Bonnie Bramlett – Collaborates On The New Reese Wynans Album By Michelle S.
When we said that the new Reese Wynans album, Sweet Release has a lot of star power, we weren’t kidding! This star packed collaboration really highlights the career of Reese Wynans and all the friendships he had along the way.
Bonnie Bramlett is one friend of Reese’s that some may not recognize. But she’s an iconic singer who has been performing since she was thirteen. So, I want to highlight how special Bonnie Bramlett really is.
She was a back-up singer for the likes of Albert King, Little Milton and Fontella Bass to name a few. She was the first and only white woman to sing with Ike and Tina Turner as one of the Ikettes. Below is Ike & Tina Turner on the Everly Brothers Show in 1970. Check out the ‘rare’ Ikette in the middle.
When she married Delaney Bramlett, she became part of the duo Delaney & Bonnie. They signed to Stax Records shortly after. They toured Europe with the British rock guitarist Eric Clapton. With frequent drop-in performances by other noted musicians like Duane Allman, George Harrison, and Dave Mason. The group became known as Delaney & Bonnie & Friends. Delaney and Bonnie co-wrote, with Leon Russell the track, “Superstar.” It was popularized by the Carpenters, they also wrote the classic “Let It Rain” included on Clapton’s eponymous first album.
Delaney and Bonnie disbanded, both musically and maritally, in 1972. Bonnie Bramlett continued her career as a solo singer, songwriter and recording artist. She released her first solo outing Sweet Bonnie Bramlett in 1973, backed by the Average White Band.
The album presaged the Disco movement, particularly with the track Crazy ‘Bout My Baby, which played heavily in underground dance clubs. She toured the United States with her band, “the Entertainers” and continued to contribute vocals to recordings by other artists, including Little Feat and the Allman Brothers Band.
On the Southern Rock label, Capricorn, she issued solo LP’s in 1974, 1976, and 1978. Bonnie was also the number one “gotta have” backup singer on albums by Joe Cocker, Carly Simon, Gregg Allman, Little Feat, Jimmy Hall, Steve Cropper, Jimmy Buffett and Dwight Yoakam, just to name a few.
Her harmonizing with Delbert McClinton in the 1980’s launched the award-winning “Givin’ it Up for Your Love” that has become a rock standard. After touring with Stephen Stills, Dickey Betts and Gregg Allman invited her on the Allman Brothers tour, and she became known as the only “Allman Sister” to the acclaimed Southern rock group.
Bonnie eventually returned to LA in the 1980s. A chance to act lured her into a guest role on the TV series “Fame”, followed by a role in Oliver Stone’s film, “The Doors,” with Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan and Billy Idol.
While working with Tom Arnold on a theater production, Roseanne Barr asked Bonnie to be on her #1 Hit TV series “Roseanne” as Bonnie Watkins, her fellow waitress at the Mall.
1991-92 proved to be a fun two years, with David Crosby appearing as her husband and an outstanding episode of backyard singing of “You’ve Really got a Hold on Me” that capped her appearances on the popular show.
She moved back to Nashville Where she continues to create music and writes songs. She still has an amazing voice that is timeless!
As for the Reese Album, you can hear her on the tracks: Sweet Release and Hard To be. Be sure to check it out!