Yvonne Elliman

 

Yvonne Marianne Elliman (born December 29, 1951) is an American singer who performed for four years in the first cast of Jesus Christ Superstar. She scored a number of hits in the 1970s and achieved a US #1 hit with "If I Can't Have You". After a long hiatus in the 1980s and 1990s, during which time she dedicated herself to her family, she made a comeback album as a singer-songwriter in 2004.

Biography

Early years

Elliman was born and raised in the Manoa neighborhood of Honolulu, Hawaii; her mother was of Japanese ancestry while the ethnic background of her father?a salesman for Best Foods?was Irish. Elliman was musical from an early age, playing the ukulele by age four and taking piano lessons at age seven; while attending President Theodore Roosevelt High School Elliman performed in the school band on standup bass and violin, but it was the guitar on which Elliman became most proficient, and she played guitar and sang in a folk music group named We Folk formed with some schoolmates. The group fared well in local talent shows. According to Elliman she was an absentee student during her senior year at Roosevelt but graduated owing to the intervention of the school's British-born band teacher, who persuaded Elliman's teachers to pass her; shortly after her high school graduation Elliman, then seventeen, relocated to London?at her British-born band teacher's suggestion?to pursue a musical career.

London years, Jesus Christ Superstar

Elliman's singing career began in 1969 in London, where she performed at various bars and clubs. At the time she did not like what she was singing. "I hated the music then," she recalled in a 1973 interview, adding "I did it for the bread. I was into drugs and all that, and thought Grace Slick and the Jefferson Airplane was it." While still an unknown, she was discovered by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, who asked her to sing Mary Magdalene's part for an audio recording of Jesus Christ Superstar. After its release as an album, they invited her to join the stage show's traveling cast, which she did for four years.

She had her first hit single in 1971 with the ballad "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar. The song was her first entry on the U.S. charts, peaking at #28 pop in 1971, although a cover version by Helen Reddy was a bigger hit.

In the end, Elliman sang Jesus Christ Superstar on the 1970 concept album, in the original Broadway cast (1971), and in the 1973 film, in which she starred. She and Barry Dennen were alone among the cast to have lasted from the original record through the two stage productions to the film, for which her screen performance as Mary Magdalene led to a 1974 Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy.

New York and disco

In 1971 Elliman moved to New York City for the Broadway production of Jesus Christ, Superstar, where she met her first husband, Bill Oakes, who worked with Robert Stigwood as President of RSO Records. She was asked to sing backing vocals on Eric Clapton's version of the Bob Marley song "I Shot the Sheriff" in 1974. She then went on tour as part of Clapton's band, and soon afterwards got her own recording contract with RSO Records. She would continue to work with Clapton, performing on his albums from 1974 to 1977, including 461 Ocean Boulevard, There's One in Every Crowd, E. C. Was Here, No Reason to Cry, and Slowhand. A first album for the RSO label (her third in all), Rising Sun, produced by Steve Cropper, produced no hit singles, but her next album, Love Me, produced by Freddie Perren, gave her two top-20 hits, "Love Me" (written by Barry and Robin Gibb), and a Barbara Lewis cover, "Hello Stranger". "Hello Stranger" topped the U.S. Adult Contemporary charts for four weeks, and was also a #15 Pop hit in 1977, while "Love Me" was a #14 Pop hit in late 1976/early 1977. She appeared in Hawaii Five O in 1978.

Also in 1977, the Bee Gees were working on Saturday Night Fever and wrote "How Deep Is Your Love" for her, but Stigwood wanted the Bee Gees to perform it. Instead, she sang "If I Can't Have You". The song was a big hit, rising to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100; It is generally considered the high point of her recording career.

A few minor Top 40 hits followed in 1979, including the title theme song from the film Moment by Moment and another disco track, "Love Pains", which was a major club success. She appeared in a two-part episode of the television action series Hawaii Five-O during this period as an aspiring singer, performing the song "I Can't Get You Outa my Mind" with co-star James Darren. The single "Savannah" was also a minor hit. Shortly thereafter she decided to dedicate herself to her two children.

Return

After a considerable hiatus, Elliman reappeared on the music scene. An album titled Simple Needs, with all songs written by Elliman, was released in 2004 and re-released globally in 2007. Elliman has continued performing at music festivals, benefits, and concerts throughout the country and around the world. She also performed on a PBS special on '70s soul music in 2004, singing "If I Can't Have You." She recently reunited with Ted Neeley and Barry Dennen in Verona for a special JCS event.

Elliman is featured on the 2014 Ted Neeley EP Rock Opera duetting with Neeley on "Up Where We Belong."

Personal life

She married the late songwriter Wade Hyman in 1981 and they had two children, Sage (born 1982) and Ben (born 1986). They later separated. She remarried to Allan Alexander.

Discography

Albums

Charted singles

  • US chart stats are taken from both Billboard - either from the Hot 100 or Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart - and the Cash Box Top 100 Singles chart; the Cash Box charting is in brackets.
  • The following singles all appeared on the Billboard Easy Listening/ Adult Contemporary chart: "I Don't Know How to Love Him" (#15), "Everything's Alright" (#25), "Love Me" (#5), "Hello Stranger" (#1), "I Can't Get You Outa My Mind" (#19), "If I Can't Have You" (#9), "Moment by Moment" (#32) and "Love Pains" (#34).
  • The following singles appeared on the Billboard R&B chart: "Hello Stranger" (#57), "If I Can't Have You" (#60).
  • The following singles appeared on the Billboard Club chart: "If I Can't Have You" (#11), "Love Pains" (#75).

Soundtracks

  • "I Don't Know How to Love Him" (1971) - US: Pop #28, AC #15; UK #47 - Jesus Christ Superstar
  • "Everything's Alright" (1971) - US: Pop #92, AC #25 - Jesus Christ Superstar
  • "If I Can't Have You" (1977) - US: Pop #1, AC #9, Dance #11; UK #4 - Saturday Night Fever
  • "Moment by Moment" (1978) - US: Pop #59, AC #32 - Moment by Moment
  • "Your Precious Love (1980) (with Stephen Bishop) - US: Bubbling Under #105 - Roadie
  • "Edge of the World" (1983) - WarGames

See also

  • List of number-one hits (United States)
  • List of artists who reached number one on the Hot 100 (U.S.)

References

External links

  • Official website
  • Yvonne Elliman on Internet Movie Database
  • Yvonne Elliman at the Internet Broadway Database
Source : Wikipedia

Top Tracks

If I Can't Have You 1

If I Can't Have You

I Don't Know How To Love Him 2

I Don't Know How To Love Him

Love Me 3

Love Me

If I Can't Have You - 2007 Remastered Version Saturday Night Fever 4

If I Can't Have You - 2007 Remastered Version Saturday Night Fever

If I Can't Have You - 2007 Remastered Saturday Night Fever LP Version 5

If I Can't Have You - 2007 Remastered Saturday Night Fever LP Version

I Can't Explain 6

I Can't Explain

Hello Stranger 7

Hello Stranger

If I Can't Have You - 2007 Remastered Saturday Night Fever 8

If I Can't Have You - 2007 Remastered Saturday Night Fever

Love Pains 9

Love Pains

If I Can't Have You (2007 Remastered Saturday Night Fever LP Version) 10

If I Can't Have You (2007 Remastered Saturday Night Fever LP Version)

Top Albums

The Best Of Yvonne Elliman
The Best Of Yvonne Elliman
tracks
Saturday Night Fever [The Original Movie Soundtrack]
Saturday Night Fever [The Original Movie Soundtrack]
tracks
Saturday Night Fever
Saturday Night Fever
tracks

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