Ty Karim

A tall, elegant and emotionally dynamic singer, Ty Karim was a local legend on the L.A. soul circuit, although she never really received her due on a national level despite having released several powerful dance tracks on various small labels from the mid-'60s through the early '80s. Most of her releases, which included the hit "Lightin' Up," were produced by her second husband Kent Harris, whose own singing career was all but over when the two met. Harris devoted his creative energy to Karim's career, wisely featuring and giving full reign to her husky voice on their productions, many of which originally appeared on Harris' own Romark imprint. A 12" collaboration with George Griffin, "Keep on Doin' Whatcha' Doin,''" in the early '80s was a hit in the U.K. and brought Karim a good deal of attention in Europe. Karim died in 1983, and aside from serious fans of soul and R&B, her impressive body of work was all but forgotten. The story probably could have ended there, but her daughter Karime, after reading a fanzine article on her mother, decided to move to the U.K., and blessed with a voice very similar to her mother's, began singing her parent's songs on the Northern soul circuit, garnering a good deal of critical acclaim and almost single-handedly keeping the music alive. Kent Records issued The Complete Ty Karim: Los Angeles' Soul Goddess in 2008, thus preserving the recorded legacy of this wonderful singer. ~ Steve Leggett

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