Top 20 Dionne Warwick Hits
Born in East orange, New Jersey, in 1940, Marie Dionne Warwick cut her singing teeth in her church choir at the age of 6. It was inevitable that Dionne would make music her career, since she is the sister of Dee Dee Warwick, her aunt is Cissy Houston (Whitney’s mom) and her father was the manager of the famed family gospel group, The Drinkard Singers.
Dionne attended Hartt College of Music in Hartford, Conn., in 1958 after receiving a scholarship. That same year, she formed the group, The Gospelaires, with Dee Dee. Cissy Houston and Doris Troy of “Just One Look” fame joined The Gospelaires later. They did a lot of studio backup work in New York City during the late 50s and can be heard on recordings by The Drifters, Jerry Butler, Aretha Franklin and Elvis Presley.
Dionne’s voice came to the attention of composer Burt Bacharach and lyricist Hal David. In 1962, she signed with Bacharach and David’s production company, which became Scepter Records.
Dionne’s first single was “Don’t Make Me Over,” a phrase that Bacharach and David heard the young singer use when she was angry at the duo. It turned out to be her first Top 40 single. From then on, she became Bacharach and David’s “main voice.”
On the charts, Dionne has had 31 Top 40 singles, with three of them going to No. 1. Here are Dionne Warwick’s 20 biggest hits, according to Billboard’s Weekly Top 40 Charts.
1. That’s What Friends Are For – 1986 – Dionne’s biggest hit came 23 years after her first top 40 hit and features her friends, Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder and topped the charts for four weeks.
2. Then Came You – 1974 – Dionne’s only Top 10 hit for the Atlantic label, it holds the unfortunate record for dropping the most positions, to No. 15, the week after it reached No. 1.
3. (Theme From) Valley of the Dolls – 1968 – From the film of the same title, the song was to be recorded by Judy Garland but was given to Dionne when Judy was fired from the film. It is also the “B” side to Dionne’s hit “I Say A Little Prayer.”
4. I Say A Little Prayer – 1967 – Also a Top 10 hit for Aretha Franklin a year later, Dionne’s version holds the unique record for being in the year end Top 100 of 1967 and the flip side, “(Theme From) Valley of the Dolls” (see above) making it to the year end Top 100 of 1968.
5. I’ll Never Love This Way Again – 1979 – Produced by Barry Manilow, this was Dionne’s first hit for the Arista Label.
6. Walk On By – 1964 – This Bacharach-David composition has also been covered by Gloria Gaynor, Isaac Hayes, Cyndi Lauper and Seal. Dionne also recorded a German version.
7. I’ll Never Fall In Love Again – 1970 – From the musical, “Promises, Promises,” Bobbie Gentry’s version went to No. 1 in England a year before Dionne’s release.
8. This Girl’s In Love With You – 1969 – A No. 1 hit for Herb Alpert in 1968 under the title “This Guy’s In Love With You,” Dionne went Top 10 a year later with a female spin to the title.
9. Anyone Who Had A Heart – 1964 – Dionne’s first Top 10 hit was reportedly done in one take.
10. Message To Michael – 1966 – Recorded by Jerry Butler in 1962 as “Message To Martha,” it was also recorded by actress Marlene Dietrich in 1964.
11. Heartbreaker – 1982 – written by The Bee Gees, Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb, they can also be heard providing backup vocals.
12. Do You Know The Way To San Jose – 1968 – Although Dionne thinks the song is dumb, the song has meaning for lyricist Hal David, who spent time in San Jose while in the Navy.
13. Love Power – 1987 – Written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager, Dionne’s last Top 20 single is a duet with vocalist Jeffrey Osborne.
14. Deja Vu – 1980 – Co-written by Isaac Hayes and produced by Barry Manilow, Dionne won two Grammy Awards in 1980 – one in the R&B category for this song and one for “I’ll Never Love This Way Again” in the pop category, making her the first artist to win Grammys in the R&B and Pop categories in the same evening.
15. Alfie – 1967 – Although Cher’s version was used in the soundtrack of the film of the same title, Dionne’s version did better on the charts.
16. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling – 1969 – A No. 1 hit for the Righteous Brothers in 1965, Dionne went Top 20 with it and Hall and Oates would also go top 20 in 1980.
17. Promises, Promises – 1968 – From the Broadway musical of the same title.
18. Reach Out For Me – 1964 – Originally recorded by Lou Johnson.
19. Don’t Make Me Over – 1963 – Dionne’s first hit single was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2000.
20. Trains And Boats And Planes – 1966 – From her seventh album, “Here Where There Is Love.”
Dionne left Scepter Records in 1970 and signed with Atlantic Records, but she only had one major hit with them in 1972 with The Spinners. She was virtually hitless for the entire decade until she moved to Arista Records in 1979, when her career took off again.
Dionne hosted TV’s Solid Gold from 1980-1981 and again from 1985-1986.
During the 1990s, Dionne hosted infomercials for the Psychic Friends Network.
In 2002, Dionne was nominated as a Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization by the United Nations.
Married to actor and drummer William Elliot in 1966, they divorced and remarried in 1967, until they finally divorced in 1975. They have a son – singer, songwriter David Elliot.
Among her many awards and honors, Dionne has received five Grammy Awards and a People’s Choice Award. She continues to record, and her latest album, “Only Trust your Heart,” was scheduled for release in March 2011.
Dionne Warwick now resides in Brazil, spending time in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.
SOURCE: Joel Whitburn – Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits – Billboard Publishing.