Throwback:Thelma Houston-You Used To Hold Me So Tight


Thelma Houston is famous for her ’76 cover of “Don’t Leave Me This Way” which was a hit for Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes with Teddy Pendergrass singing lead in ’75. Houston had signed to Motown in ’71 and had no success with the release of a number of singles until she made her version of the tune. The song acquired a Grammy for her in ’78 making her the first woman from Motown to get the award for Best Female R&B performance and is considered one of the most enduring songs of that era. Expectations were high for her career because of the potential heard on her debut album Sunshower that came out in ’69. She never reached the kind of success her voice truly commanded but her output of sixteen albums has been followed by a plenitude of soul fanatics. “You Used To Hold Me So Tight” was written and produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis for her ’84 album Qualifying Heat. Jam and Lewis were able to take the gospel octane in her voice and arrange it into a chic instrument around the electronic drums and synthesizers creating an up to date sexiness a tasteful formula they perfected with Cherelle. The song was a decent chart success but it was the club audience particularly the Paradise Garage that made the song everlasting. She released her last album A Woman’s Touch in ’07.