Jazz Gallery
Soul / Gospel & World gallery
Essential Listening
Tributes
Gig Guide / News
Opinion / Music Talk
The Hi Fi Experience
Related services
Related Sites & Info
Sales
Staff Profiles
Guest Feedback
Contact M V Studio
Back to Home Page

 

 

 

Ian Shaw

Madeline Bell

Ian Shaw & Madeline Bell
@ the Pizza Express Jazz Club
13 January 2011-14 January 2010

Click an image to enlarge.

Madeline Bell biography

Born Madeline Bell Brodus on 23 July 1942 in Newark, New Jersey, USA, and raised by her grandmother, who was originally instrumental in encouraging Bell’s natural singing talent at the age of five. She sang gospel music in church and at school, approximately eight years later Bell became aware of pop music, inspired by Sam Cook.

During her High School years Bell met singers at school who targeted their gospel music towards pop music. In addition Bell sang on corners of streets, local clubs, and talent shows. Bell was a prominent member of the local gospel choir and at the age of fourteen her voice was unique and powerfully penetrating, with such range it could be distinctly heard above a one hundred and fifty strong gospel ensemble.

Bell was sixteen when she joined her first gospel group The Glovertones and sang in church halls all over New Jersey and New York. This superb group toured America’s Deep South with Bell’s illuminating voice impressing audiences everywhere. Bell stayed with The Glovertones for two years until her involvement with the Alex Bradford Singers.

Alex Bradford who formed and pioneered America’s most famous gospel group was immediately magnetised by Bell’s compelling and creative voice. He instantly recruited her to the group being acutely aware that Bell’s presence in the Alex Bradford Singers would enhance their vocal performances. The Alex Bradford Singers sang all over America and toured Europe as part of the off-Broadway hit show “Black Nativity” written by Langston Hughes. The musical was also recorded for television. Bell played an integral part in the show projecting her magnificent voice to the full. Such artists as Cliff Richard and Chris Barber acclaimed “Black Nativity” when it was staged in London in 1962. After completion of the “Black Nativity” tour Bell decided to make her home in England.

Norman Newell, who was Shirley Bassey’s recording manager, was so enthralled by Bell’s vocal diversity of style that he was inspired to sign her to Columbia Records. She embarked on a solo recording career making some excellent and outstanding singles and working in cabaret. Bell’s first cabaret date was in 1964 at the “La Dolce Vita” nightclub in Newcastle upon Tyne. Also on the bill were Lionel Blair and comedian Les Dawson.

Bell moved into vocal backing work having signed to sing vocal backing along with Lesley Duncan and Doris Troy on the legendary Dusty Springfield hit “In The Middle Of Nowhere”. Later more impressive quality vocal backing followed on future Dusty recording sessions, joined mainly by her colleagues Lesley Duncan, Kiki Dee and Kay Garner. Bell proceeded to be signed to Philips Records and made some spectacular singles to include Bacharach and David’s “What The World Needs Now Is Love”, Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Climb Every Mountain” and Motown songwriters Ashford and Simpson’s “One Step At A Time”. Bell also provided exhilarating vocal backing for Cliff Richard, Tom Jones, Scott Walker, Long John Baldry, Joe Cocker, Elton John and many more singers too numerous to mention.
Her vocal contribution on these stars’ records added that necessary golden ingredient to make the recordings more noticeable. It is a certain fact that Bell assisted in making many known singers worldwide celebrities. Bell’s powerful voice was clearly ahead of its time and that all-important British hit single eluded her. Bell achieved another aspect to her career by making T.V. Jingles including British Gas, Tea, McDonalds and other significant brand leading product commercials.

Bell’s first UK album in 1967 entitled “Bell's A Poppin” included her USA hit “I'm Gonna Make You Love Me” which incidentally featured the international singing legend and ‘Icon Of Music’ Dusty Springfield providing vocal backing on the song.

Along with singer and song writer Roger Cook, Bell became a central part of the invigorating group “Blue Mink” and recorded a fantastic memorable song called “Melting Pot” which became a huge British hit in 1969, reaching number 3 in the hit parade and remaining in the charts for 15 weeks. The group succeeded in having 7 hit singles, spending a total of 84 weeks in the charts throughout their career. Blue Mink finally parted in May 1974 after a very successful career.

Bell’s diverse talents were utilised to their full potential on soundtracks to films to include “Hammerhead”, “A Touch Of Class”, and “The Greek Tycoon” and in addition displayed remarkable diversity in writing some of her own songs and appearing in the Dutch production of the “The Cotton Club” and Lionel Bart’s splendid “La Strada”, where she performed lead vocal. John Paul Jones from the famous Led Zeppelin group wrote songs with Bell and provided backing for her T.V. shows.

Bell worked for James Last on a world tour and provided exquisite vocal backing on his shows and albums. She has worked with the BBC’s Big Band and was their special guest on 19 August 1999 at the Royal Albert Hall London She has performed at the world famous Ronnie Scott’s club in London since 1987 and on every occasion received a tumultuous reaction from enthusiastic audiences.

Bell has enraptured Holland many times with her glittering performances and completed a nine-week tour, which proved to be a resounding success. In Holland Bell became famous because of her substantial contribution to the CD productions with Tom Parker. These productions, which are popular arrangements of classical composers like Beethoven, Verdi, and Handel, have attained massive sales. Bell has worked with the Netherlands Metropole Orchestra which comprises of no less than sixty one musicians and has recorded a CD called “Beat Out That Rhythm On A Drum”, which is on the Koch International Label 1998. Her versions of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “Evergreen” are adorable musical masterpieces. The orchestra is a national and international phenomenon and has also worked with Celine Dion, Andy Williams, Natalie Cole, Sarah Vaughan, Andrea Bocelli, Ella Fitzgerald, Art Garfunkel and many more worldwide entertainers.

Boyzone were enthusiastically interested in working with Bell and in 1996 recorded a new version of her outstanding hit “Melting Pot”, which is featured on the Boyzone hit CD “A Different Beat”.

Joe Cocker insisted on waiting one year until this most in demand session singer was free to record with him on the song “With A Little Help From My Friends” which became a British number one, thanks to the outstanding vocal performance of Madeline Bell.

Born Madeline Bell Brodus on 23 July 1942 in Newark, New Jersey, USA, and raised by her grandmother, who was originally instrumental in encouraging Bell’s natural singing talent at the age of five. She sang gospel music in church and at school, approximately eight years later Bell became aware of pop music, inspired by Sam Cook.

During her High School years Bell met singers at school who targeted their gospel music towards pop music. In addition Bell sang on corners of streets, local clubs, and talent shows. Bell was a prominent member of the local gospel choir and at the age of fourteen her voice was unique and powerfully penetrating, with such range it could be distinctly heard above a one hundred and fifty strong gospel ensemble.

Bell was sixteen when she joined her first gospel group The Glovertones and sang in church halls all over New Jersey and New York. This superb group toured America’s Deep South with Bell’s illuminating voice impressing audiences everywhere. Bell stayed with The Glovertones for two years until her involvement with the Alex Bradford Singers.

Alex Bradford who formed and pioneered America’s most famous gospel group was immediately magnetised by Bell’s compelling and creative voice. He instantly recruited her to the group being acutely aware that Bell’s presence in the Alex Bradford Singers would enhance their vocal performances. The Alex Bradford Singers sang all over America and toured Europe as part of the off-Broadway hit show “Black Nativity” written by Langston Hughes. The musical was also recorded for television. Bell played an integral part in the show projecting her magnificent voice to the full. Such artists as Cliff Richard and Chris Barber acclaimed “Black Nativity” when it was staged in London in 1962. After completion of the “Black Nativity” tour Bell decided to make her home in England.

Norman Newell, who was Shirley Bassey’s recording manager, was so enthralled by Bell’s vocal diversity of style that he was inspired to sign her to Columbia Records. She embarked on a solo recording career making some excellent and outstanding singles and working in cabaret. Bell’s first cabaret date was in 1964 at the “La Dolce Vita” nightclub in Newcastle upon Tyne. Also on the bill were Lionel Blair and comedian Les Dawson.

Bell moved into vocal backing work having signed to sing vocal backing along with Lesley Duncan and Doris Troy on the legendary Dusty Springfield hit “In The Middle Of Nowhere”. Later more impressive quality vocal backing followed on future Dusty recording sessions, joined mainly by her colleagues Lesley Duncan, Kiki Dee and Kay Garner. Bell proceeded to be signed to Philips Records and made some spectacular singles to include Bacharach and David’s “What The World Needs Now Is Love”, Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Climb Every Mountain” and Motown songwriters Ashford and Simpson’s “One Step At A Time”. Bell also provided exhilarating vocal backing for Cliff Richard, Tom Jones, Scott Walker, Long John Baldry, Joe Cocker, Elton John and many more singers too numerous to mention.
Her vocal contribution on these stars’ records added that necessary golden ingredient to make the recordings more noticeable. It is a certain fact that Bell assisted in making many known singers worldwide celebrities. Bell’s powerful voice was clearly ahead of its time and that all-important British hit single eluded her. Bell achieved another aspect to her career by making T.V. Jingles including British Gas, Tea, McDonalds and other significant brand leading product commercials.

Bell’s first UK album in 1967 entitled “Bell's A Poppin” included her USA hit “I'm Gonna Make You Love Me” which incidentally featured the international singing legend and ‘Icon Of Music’ Dusty Springfield providing vocal backing on the song.

Along with singer and song writer Roger Cook, Bell became a central part of the invigorating group “Blue Mink” and recorded a fantastic memorable song called “Melting Pot” which became a huge British hit in 1969, reaching number 3 in the hit parade and remaining in the charts for 15 weeks. The group succeeded in having 7 hit singles, spending a total of 84 weeks in the charts throughout their career. Blue Mink finally parted in May 1974 after a very successful career.

Bell’s diverse talents were utilised to their full potential on soundtracks to films to include “Hammerhead”, “A Touch Of Class”, and “The Greek Tycoon” and in addition displayed remarkable diversity in writing some of her own songs and appearing in the Dutch production of the “The Cotton Club” and Lionel Bart’s splendid “La Strada”, where she performed lead vocal. John Paul Jones from the famous Led Zeppelin group wrote songs with Bell and provided backing for her T.V. shows.

Bell worked for James Last on a world tour and provided exquisite vocal backing on his shows and albums. She has worked with the BBC’s Big Band and was their special guest on 19 August 1999 at the Royal Albert Hall London She has performed at the world famous Ronnie Scott’s club in London since 1987 and on every occasion received a tumultuous reaction from enthusiastic audiences.

Bell has enraptured Holland many times with her glittering performances and completed a nine-week tour, which proved to be a resounding success. In Holland Bell became famous because of her substantial contribution to the CD productions with Tom Parker. These productions, which are popular arrangements of classical composers like Beethoven, Verdi, and Handel, have attained massive sales. Bell has worked with the Netherlands Metropole Orchestra which comprises of no less than sixty one musicians and has recorded a CD called “Beat Out That Rhythm On A Drum”, which is on the Koch International Label 1998. Her versions of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “Evergreen” are adorable musical masterpieces. The orchestra is a national and international phenomenon and has also worked with Celine Dion, Andy Williams, Natalie Cole, Sarah Vaughan, Andrea Bocelli, Ella Fitzgerald, Art Garfunkel and many more worldwide entertainers.

Boyzone were enthusiastically interested in working with Bell and in 1996 recorded a new version of her outstanding hit “Melting Pot”, which is featured on the Boyzone hit CD “A Different Beat”.

Joe Cocker insisted on waiting one year until this most in demand session singer was free to record with him on the song “With A Little Help From My Friends” which became a British number one, thanks to the outstanding vocal performance of Madeline Bell.

Madeline Bell

Madeline Bell

Madeline Bell

Madeline Bell

Madeline Bell

Madeline

Madeline Bell

Madeline Bell

Ian Shaw & Madeline Bell

Madeline Bell & Ian Shaw


Recommended
Listening

 

Bell's A Poppin' Doin' Things The Best of Blue Mink - Melting Pot

 

Further
Recommended
Viewing

Click Ian Shaw's image to see him @ the 606 Club, 2016,
or Madeline Bell's image to see her with Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw,
or Ian Shaw's image to see him with Liane Carroll & read his biography...

Ian Shaw @ the 606 Club, 2016 (click to go to this page) Madeline Bell with Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw (click to go to this page) Ian Shaw & Liane Carroll (click to go to this page)

 Go back to the jazz gallery.

[ Top ]