Throwback: Alyson Williams-I Need Your Lovin’
Alyson Williams is a native New Yorker who started her career in the arts as a dancer which earned her a scholarship at Marymount Manhattan College. She performed in several musicals notably the 25th anniversary show of The Wiz directed by famed choreographer George Faison who is the first African-American to get a Tony. An internship with The Commodores lead to her becoming their manager’s personal assistant. The connection to the band helped her get gigs recording backing vocals for them, Whodini, Kurtis Blow, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Unlimited Touch, Bobby Brown, Curtis Hairston, Ca$hflow, B.B. & Q. and Barbara Mitchell before she joined the group High Fashion which also featured Meli’sa Morgan in 1982. In 1986 she went solo with a cover of the Pointer Sisters’ “Yes We Can Can” that was released by Profile Records. She signed a recording contract with Def Jam in 1987 becoming the label’s first female R&B artist. The duet “Make You Mine Tonight” with fellow labelmate Chuck Stanley was the first video for both artists. The 1987 song”How To Love Again” was a duet with Oran “Juice” Jones from his second album G.T.O.: Gangstas Taking Over and was also on Williams’ first album Raw. “I Need Your Lovin'” and the quietstorm classic “Just Call My Name” appear on her 1989 debut for the label. “My Love Is So Raw” with Def Jam’s first female rapper Nikki D and “Sleeptalk” also from this album made many people consider her to be the first queen of hip-hop soul because of her ability to sing over hard beats.Two years later Def Jam released her self-titled second album that birthed the singles “Can’t Have My Man,” “Just My Luck,” “Everybody Knew But Me” and “She’s Not Your Fool” that was also featured on the “Livin’ Large” soundtrack. Williams took a break from recording and spent her time working in Black theater during the ’90s and it was at this time that she formed a musical partnership with Marcus Johnson. Their working relationship produced the successful jazz single “Morning Light” and Williams was the featured vocalist on three of Johnson’s albums. She would not record any new material until 2004’s It’s About Time.