This guest post is by Tom Cooney of a.tom.called.cooney.

Barry Eugene White was born in Galveston, Texas in 1944.  His family eventually moved to South Central Los Angeles where he began playing piano at an early age.  White started gang banging with his brother Darryl and eventually was locked up for stealing over $30,000 worth of Cadillac tires.  While serving 4 months in jail he heard Elvis Presley sing “Now or Never” on the radio. That moment changed his life.

White began his music career in the 60s with several music groups.  His found success in 1972 when he produced the all female group Love Unlimited.  Their first album, From A Girls Point of View, We Bring to You… Love Unlimited sold over a million copies.

His solo career began in 1973 with singles “I’ve Got So Much To Give” and “I’m Gonna Give You Just a Little More Baby” which quickly soared to the #1 spot on the Billboard R&B chart.  Soon after, White recorded a number of hits including “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe”, “Never, Never Gonna Give You Up”, “What Am I Gonna Do With You” and “It’s Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me”.

Sadly, Barry White died in 2003 after struggling with obesity during most of his adult life.  He was posthumously inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame in 2004.

Quite a few hip-hop artists such as N.W.A., Rodney O and Joe Cooley, Nas, O.C., Black Moon and CMW have sampled Barry White.

I was introduced to Barry White as a young child in Boston, MA.  My mom had an extensive record collection and I can distinctly remember the I’ve Got So Much To Give album cover, which I was lucky to inherit.  My favorite Barry White song is the unmistakable baby-maker “Playing Your Game, Baby”.  Big ups to my man Rory Pendergast, the biggest Barry White fan I know.

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