Linda Hayes (born Bertha Williams, December 10, 1923, Linden, New Jersey) is an American jazz, and R&B singer.
Sister of The Platters' lead singer, Tony Williams, originally from Elizabeth, New Jersey she relocated to Los Angeles in the late 40's and changed her name from Bertha Williams to Linda Hayes.
in the early 1950s she recorded two singles backed by the Red Callender Sextet, with Callender on (bass), Maxwell Davis (tenor sax), Floyd Turnham (baritone sax), Chico Hamilton (drums) and Monroe Tucker (piano). She recorded primarily for the Hollywood Records label (the name was originally 'Recorded in Hollywood' but changed in late 1953). Her first record with the company was Big City (Parts One And Two) was given a major push in trade ads ("The greatest R&B record ever"). Hayes' next record was an answer song to Willie Mabon's I Don't Know titled Yes I Know (What You're Putting Down).
"Yes I know", entered the Billboard R&B chart on February 7, 1953 and reached #2 (behind The 5 Royales' hit "Baby Don't Do It"), while the following single, "What's It to You" / "Atomic Baby" was recorded in spring 1953.
Both of Hayes' initial singles did well enough for her to play the Apollo in New York City. In April of 1953 Hayes appeared with fellow Atomic Baby cover performer Amos Milburn (though his version was left unissued for decades) at Newark's Laurel Gardens. Also appearing on this bill were The Orioles.
In 1954 Hollywood Records owner Don Pierce sold off Hayes' contract to King and her first record for that label was another answer song, My Name Ain't Annie, with backing vocals by The Platters.
On January 14, 1955, the Platters backed up Linda Hayes again, this time on "Please Have Mercy" and "Oochi Pachi." The latter song, although it contained the entire group, was essentially a duet between Linda and Tony; the label credit read "Linda Hayes and Tony Williams (of the Platters)." These were released the following month and given "good" reviews. Also in 1955 she was backed by Big Jim Wynn's Band. In the mid 1950s she headed the billing of the Hollywood Records Revue, which also included Roy Brown, Johnny "Guitar" Watson and the Tommy Jones Orchestra.
By 1956 Hayes's career was overcome by the tidal wave of rock 'n' roll and King did not renew her contract. She did receive momentary career reprieves from Mercury and then Antler, but nothing came of these contracts. She would later record in 1956 with the Earle Warren Orchestra and in 1959 with the Ray Scott Band.
Her fame still remained with the R & B fans however as proven by a poll of readers in the Pittsburgh Courier gives Hayes the number one spot among female vocalists, but her day as a top performer has passed and she becomes a name to be remembered as one who helped build the house that is America's music. It is unknown as to what became of Hayes after the '50s. (Info Wikipedia & numerous sources. Also as you can see I can only find one photograph of Linda on the Internet!)