Barbara George was a rhythm-and-blues singer from New Orleans who had one very memorable, very big hit in the early 60's.
Barbara was born Barbara Ann Smith in 1942 in Smithridge, Louisiana. She was raised in New Orleans, where she sang in her church choir. Barbara was discovered by local singer Jessie Hill, who brought her to the attention of record producer Harold Battiste. Battiste was the head of A.F.O. Records (All For One) and had a stable of veteran session musicians from the New Orleans area who were excellent. Barbara married at 16 and went by her married name Barbara George. At age 18, she recorded a song she had written titled I Know (You Don't Love Me No More) in 1961 at A.F.O. in her first recording session ever. Supposedly she had based the song on the spiritual Just A Closer Walk With Thee and the lyrics were directed at her husband. The record was distributed by Juggy Murray's Sue Records. Featuring less than perfect diction on the part of the singer and a dynamic cornet solo by Melvin Lastie, the song went to number one R&B and number three on the national Billboard pop chart by early 1962. Still in her teens, Barbara had a hit.
She released more songs, including You Talk About Love and Send For Me (If You Need Some Lovin') which made it to the top 100 but had nowhere near the success of her first hit. She continued recording sporadically throughout the 60's, most often with the Seven B label, but would never again reach the top forty as a solo artist. After that Barbara recorded at irregular intervals, concluding her recording career at Hep'Me in the 80's. Barbara turned to Gospel music. She returned to sing I Know at Ernie K-Doe's funeral in 2001.
She was diagnosed with liver disease in the 90's and died of a respiratory ailment in Chauvin, Louisiana in 2006, just days short of her 64th birthday. Barbara George is remembered as a one-shot artist but that one song, I Know (You Don't Love Me No More), has become a rock and roll classic.
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