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Linda Clifford interviewed by Lenny Fontana for True House Stories® # 047

Part 1
Linda Clifford is an American R&B, disco and house music singer and actress, who scored hits from the 1970s to the 1980s, most notably “If My Friends Could See Me Now”, “Bridge over Troubled Water”, “Runaway Love” and “Red Light”. In this segment she shares with us growing up in Park Slope Brooklyn New York, and all her beginnings with finding music and making her way through grade school and then onto the stage.

Listen to how she begins her life on the road gigging starting in the Catskills New York and crossing the county finally ending up in Chicago meeting the man of her dreams at the famous Playboy Club in town.

Part 2
Linda Clifford shares with us how she was able to achieve her recording contract with Curtom Records based out of Chicago and the start of her recording career begins. She goes into detail what is was truly like working alongside singer / songwriter Curtis Mayfield and his staff.

The first album release is of cover tunes of the era and this was truly the beginning but the second album is were things really take off. Listen to her tell you how she began her touring life playing all the successful clubs like Studio 54, Red Parrot, Paradise Garage and traveling abroad. Linda decides to take a break from the club and stage life and leaves the industry to take on a more important role, motherly duties.

She is blessed to have a wonderful marriage with her husband of over 43 years and raises two beautiful kids into fine adults. She returns to the stage during the children’s teen years for different track dates at clubs around the USA. Finally, she is called by Martha Wash to join the new group “First Ladies of Disco” and she has been performing ever since along with Norma Jean Wright. Come watch the full story. 

Linda Clifford YouTube Video Part 1

Linda Clifford YouTube Video Part 2

Linda Clifford

Biography Linda Clifford

Linda Clifford has made her mark among the classic R&B singers and also as a legendary disco diva. Electrifying audiences with her music and widely celebrated performances, this multi-talented and dynamic entertainer’s accomplishments are vast.

Linda’s landmark recordings have spent a total of 60 weeks at #1 on Billboard Magazine’s dance charts earning Grammy Award and televised performances, Linda has appeared on American Bandstand, Solid Gold, Soul Train, The Midnight Special (including two stints as host), Don Kirchner’s Rock Concert and The Merv Griffin Show. She is an exciting live performer with sold out live concerts around the world including New York’s Lincoln Center. Linda is also an acclaimed songwriter, with her compositions being sought out by Cher and Gladys Knight.

She has the distinction of being featured on the Oscar winning #1 motion picture soundtrack album Fame and as an actress, has had roles in such classic films as Sweet Charity with Shirley MacLaine and Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby with Mia Farrow. A true renaissance artist!

This award-winning entertainer began her musical career at the early age of four, and was singing on local New York television programs when she was seven years old. Three years later, she appeared with Harry Belafonte and Sydney Poitier in a television special for the NAACP. After high school, Linda focused her career in the jazz music genre, performing first with the Jericho Jazz Singers and later touring this country with her own trio, Linda and the Trade Winds. She then switched musical directions, singing R&B and pop and found early success with Paramount Records and the single Long Long Winter.

Eventually, Linda signed with R&B giant Curtis Mayfield and his Curtom Records. Her first album, Linda featured the hit single From Now On, but it was her follow-up which would propel her into the international spotlight. Her discotized remake of If My Friends Could See Me Now shot up to #1 on the dance charts, bringing her numerous accolades including as American Music Award nomination for Best New Artist, Cashbox Magazine’s Top Female Vocalist Award, Record World Magazine’s Best New Female Vocalist and Best Pop Album designations.

More #1 success followed with her subsequent Curtom releases including Don’t Come Crying To Me, Shoot Your Best Shot produced by Isaac Hayes and Linda’s smash hit Runaway Love, which topped the Billboard Disco/Dance chart at #1 for 16 weeks and reached #3 on Billboard’s R&B chart. A hit duet singeel with Curtis Mayfield, Between You Baby and Me, resulted in the pari recording a full length album. Entitled The Right Combination, the effort produced two more R&B hits by the duo.

She scored another big success with the hit single Red Light, that appeared on the multi-million selling. Oscar winning #1 soundtrack album Fame. The song earned a Grammy nomination and spent nine weeks at #1 on Billboard’s dance chart and appeared on Linda’s followup hit album I’m Yours.

However, at the peak of her fame, Linda decided to concentrate on her personal life. Refocusing her career in a new direction that would allow her to spend more time at home raising her family, Linda began singing commercial jingles for McDonalds, Cherry Coke, Maybelline, Pontiac, Tropicana, Oldsmobile, Michelob Lite and the themes to The Phil Donahue Show and the police drama Chicago.

During this period, Linda also found time to occasionally record several albums for Red Label Records. Again, the results produced two #1 hits on the dance charts. A Night with the Boys and the The Heat in Me. Their respective music videos also received considerable airplay.

Now in the new millennium, Linda is conquering the music world with a vengeance. Returning to the charts with her hit dance singles Changin’ and Philly Groove, Billboard Magazine exclaimed “Linda Clifford’s vocal light still burns bright.” A gifted songwrited, Linda was recently signed to one of the world’s biggest publishing houses Warner-Chappell Music.

Her compositions have been sought out by such top performers as Cher, Gladys Knight, Gloria Gaynor and Martha Wash, who scored a top 5 hit with Linda’s song, You Lift Me Up. In 2005, Linda was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Chicago Music Awards for her many accomplishments in the music industry.

Augmenting her success-filled recording  career were Linda’s acclammed concert performances. Entertaining the world over, Linda has appeard at such prestigious venues as Madison Square Garden, Lincoln Center, The Roxy, the Allstate Arena and Park West to SRO audiences, thrilling them with her powerful and energetic live shows.

A versatile performer, Linda is an accomplished actress, having appeared in the box office hit films The Boston Strangler with Tony Curtis, Coogan’s Bluff with Clint Eastwood, Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby with Mia Farrow and Sweet Charity with Shirley MacLaine.

Using her talent for numerous charitable causes, Linda has performed at the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, The Ronald McDonald House Benefit with American Idol’s Clay Aiken and Divas Simply Singing, which benefits the Angel Food Network, delivering food for adults and children with AIDS/HIV.

When Linda is not on the road, she utilizes her experiences as a performer and former Miss New York State in the Miss USA Pageant, as an instructor at Roosevelt University’s Music Conservatory and as a stage presence coach, teaching public performances, stage poise, lyric sensitivity, and vocal presentation.

Vocalist-Songwriter-Concert Performer-Actress, Linda Clifford is a true entertainer in every sense of the word, taking audiences on the exhilarating musical journey, while touching their souls.