Barbara Lewis was born on February 9, 1943 in Salem, Michigan. She was raised in South Lyon, Michigan. The R&B singer/songwriter who’s smooth vocal stylings was a fixture on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Billboard R&B charts between 1963 and 1968. She was writing and recording in her teens. He first single release in 1962 was MY HEART WENT DO DAT DA. The uptempo tune did not chart nationally, but did well in the Detroit, Michigan area. She wrote all the songs in her first album “Hello Stranger”.
Her first charted hit record made its debut on the Billboard Hot 100 on May 4, 1963 and on the Billboard R&B chart on May 25, 1963. That song is the classic HELLO STRANGER on Atlantic Records. The single record had a 14 week stay on the Hot 100 and charted at #3. On the R&B chart Barbara Lewis had a #1 hit record. She would follow-up HELLO STRANGER in August of 63′ with a moderate hit STRAIGHTEN UP YOUR HEART, the single would chart at #43 on the Hot 100, but did not reach the R&B chart.
In January of 1964 she would chart another Top 40 hit, PUPPY LOVE. The record would become a #38 pop hit and a #14 R&B hit. After PUPPY LOVE, most of her records would fare much better on the R&B chart. She would not have another pop hit until June of 1965, that’s when another of her classic recordings reached the Hot 100. The huge radio favorite BABY I’M YOURS made its climb up the Hot 100 and didn’t stop until it had reached #11. She would do even better on the R&B chart as BABY I’M YOURS became a #5 hit and remained on the chart for 17 weeks. Her follow-up was another big Hot 100 hit. MAKE ME YOUR BABY made its Hot 100 debut in September of 1965, charting at #11 and again doing better on the R&B side at #9.
Barbara, would have one more Top 30 pop hit in July of 1966. The single, MAKE ME BELONG TO YOU became a #28 pop hit and a #36 hit on the R&B chart. This would be her last charted R&B hit record. She would have two more small pop hits, BABY WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO #74 in 1966 and I’LL MAKE HIM LOVE ME #72 in 1967.
The hit records had now stopped, but Barbara Lewis’s music did not. Her recordings of HELLO STRANGER and BABY I’M YOURS became hits for other artists. In fact her music was still being recorded by pop artists in the 2000s. In 1995 her recording of BABY I’M YOURS was featured on the soundtrack for the movie “The Bridges Of Madison County”. Her wonderful music is still being played on oldies radio and what a treat to hear this fabulous music that is a part of, “THE GOLDEN ERA OF ROCK AND ROLL”.
CLICK ON THE TITLE BELOW AND HEAR…BARBARA LEWIS SING HER CLASSIC HITS…”HELLO STRANGER” AND “BABY I’M YOURS”
Till the next time—Joe