The Kim Weston Biography -
Stealth Belter

She's always been less visible than her Motown soul sisters. This Kim Weston biography should help bring her place--or, for some, her existence!--in R&B/soul history to light.

Agatha Natalie Weston first materialized in Detroit on December 30, 1939. The girl with the old-sounding name must have been quite mature, vocally, for she started performing at age 3 in church choirs. By adolescence, she'd made her voice known to the outside world, touring with the gospel-singing Wright Specials.

She didn't need to drift too far from her city. Her zesty style compelled Johnny Thornton to record some demos with her.

Cutting tracks for a local songwriter? Flattering! Cutting tracks for a local songwriter who was a cousin of Eddie and Brian Holland? Fateful.

Weston became a Motown artist in 1961 when the company was still fresh. Surely her rich, wide-ranging vocals would stand out in that modest environment....

Kim Weston

In 1963, "Love Me All the Way" did wink onto the R&B charts. As if snubbing that title's request, though, Motown would give less-than-abundant attention to the singer.

The Kim Weston biography picks up some notable figures as the years pass. A&R man and future husband Mickey Stevenson. Holland-Dozier-Holland, who provided Weston's greatest solo hit in 1965, "Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)." Duet partner Marvin Gaye, from 1964's "What Good Am I Without You" and the 1966 album Take Two. (For a list of her singles and albums, click here.)

Yet Kim Weston herself gained nowhere near the same renown as those gents, or ladies like Martha Reeves and Diana Ross. "Dancing in the Street" could have changed that in 1964, but Weston's "no" gave the Vandellas a victorious "yes!!" that summer.

Solo singles like "Helpless" kept her name out there, although few were looking for it. The weak promotional muscle behind Weston's career didn't help.

As the Kim Weston/Marvin Gaye smash, "It Takes Two," was maxing out in 1967, Weston and Stevenson erased themselves from Motown's payroll. MGM welcomed them both.

The Kim Weston biography now enters its post-Motown phase. Unlike, say, her ex-duet partner's latter years, there's little drama to share. That may be because the public, not For the First Time, ignored her work and didn't care to scrutinize her life. That MGM album, plus This is America, sank out of sight.

She fared no better at Volt or other labels. Ever under the radar, she expanded her soul/R&B repertoire to include jazz standards. In 1970, a cover of "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" did earn a chart ranking.

But Kim Weston essentially went *poof* for the next decade and a half. Her marriage to Mickey Stevenson also evaporated in the mid-1970s.

In 1987, she won a minor distinction: first Motown singer to become a Motorcity artist. With that British label, she revived old songs and recorded new ones for the audience across the Atlantic in the 1990s.

With the end of the Motown era and the deaths of many of its stars, new--that is, late--success for a '60s soul singer may be bittersweet. At least Kim Weston has emerged from the fog decades later with more than just her voice intact.

(Click Play to hear Kim sing)

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