Barry White was a famous musician. He got famous for many songs such as “I’m Gonna Love You Just A Little More, Baby,” “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe,” and “You’re The First, The Last, My Everything.” The common theme of his music was love and he spoke about it a lot. This was why he was nicknamed “the walrus of love.”
His music is based on romance and his performances are delivered quite incredibly. He also had a really deep voice that conveyed sentiments. The seductive lyricism of Barry was targeted towards his wife as well. He made some solid soul hits in the ’70s. But his life was not all roses. Barry had his fair share of problems as well. His life was really filled with crime and prison but it was Music that saved him. So, what was his life like? Let us find out.
Barry white was Exposed to music Early On
Barry White was literally born into Music. He was born in Galveston, Texas. He then moved to Los Angeles while he was young. His mother was named Sadie who was a piano teacher and she taught him how to harmonize when he was just 4 years old. She also sang the ‘Silent Night’ and it was Barry who sang the harmony to the song. But despite his early exposure to music, Barry never really learned the theory behind it.
But despite not being able to read and write music, he played the organ and sang in the church. He also mastered instruments. He was a young prodigy. Aged just 11, Barry made his appearance in his first-ever recording. He played the piano on Jesse Belvin’s hit track “Goodnight My Love.”
Barry had a Life Of Crime
At just the age of 13, Barry’s voice cracked and he was devastated about it. He no longer had his childish voice. Rather he had a rich bass-baritone voice. This would become one of the best features of his music. At the age of 16, White got arrested for stealing tires. He and his younger brother teamed up to be a two-man gang and wreaked havoc on their Neighborhood.
Barry was sent to jail and it was in jail he first heard Elvis Presley, which made him an instant fan and he later described it as one of the best experiences in his life. He was let out of jail but got arrested again. This time the charge was of attempted murder. He was cleared of all the charges after the victim did not provide an accurate description of the attacker.
Barry’s Life After Jail
After getting out of jail for the second time, Barry got married to his high school sweetheart named Mary. He had two children with Marry. After that, he started to do a series of jobs for supporting his family. He sold toys, newspapers and even worked on Construction sites.
Barry was connected to music and joined many groups like the Majestics and the Atlantics. He wrote and sang during this time and even had six singles. Barry did these songs for the Lummetone Label. He even played the keyboard on Bob & Earl’s “Harlem Shuffle” and Jackie Lee’s “The Duck” and these songs got pretty huge too.
Getting Signed to a Label
It was 1966 and record labels were booming. Bob Keane was an entrepreneur in this space and he ran many labels. It was Bob who hired Barry as one of his artists. Within one year, Barry was making a lot of music and money. He also met the arranger Gene Page.
Barry got the chance to be in the studio when The Supremes were recording their hit song “Forever Came Today.” Barry listened to them and thought that he could do music full time and make imaginative music too.
He was inspired by The Supremes’ use of horns, strings, and harmonies. Barry was really inspired by this group and that is when he started to really make a mark on the music business.
Barry White did not have any desire to sing as his vocals cracked when he was 13. But after his boss Larry Nunes begged White to start singing, White eventually gave it a shot. After he heard himself singing on a track, Barry decided to run with it, and then he made his solo album in the year 1973 which became a smash hit.
Come back to the Music Scene
It was 1983 when White’s brother was murdered after getting out of jail following a 13-year sentence. This made White really depressed. But he did make a comeback in the ’90s when his music was starting to climb the charts because of the Nostalgic feeling that many people had.
In 1999, he did his final album with Def Jam Records. Later in 2003, his kidney finally gave up and he died at the age of 58. In his huge career, Barry got two Grammys and got 41 platinum records.