by Dan Gibson
It's a shame that Loleatta Holloway wasn't a bigger star; her first label, Aware, went out of business, and most of her hits were for Gold Mind and Salsoul, labels that did well in dance circles, but didn't have much success in the pop realm. Still, whether you've heard of Holloway or not, in the late 80's and early 90's, her voice was featured on two gigantic pop hits, Black Box's "Ride on Time" and Marky Mark's "Good Vibrations", both of which sampled her #1 dance hit from 1980, "Love Sensation". Black Box pulled the terrible trick of having a model lip sync her vocals in their video, not even giving Holloway credit on the song (she later successfully sued), but to his credit, Marky Mark had her appear in the video for "Good Vibrations" and paid her royalties.
Holloway's larger than life gospel-inflected vocals never had the pop or R&B chart success that she might have deserved, but she was a legitimate disco star with her tracks fronting the Salsoul Orchestra and her influence can be heard all over house music still heard on dance floors.
"Hit and Run":
Fire Island featuring Loleatta Holloway, "Shout to the Top":
Loleatta Holloway, who died Monday evening after a short illness, was 64.