*(Philadelphia, PA) – The late singer, actress, and songwriter Phyllis Hyman was a powerful and inspiring performer whose artistry left an indelible impression on fans.
Now, some 26 years since her passing, a majority of Hyman’s studio recordings, plus several bonus tracks, have been compiled for the nine-CD set “Old Friend: The Deluxe Collection 1976-1998,” due August 6, 2021, on Soul Music Records, distributed by Cherry Red Records.
To celebrate Phyllis Hyman’s 72nd birthday as well as the release Phyllis fans were treated to “A Special Tribute To Phyllis Hyman,” that is available the The Simply Phyllis Hyman FaceBook page and the Philadelphia International Records / SONY Music YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aovKQpbHHR0. Or, simply watch below.
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Moderated by cultural icon and beloved WDAS-FM Philadelphia air personality, Patty Jackson, this special tribute featured David Nathan, music historian and project producer at SoulMusic Records; Nick Martinelli, the hitmaking R&B/pop producer who worked with Phyllis and songstress/songwriter and devoted Hyman fan Avery Sunshine.
“Old Friend: The Deluxe Collection 1976-1998,” is the most extensive collection yet of Hyman’s body of work to date that includes nine studio albums and several bonus tracks showcasing her range from R&B, jazz, pop, and more. Favorites include “You Know How To Love Me,” “Can’t We Fall In Love Again?,” “Betcha By Golly Wow,” “Meet Me On The Moon,” “Somewhere In My Lifetime,” “Living All Alone,” “Loving You, Losing You,” “I Refuse To Be Lonely,” and more. The customized boxed set includes personal tributes by Glenda Gracia, longtime Hyman manager, and executrix of the singer’s estate; music journalist and former Billboard editor Janine Coveney, and music archivist and curator Michael Lewis; also featured are never-before-seen studio and candid photographs. The boxed set is available for pre-orders now on Amazon, where it will be released on August 6, 2021. It is $69.75 with free shipping in the U.S. It is also available at Walmart online, for pre-orders now and shipping on August 5, 2021. It is $71.99 with free shipping in the U.S. Barnes & Noble is also taking pre-orders at $69.75, with free shipping in the US, for a release on August 6.
It’s a little known fact that throughout her career Phyllis went out of her way to partner and enlist people of color in every aspect of her business. She believed to “fight the power,” one must keep the dollars within their community, and was very vocal in her business dealings and standards. Her former business associates confirm that the singer never went back on her word. In full command of every aspect of her career, Hyman embodied the incipient spirit that we now know as “Black Girl Magic” over 20 years ago. She was truly ahead of her time.
This celebration of Phyllis Hyman is both long overdue and eminently timely. The dynamic artist was ahead of her time. Hyman combined a stunning and statuesque beauty with a seemingly effortless vocal range, incomparable interpretive ability, and a mastery of multiple musical genres, not to mention a flair for the dramatic. What fans may not know is that Hyman was also a savvy and conscientious businesswoman who ran her own management and publishing company, and was passionate about Black empowerment and entrepreneurship. “I run a Black owned company, in other words it’s a minority-based company, most of my employees are Black or Hispanic,” Hyman told Ebony/Jet Showcase in 1987. “And I deliberately started that years ago because of the unfortunate dilemma of minorities in the workforce. And in the entertainment field where Blacks generate billions of dollars, we don’t often get the opportunity to reap the benefits from that money that we generate. And considering that I generate part of that billion, I’m gonna take it back to the community that put me here in the first place. It’s very important to me.”
About Phyllis Hyman
Born July 6, 1949, in Philadelphia, Phyllis was raised in Pittsburgh and began singing at a young age. She sang with the group New Direction, All the People, and as part of a vocal group called The Hondo Beat before fronting the band Phyllis Hyman and the P/H Factor, which proved extremely popular. Hyman moved to New York City where she was spotted by noted musician and producer Norman Connors, who asked her to sing on his You Are My Starship project (1976). She performed a duet with Michael Henderson on the title track and also sang a version of the Stylistics’ “Betcha By Golly Wow.” The project effectively launched her recording career. Her self-titled debut album was released on the Buddah label in 1977, followed by Sing A Song in 1978. Transferred to Arista, Phyllis released Somewhere in My Lifetime (1978). You Know How To Love Me (1979), Can’t We Fall In Love Again? (1981), and Goddess of Love (1983). Signed to Philadelphia International Records, she released Living All Alone (1986), Prime of My Life (1991), I Refuse to Be Lonely (1995). Sadly, Phyllis took her own life in June of 1995. Forever With You was released posthumously in 1998.
About SoulMusic Records
Considered one of the premier reissue labels specializing in the classic soul/R&B and related genres, London-based SoulMusic Records was created in 2008 by David Nathan, known for his work as a music historian, author and longtime journalist for Blues & Soul and Billboard and others. Nathan’s lifelong passion for soul music has found expression in producing over 200 SoulMusic Records reissues, including numerous acclaimed box sets. Distributed by long-established independent UK catalog company Cherry Red Records, the label continues to thrive with 2021 releases by Phyllis Hyman, Deniece Williams, Atlantic Starr and others.
source: Sheila Eldridge – Miles Ahead Entertainment & Broadcasting