August 9: R&B/soul singer Barbara Mason - "Yes, I'm Ready"- is 64-years-old today.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mason initially focused on songwriting when she entered the music industry in her teens. As a performer, though, she had a hit single in 1965 with her self-penned Top 10 hit, "Yes, I'm Ready" a fetching soul-pop love song that spotlighted her high, girlish vocals.

The song reached number five on the pop charts, and number two in R&B. Barbara's sweet, lush sound came to be known as Philly soul. She had modest success throughout the rest of the decade on the small Arctic label, reaching the Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 again in 1965 with "Sad, Sad Girl," and "Oh How It Hurts" in 1967-68.

In the early and mid 1970s, Mason toughened her persona considerably, singing about sexual love and infidelity with a frankness that was uncommon for a female soul singer in songs like "Bed and Board," "From His Woman to You," and "Shackin' Up."

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Hits Anthology (Barbara Mason)Yes, I'm Ready

Sweet soul continued to be Barbara Mason's mainstay, though, and she continued to write her material. But the production, as it was throughout soul in the '70s, was more funk-oriented, and at times Mason would interrupt her singing to deliver some straight-talkin' raps about romance.

Curtis Mayfield produced her on a cover version of his song "Give Me Your Love," which restored her to the pop Top 40 and R&B Top Ten in 1973; "From His Woman to You" (the response to Shirley Brown's single "Woman to Woman") and "Shackin' Up" were also solid soul sellers in the mid '70s. After leaving Buddah Records in 1975, she only dented the charts periodically, with "I Am Your Woman, She Is Your Wife" in 1978, "Another Man" in 1984, both on West End Records, and a few other singles.

Mason released a new CD, Feeling Blue, in September 2007.



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