Listen: Higher And Higher / Linda Hopkins
Today, Linda Hopkins turns 88.
Discovered by Mahalia Jackson at age 11, then seeing Bessie Smith at the New Orleans Palace Theatre one year later in ’36 sent her on a path full of so many accomplishments. Read MOTHERIN’ THE BLUES: LINDA HOPKINS – THE CONTINUING LEGACY OF THE BLUES WOMAN. Wow, I was riveted.
In the early 60′s, she cut several sides with Jackie Wilson for Brunswick, which lead to some solo singles of her own for the label as well.
Although ‘Little By Little’ preceded swampier soul by a few years, it still retains a traditional manic juke jump chaos. Her full voice overpowers any of the tracks lack of swing, and miraculously, that perfectly recorded snare drum gets some nice loud spikes in the mix.