over the years to follow, and in 1962 Shirley & Lee split. At that point, Goodman and her son relocated to California, where she became an in-demand session vocalist, even making an appearance on the Rolling Stones' masterpiece Exile on Main St.

But by 1973 she was retired from the music industry and working in the offices of Playboy magazine. While manning the switchboard there, she renewed ties with fellow music biz veteran Sylvia Robinson, now co-owner of the All Platinum label. The two women began a regular correspondence, and in late 1974 Robinson paid for Goodman to fly to New Jersey to cut the lead vocal for a dance track titled "Shame, Shame, Shame." Credited to Shirley & Company, the resulting single was an overnight sensation, becoming one of the first international disco hits and reaching number 12 on the Billboard pop charts. A Shame, Shame, Shame album was hastily assembled, complete with a cover depicting Goodman scolding Richard Nixon. She toured behind the record until mid-1976, and when plans for a gospel LP failed to materialize, she returned to New Orleans in 1979 and soon after retired from pop music for good. ~ Jason Ankeny
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Disco Power Vol. 3

1. Passion

2. Dance Little Lady Dance

3. Never Give You Up

4. I'm On Fire

5. Your Love

6. Dolce Vita

9. Now Is The Time

11. Substitute

12. In The Bush

x

Track List: Greatest Hits Of The 70's

Disc 1

1. It's A Heartache

2. Back Home

3. Ready Steady Go

4. No More Heroes

5. Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't Have)

6. My Sharona

7. Tomorrow Night

8. Showdown

10. Up Against The Wall

12. Silver Lady

13. Baby Jump

14. On My Radio

16. Don't Look Back

17. The Second Time Around

18. El Bimbo

Disc 2

1. Spanish Stroll

3. Magic

4. Dancing On A Saturday Night

5. You To Me Are Everything

6. And The Beat Goes On

7. Rapper's Delight

8. Whodunit

9. Greased Lightnin'

10. Roll Over Beethoven

11. Kung Fu Fighting

12. Dreams Are Ten A Penny

13. Freedom Come, Freedom Go

14. Donna

15. Sugar Candy Kisses

16. Beach Baby

17. Brother Louie

Disc 3

1. Child In Time

2. Dance With The Devil

3. Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress)

4. Radar Love

5. Silver Machine

6. Milk And Alcohol

7. Motor Bikin'

8. 2-4-6-8 Motorway

9. Rubber Bullets

10. Nutbush City Limits

11. Your Generation

12. Isn't It Time

13. Peaches

14. Sylvia

15. This Perfect Day

17. Here Comes The Sun

18. He's Gonna Step On You Again

Disc 4

1. The Air That I Breathe

2. Don't Throw It All Away

3. When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman

4. Please Don't Go

5. Loving You

6. Tired Of Toein' The Line

7. Dancing In The City

9. If You Can't Give Me Love

10. Hot Child In The City

11. Wall Street Shuffle

12. Popcorn

14. Lay Your Love On Me

15. Mexico

17. If I Had Words

18. Don't Let It Die

Disc 5

1. Hocus Pocus

2. Tears Of A Clown

3. Something Better Change

4. Little Girl

5. Valley Of The Dolls

6. Straw Dogs

7. Judy Teen

9. 7 Teen

10. Homicide

11. Brontosaurus

12. Don't Take No For An Answer

13. A Walk In The Park

15. Don't Give Up On Us

16. Girls

17. Boogie On Top

18. Ain't Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman)

Disc 6

3. Proud Mary

4. One Last Kiss

5. Money In My Pocket

6. O.K. Fred

7. Midnight Rider

8. Cocaine

9. Sideshow

10. Gangsters

11. Bad, Bad Leroy Brown

13. Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel

14. Emma

15. Can You Feel The Force

16. American Pie

17. Sad Sweet Dreamer

Disc 7

1. Wild Places

3. Lost In France

4. Alright, Alright, Alright

6. Indian Reservation

8. Streets Of London

9. Give Up Your Guns

11. Rich Kids

12. Knock On Wood

16. Shannon

17. Memories

18. Time In A Bottle

Disc 8

1. More Than A Woman

2. That's The Way I Like It

3. So You Win Again

5. Rock Your Baby

8. Can't Get By Without You

9. Uptown Festival

10. You're My Everything

11. Don't Do It Baby

12. Misty Blue

13. Nice And Slow

14. Boogie Oogie Oogie

15. Gonna Get Along Without You Now

16. Get Off

17. I Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet

18. Movin'

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