Although she was never a huge star, Gloria Lynne was a very respected singer with a long — and sometimes rocky — career, and her recent passing at age 83 was a sad moment for her fans. Probably best remembered for helping make “I Wish You Love” a standard, she sang in a style that borrowed from the best of jazz, pop, and R&B, and even though she had some low periods she found renewed career success in her later years.
Born in Depression-era New York as Gloria Mia Wilson, she gained musical experience while growing up by serving in her church choir, although she also had some classical training. By her mid-teens she was gaining attention by performing in venues like Harlem’s Apollo Theater, and she was soon finding club work singing with various groups. Within a few years she was appearing on stages alongside rising stars like Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, and Johnny Mathis, and had even made a few records. Along the way she’d also paired up romantically with a guy named Harry Alleyne, and began billing herself as Gloria Alleyne, eventually simplifying it to Lynne.
During the 1950s and 1960s her career fortunes continued to grow, and she began to sell a lot of records with songs like “Love I Found You”, “I’m Glad There Is You”, and of course “I Wish You Love.” Things were going very well for her in those days, but changing musical tastes seemed to gradually slow her career down, and she went through some low periods, including the dissolution of her marriage.
Lynne kept working as much as possible in the following years, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that she was able to rebuild her career. By the 1990s she had found renewed success in the recording studio and was again appearing on stage in New York. In fact, the city recognized her in 1995 with a ‘Gloria Lynne Day’, just one of the honors she’d receive in her later years. She issued a new album as late as 2007 and continued to remain musically active in her remaining years,
Gloria Lynne – “Impossible” Gloria Lynne – “I Wish You Love”