Everywhere you go these days, it’s Adele this and Adele that. Anyone would think that the concept of the big-lunged diva was totally new and something that she herself had pioneered. However, that’s simply not true. While there’s no doubting her talent, she’s standing on the shoulders of the giants who preceded her, even if some of them aren’t nearly as famous. Stretching right back to Billie Holiday is an absolutely stunning lineage of mainly American song stylists, many of whom could wipe the floor with the current crop of songbirds. And within this school of signing, the UK versions are rarely more than a pale imitation of the US vocal powerhouses they tend to imitate. Music is the perfect accompaniment to gay massage in London, accentuating its benefits and lulling you into the right mood. So let’s take a closer look at some of the lesser-known legends to whom today’s singers owe so much.
First, there’s Patti Austin. Born in Harlem, New York, she made her debut at the age of four at the Apollo Theater and had a contract with RCA (now part of Sony) by the time she was five. However, it was with two albums of her own songs – End of a Rainbow (1976) and Havana Candy (1977) – that she began to make a splash. Both of these came out on Creed Taylor’s CTI record label which, alas, began to experience financial trouble at the turn of the decade. Undeterred, Austin went on to sign with Quincy Jones’ Qwest label, issuing a string of popular albums that landed on the American R’n’B charts. She’s remained a regular fixture of the music scene ever since and now, thanks to gastric bypass surgery, cuts a much more svelte figure than she used to. In fact, at one point her weight mean that she had to be helped on stage.
Perhaps the second singing sensation worth mentioning is the woefully underrated Zulema (full name, Zulema Cusseaux). Zulema was a singer/songwriter and pianist who first emerged as part of the group Faith, Hope & Charity. Before long, however, she was ready to step out on her own, releasing a string of six albums in the 1970s, each of them filled with her own songwriting and piano work and a singing style that took some inspiration from Aretha Franklin. Among the most critically favoured of her albums was 1972’s Zulema (issued on the Sussex label) and 1975’s RSVP (on RCA). Her final solo album, Z-Licious (LeJoint/London Records) was notably more disco-influenced than its predecessors. Somehow, despite the promotional machine of big record labels behind her, Zulema never quite broke through. Her life after leaving the industry was one of hardship and legal difficulties, although she remained a musical director in her local church. Zulema passed away in Florida in 2013.
Either of these superb artists would make a great addition to anyone’s playlist either before or after enjoying gay massage.