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Theola Kilgore

This Oakland, CA native began singing in church and developed into an in demand professional gospel singer in Oakland and surrounding areas. She befriended J. W. Alexander, Sam Cooke's manager who introduced her to singer/producer/writer Ed Townsend; with Townsend, Kilgore cut her first secular recording, an answer to Cooke's "Chain Gang," entitled "Sound of My Man Working on a Chain Gang," on Candix Records which attracted attention and some sells. She registered her biggest hit with her next record "The Love of My Man," an adaptation of "The Love of God," originally done by the Soul Stirrers with Johnny "Disco Lady" Taylor on lead vocals. The plaintive, direct ballad released on Serock Records, a subsidiary of Scepter Records, zoomed to #21 Pop and #3 R&B; its success place Kilgore on the chitling circuit and the R&B theater tours where she shared billings with the top names in R&B. Still with Townsend, Theola followed with "This Is My Prayer," on Serock which was just as good, sold well, but failed to surpass or equal the success of its predecessor. Theola & Ed formed KT Records (Kilgore/Townsend) where she released her next singles, none made much noise; later releases on Mercury Records went unnoticed as well. She recorded some tracks at Stax, that remains unreleased.. Of her post hit singles, only "I'll Keep Trying," and northern soul favorite "It's Gonna Be Alright," garnered any significant plays. Townsend hit as a singer in 1958 with "For Your Love," at #13 on the Pop chart. He later wrote and produced for acts that included the Impressions and Marvin Gaye. Townsend co-produced the Let's Get It On album, and according to Ed, also played a major role in the planning and production of Gaye's What's Going On LP but received zero credit. Probably because of a lawsuit Motown had pending with the Isley Brothers and Townsend. The Isley Brothers cut "It's Your Thing," at Townsends' recording studio in New Jersey while under contract to Motown; Motown won the suit and the rights to the song. Townsend suffered a severe setback during the court proceedings when his studio mysteriously went up in flames. Theola Kilgore whereabouts are unknown to most but good money says she's back in church singing her first love -- gospel. ~ Andrew Hamilton
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Early Girls, Vol.4

1. Dum Dum

2. (You Don't Know) How Glad I Am

3. I Cried A Tear

4. Tall Paul

5. Sincerely

6. Secret Love

7. Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)

8. Oh Why

9. Tammy

10. Tweedle Dee

11. It Hurts To Be In Love

12. The Love Of My Man

13. Don't Say Nothin' Bad (About My Baby)

15. Little White Lies

16. Daddy-O

18. My Little Marine

20. Ronnie

21. Gonna Get Along Without Ya Now

22. Paper Roses

23. To A Soldier Boy

24. Teenage Cleopatra

25. Little Tin Soldier

26. This Ole House

27. Keep Your Hands Off My Baby

28. I Can't Take It

x

Track List: Northern Girls: Heartbreak Revenge & The New Dance

1. I'm On My Way

2. Stop Knockin'

3. The Chaperone

4. Tell Him

5. What Kind Of Girl (Do You Think I Am?)

6. Party Lights

7. Bad Boy

8. Is It True (What They Say About You)

9. Just A Little Bit

10. I'm Gonna Be A Fool Next Monday

12. Let Love Go By

13. I Sold My Heart To The Junkman

15. Take Your Heart

18. Wanted

21. The Sound Of My Man

22. The Hammer

23. Baby Please Don't Go

24. Miss You So

x

Track List: Sweet Soul Music Classics 1963

1. That's The Way Love Is

2. Two Lovers

3. Our Day Will Come

4. These Arms Of Mine

5. You've Really Got A Hold On Me

6. Mama Didn't Lie

7. Tell Him I'm Not Home

8. Got You On My Mind

9. The Love Of My Man

10. He's So Fine

11. Baby Workout

12. How Can I Forget

13. That's How Heartaches Are Made

14. Watermelon Man

15. On Broadway

16. Hello Stranger

18. If You Need Me

19. Pushover

20. Shake A Tail Feather

21. Just One Look

22. Easier Said Than Done

23. Cry Baby

24. Mockingbird

25. The Monkey Time

27. Part Time Love

28. Harlem Shuffle

29. It's All Right

30. Walking The Dog

Comments

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