Like her older sister, Dionne Warwick, Dee Dee Warwick began singing at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, and started doing background vocal work at New York recording studios in the late 1950s. Like her sister, she also became a recording artist in her own right in the early ’60s. But even though she had a string of minor hits into the mid-’70s, she never achieved the sort of fame and commercial success that Dionne — or, for that matter, her cousin Whitney Houston — did.
Her recordings are still highly regarded by soul aficionados, though, and have been reissued in many different forms since the ’60s and ’70s.
She made her last album in the mid-’80s and didn’t perform much after that, except for some work singing backing and duet vocals with Dionne. She died in 2008, at the age of 63.
Below is her first hit, “You’re No Good,” co-produced by the team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. It peaked at No. 113 on Billboard magazine’s pop chart. She rose higher with other songs, though she never got above No. 41 (1966’s “I Want to Be With You,” which was also No. 9 on the R&B chart)
This was the first and most forceful version of “You’re No Good,” which was later recorded, with more chart success, by Betty Everett, the Swinging Blue Jeans, and Linda Ronstadt.
New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, from September 2014 to September 2015 — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. To see the entire list, click here.