Viola Wills

Real Name:
Viola Mae Wilkerson
Profile:
American singer.

Born: 30 December 1939 in Watts, Los Angeles, California, USA.
Died: 6 May 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona, USA (aged 69).

A pre-stardom Barry White began using singer Viola Wills as a session vocalist on sides that he produced for Bob Keane's Bronco Records/Mustang Records labels. In the mid-1960s, Keane —known for hits by Ritchie Valens, the Bobby Fuller Four, and Johnny Crawford of ABC-TV's hit western "The Rifleman"— wanted to expand into soul music. In 1965, A&R director White signed Wills to Bronco as a solo artist. She recorded several sides for the label, which all failed to chart.

In 1969, she recorded a single for the Bem Sole Record label that also failed to hit, titled "The First Time / You've Got My Blessings" (now a British 'Northern Soul' classic). In 1974, she replaced backup vocalist Claudia Linnear on Joe Cocker's European tour. While in the UK, Wills recorded for Goodear Records. Three years later, she signed with Arista Records. In 1979, while signed to the Hansa UK label, Wills enjoyed her biggest hit with a disco version of Patience & Prudence's 1957 hit "Gonna Get Along Without You". Recording in an uptempo dance Hi-NRG style, Wills scored dancefloor hits with "If You Could Read My Mind" and "Up On The Roof", all produced by Jerry McCabe and co-produced by Nick Straker. Wills had a Top 40 UK hit with the double-sided hit "Both Sides Now" and "Dare to Dream" on the Wide Angle label.

One of her Bronco singles played an integral part in a number one R&B smash. In the mid-1970s, while working on material for the next "Love Unlimited" album, group member Glodean James suggested to producer Barry White that he use the piano introduction from Wills' "Lost Without The Love Of My Guy" on a new song. At first resistant to the idea because he didn't want to repeat himself, White relented, reused the piano chord progression from "Lost Without The Love Of My Guy" on "I Belong To You". The majestic ballad went to number one R&B in late 1974. It was included on the album "In Heat" and on "Best Of Love Unlimited".

Though Wills hadn't had a mainstream US hit to date, her singles are popular in dance clubs and a number of her recordings are floating around, including "No News Is News", "House Is Not A Home", "If You Could Read My Mind", "Let's Love Now", "Take One Step Forward" (by Wills and Noel McCalla), and "Always Something There To Remind Me".

Viola passed away from leukemia on 6 May 2009 8:27am Pacific Time.
Sites:
Aliases:
In Groups:
Variations:

Artist

Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions

Albums

EARLH 5002 Soft Centers — Viola Wills Viola Wills Soft Centers (Album) Goodear Records EARLH 5002 UK 1974 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
OL 1507 If You Could Read My Mind — Viola Wills Viola Wills If You Could Read My Mind (Album) Ariola Records America, Hansa Records OL 1507 US 1980 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
RVA 1001 LP Space — Viola Wills Viola Wills Ashmun* Space (Album) RVA Records RVA 1001 LP US 1983 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
TTW 8698 Dare To Dream — Viola Wills Viola Wills Dare To Dream (Album) Wide Angle TTW 8698 US 1986 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
SPLK-7205 Gonna Get Along Without You — Viola Wills Viola Wills Gonna Get Along Without You (Album) Unidisc SPLK-7205 Canada 1994 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
CDKOPY165 The Essential Viola Wills — Viola Wills Viola Wills The Essential Viola Wills (Album) Klone Records CDKOPY165 UK 2006 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
none Stormy Weather — Viola Wills Viola Wills Stormy Weather(13xFile, AAC, Album, 256) Spite (3) none Europe 2013
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
none Viola Wills Greatest Hits — Viola Wills Viola Wills Viola Wills Greatest Hits(12xFile, MP3, Album, 320) Streamworld Entertainment Classics none Unknown
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions

Singles & EPs

2051 I Got Love / Lost Without The Love Of My Guy — Viola Wills Viola Wills I Got Love / Lost Without The Love Of My Guy (Single) Bronco Records (3) 2051 US 1966 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
2053 Don't Kiss Me Hello And Mean Goodbye / Together Forever — Viola Wills Viola Wills Don't Kiss Me Hello And Mean Goodbye / Together Forever Bronco Records (3) 2053 US 1967 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
2057 I've Got To Have All Of You — Viola Wills Viola Wills I've Got To Have All Of You (Single) Bronco Records (3) 2057 US 1967 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
2055 You're Out Of My Mind — Viola Wills Viola Wills You're Out Of My Mind (Single) Bronco Records (3) 2055 US 1967 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
421.138 It May Be Winter Outside / I Got Love — Viola Wills Felice Taylor / Viola Wills Felice Taylor / Viola Wills - It May Be Winter Outside / I Got Love(7", Single, Promo) International Polydor Production 421.138 France 1967 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
SUP 0002 I've Got News For You / Sweetback — Viola Wills Viola Wills I've Got News For You / Sweetback Supreme (13) SUP 0002 US 1969 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
1001 The First Time / You've Got My Blessings — Viola Wills Viola Wills With The Hidden Persuaders Viola Wills With The Hidden Persuaders - The First Time / You've Got My Blessings Bem Sole Record 1001 US 1969 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
EAR 609 Day In The Life Of A Woman  — Viola Wills Viola Wills Day In The Life Of A Woman (Single) Goodear Records EAR 609 UK 1974 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
GK 5307 Run To The Nearest Exit — Viola Wills Viola Wills Run To The Nearest Exit (Single) Goodear Records GK 5307 New Zealand 1973 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
EARS 1602 I Believe In Miracles / Set Me Free — Viola Wills Viola Wills I Believe In Miracles / Set Me Free (Single) Goodear Records EARS 1602 US 1975 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
ARISTA 151 Let's Love Now — Viola Wills Viola Wills Let's Love Now (Single) Arista ARISTA 151 UK 1977 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
CA-10894 Gonna Get Along Without You Now — Viola Wills Viola Wills Gonna Get Along Without You Now (Single, Maxi) Ariola Hansa CA-10894 El Salvador 1979 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
DBR 15016 (Gonna Get Along) Without You Now / It's Over — Viola Wills Viola Wills / Alma Faye Viola Wills / Alma Faye - (Gonna Get Along) Without You Now / It's Over(12", Promo) Derby DBR 15016 Italy 1979 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
YD 549 (Gonna Get Along) Without You Now / Sexy Thing — Viola Wills Viola Wills / Bob McGilpin Viola Wills / Bob McGilpin - (Gonna Get Along) Without You Now / Sexy Thing(7", Jukebox) Derby YD 549 Italy 1979 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
VID 523 BW Gonna Get Along Without You Now — Viola Wills Viola Wills Gonna Get Along Without You Now(7", Single, Promo, Styrene) Sugar Hill Records VID 523 BW US 1979 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
103618 If You Could Read My Mind — Viola Wills Viola Wills If You Could Read My Mind (Single, Maxi) Hansa International, Hansa International 103618 New Zealand 1980 Sell This Version
Image Title Label Catalog Number Year In Your Collection, Wantlist, or Inventory Actions
102 203 - 100, 102.203 Up On The Roof / Let Me Be Your Rock — Viola Wills Viola Wills Up On The Roof / Let Me Be Your Rock (Single) Hansa International, Hansa International 102 203 - 100, 102.203 Netherlands 1980 Sell This Version