Saturday, 1 April 2017

Janice Harper born 1 April 1933

Janice Harper (April 1st, 1931 and died May 21st, 2016 in Arvene, NY (Far Rockaway) was an American  singer who made a very modest impact on the music world through the '50s and into the '60s. For whatever reason, she never really got the the recognition her rich and soaring voice deserved.

Originally, Janice had her heart set on an operatic career, but she switched to popular music and had no regrets. A native New Yorker, she would sing for her high school buddies who insisted that she study voice and making singing her career. 

Janice Harper first broke onto the Pop charts in 1957. Seeing as how Rock and Roll had begun to dominate the music scene by then, it's not surprising that there isn't much known about her. But, don't think that's because she didn't try. Even though teenagers were buying most of the music in the late 1950's, there were still fans of the popular singers. Singers such as Patti Page, Peggy Lee, Julie London, Dean Martin, all these singers were still beloved by their fans and continued to have hits into the Rock and Roll era.  

One specific reason why Janice Harper isn't a huge star like she deserved to be was that, during her most popular period, when she was signed to Capitol Records, they had a stable of artists such as the aforementioned Peggy Lee, June Christy and others.
Janice preferred a direct approach to her singing over the cool-school aesthetic of her rivals. Her finest LP, Embers Of Love, remains a potent evocation of perseverance in the face of romantic dissolution, celebrating the dawn rather than the darkness. Paired with arranger Stan Applebaum, Harper infuses melancholy ballads like Cry Me A River, The Thrill Is Gone and For All We Know with a warmth and sincerity bordering on naiveté. For all their smoky, late-night ambience, the songs possess an undercurrent of optimism that softens their impact, divining solace from the sorrow.

Some of her songs included Bon Voyage (1957), Devotion (Number 179 of WMGM's top 200 songs of 1958), I'm Making Love To You and I Was Hoping You'd Ask Me (both January 1959), Let Me Call You Sweetheart (May 1959), Just Whistle (May 1959), Forever, Forever (1960), Just Say I Love Him (1960), Cry Me A River (1960) and Where Shall I Find Him and 'Til Tomorrow (both from 1962). 

For other labels, she recorded Moonlit Sea and That's Why I Was Born (recorded for the Prep label in 1957), and He Just Checked In and Take Me In Your Arms (for RCA). Evidently, she recorded a handful of albums, with the previously mentioned Embers Of Love being her biggest. Because of that album's success, she secured a guest appearance on Dick Clark's American Bandstand program on February 2nd, 1960, where she sang the song Cry Me A River, which had been included on that album. She also appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Steve Allen Show, and worked with a diverse group of performers such as Eddie Albert and Buddy Hackett.

Her trail goes cold from now on except I note that she sang on the Mike Douglas Show in 1967 also the Johnny Carson show in 1973.  By the late 70’s she was singing at various clubs in New York.
The last information I noticed was that Janice was  in a New York nursing home for 3 years with Alzheimer's.

She died May 21st, 2016 in Arvene, NY (Far Rockaway)

Other than that, I couldn't locate any clues or biographical information about this fine singer. So, despite the meagre facts about her life and history, just enjoy the big voice she had and the easy delivery she used. Cant find any Best Of Janice Harper . (Info mainly from Haar fager @ Music For Every Mood Blog and From The Vaults)


boppinbob said...

Fingers Crossed Janice's only 2 albums will be uploaded by my Music blog in the near too distant future. So watch this space. Unless some kind person will intervene.

boppinbob said...

For “Janice Harper - Embers of Love” go here:

1 Cry Me A River
2 Always
3 I Am Forgetting You
4 If You Are But A Dream
5 If You Love Me (Really Love Me)
6 I'm Thru With Love
7 The Thrill Is Gone
8 All The Things You Are
9 Just Say I Love Him
10 I Hadn't Anyone Till You
11 For All We Know
12 I Believe

A big thank you to Spoddy “ Loadsamusic Forum for link

Don Dan said...

Here is the other album.
Janice Harper - With feeling 1968
Don Dan

Don Dan said...

Sorry for the PW
The same with no PW

Don Dan

boppinbob said...

Thanks Don
Regards, Bob

Kevin said...


champ doberman said...

Janice Harper: Embers Of Love
can you reup? tia