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Winfield Parker

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A vocalist valued among listeners of deep soul and traditional gospel alike, Winfield Parker came up as a young saxophonist in Maryland/D.C.-area groups such as the Veejays and Sammy Fitzhugh & the Moroccans. Prior to launching a solo career, he also played behind Little Richard and led a band called the Imperial Thrillers. From the late '60s through the '70s, Parker recorded sides for an assortment of labels that included Arctic, Ru-Jac, Wand, Spring, and GSF. His commercial peak was achieved in 1971 through his version of "S.O.S. (Stop Her on Sight)," a song popularized five years earlier by Edwin Starr; Parker took it to number 48 on Billboard's Soul Singles chart. Other powerful cuts, such as "Shake That Thing" and "Mr. Clean," became favorites of England's Northern Soul scene. Parker also fronted the Best of Both Worlds, a band that released one album, I Want the World to Know, for the Calla label. Parker became an ordained minister in 1981, released the first of several gospel recordings in 1988, and established a label of his own. He didn't forsake his R&B past. He continued to look after his entire discography and continued to perform the material as his gospel works steadily increased in stature. In 2016, the Omnivore label issued Mr. Clean: Winfield Parker at Ru-Jac, which contained all of the previously released Ru-Jac material and added six previously unheard cuts. At the time, Parker was still active on the gospel scene, and was nearing his 60th year as an artist. ~ Andy Kellman

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21 June 1942 in Cooksville, MD

Years Active:

'60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s