Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Angela Bofill-The Angel Of The Night

One of my favorite songs is Angel of the Night by Angela Bofill. For those of you who were toddlers during the 70's or weren't even thought of yet you've probably heard the song played regularly as part of your local radio station's Quiet Storm format. She was also the first Latina to find success in the R&B world.

Angela's a New York City girl raised by a Cuban father and Puerto Rican mother in Harlem. Her godfather was the legendary Tito Puente and she has a three and a half octave range voice. Bofill growing up was exposed to various music styles ranging from Motown to Aretha to Celia Cruz and of course her godfather.

She's an accomplished, classically trained opera singer and songwriter. By the time Angie was 18 she was doing jam sessions with music greats such as Cannonball Adderly, Herbie Hancock, and Dizzy Gillespie. She was a featured soloist for the Dance Theater of Harlem, majored in theater at the University of Hartford, voice at the Hartt School of Music and holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the prestigious Manhattan School of Music.

Bofill began her solo recording career in 1978 with a singing style that blended pop, R&B and jazz. Her first album, Angie contained the hits Next Time I'll Be Sweeter and Under The Moon and Over The Sky. It quickly established her as an up and coming vocalist and evoked comparisons to another vocalist with a similar singing style, her label mate Phyllis Hyman.

Her sophomore album, Angel of the Night contained my fave song and 'I Try'. Both albums topped the R&B, pop and jazz charts for several months in 1979 and firmly established Angela Bofill in short order as a musical force to be reckoned with.

She released Something About You in 1981 and Too Tough in 1983. The title track on this album became a major dance hit and the album went gold. Angie released a few more albums during the rest of the decade with varying degrees of success and also appeared in stage plays such as “God Don’t Like Ugly” and “What A Man Wants, What A Man Needs.”

On January 10, 2006 she suffered a stroke that paralyzed her left side and impaired her speech. She spent a few days in the hospital before being relased January 15, 2006 to recover at her California home. Like millions of Americans Angie didn't have health insurance at the time so it's been a long, tough fight to recovery. She is able to lift her leg, has feeling in her shoulder and her arm but has no mobility in it. She's determined to sing again and she's currently undergoing speech and physical therapy. There was a benefit concert held for her in Detroit on March 21, 2007 and according to her agent the R&B Foundation feels she qualifies for assistance as well.

Here's hoping that one of my fave singers makes a full recovery and we once again get to hear the Angel of the Night in her full glory.

No comments: