35 Yearz After Minnie Riperton’z Death, New Fanz Still Find Her

Thank you to Moorbey’z Blog for doin’ that ping thing but, more importantly, for sharing with the world the news announcement by Shereen Marisol Meraji of an upcoming jam session (by singers and musicians) in tribute to Minnie Riperton Rudolph this Saturday in — ain’t this apropos — the City of Angels. Here’s the blog so you all can read it at your leisure. This month — July 2014 — marks the 35th anniversary of Minnie’s death. But Minnie lives on; her legacy’s strong. Through her music and in the memories of her husband and songwriting-producing partner, Richard Rudolph; and in the memories, dreams and genes of her children (the youngest of which is actress and comedienne Maya Rudolph, to whom mama Minnie was cooing near the end of the extended version of “Lovin’ You”: “Maya, Maya, Maya, Maya, Maya, Maya, MAY-a, MAY-a … “); and in the memories of extended family and of friends including Stevie Wonder, who penned “Perfect Angel” for the sultry chanteuse — she is immortal. No number of remakes of her songs, whether those written, co-written by her or others, can or will obliterate Minnie’s legacy.
Songbird she was and angel she is yes, but let those of us over a certain age never forget that Minnie was one helluva sexy lady. From her Rotary Connection psychedelic period to her backup stints (that’s Minnie with Leon Ware and Al Jarreau on the most sensual version of “If I Ever Lose This Heaven” on this side of Hell (save Will Downing deep, chocoluscious cover). To her fabulous solo career, Minnie possessed a once-in-our-Iifetime caliber of vox — playing kitten, then flippin’ it to fox — that put that mojo on our endorphins and, to this day, has lovers forgettin’ the K-Y while putting the X to the Y under, over and beyond the covers.

Moorbey'z Blog

Shereen Marisol Meraji

Celebrated soul singer Minnie Riperton, shown here in March 1976, passed away in 1979 at the age of 31.

Celebrated soul singer Minnie Riperton, shown here in March 1976, passed away in 1979 at the age of 31.



“There are just some songs you just don’t touch because they’re done so well, so like, don’t even try,” says 24-year-old Moses Sumney. “But I’m going to try.”

On Saturday night under the stars in downtown Los Angeles, Sumney will join the Decoders, along with more than two dozen musicians and vocalists, to pay tribute to soul legend Minnie Riperton. And the song Sumney’s going to try is a reimagined version of Riperton’s mid-’70s hit, “Loving You.”

“That song is in some ways bigger than Minnie Riperton, and I think that’s unfortunate because it obscures the complexity and the depth of her catalog,” says New York University professor Jason King, who hosts NPR’s R&B/soul stream “I’ll Take You There.”

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