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In the 1950's in Chicago, Illinois, Joe and Lillian Hutchinson began raising a family filled with love, creativity and talent. Born in this decade were three ladies considered by the rest of us as true legends and national treasures collectively known as The Emotions. Jeanette, Wanda and Sheila Hutchinson began singing at ages three, four and five under the tutelage of their father. Joe Hutchinson, Sr. had his little girls singing from sun up to sun down. This is the foundation of the intricate harmonies and solid musicianship that has given The Emotions their sound which is recognized by so many today.
In the early years, the Hutchinson girls sang gospel with their dad in churches and on radio shows all around their native Chicago. Joe, Jeanette, Wanda & Sheila even performed for the legendary Mahalia Jackson. They also appeared on a local television show, "The Jerry Van Dyke Show," in Terre Haute, Indiana. In addition to this appearance, The Hutchinsons recorded several commercials for Al Abrams Pontiac. During this time the Hutchinson act appeared under several names including, Three Ribbons and a Bow, The Heavenly Sunbeams and The Hutchinson Sunbeams.
As the later part of the 1960's rolled around, The Hutchinson Sunbeams evolved into what we know today as The Emotions. Jeanette, Wanda and Sheila recorded several singles for local labels giving the group more notoriety in their region of the country. Pervis Staples and The Staples Singers were very influential in the next step that was taken by the act. The group appeared in a talent contest at the Regal Theater in Chicago. That evening, The Emotions won the contest and were signed to the Stax / Volt label.
Papa Joe packed up the girls and they were off to record their first album for a major record company, Stax / Volt Records. The Emotions released the song "So I Can Love You" from the album of the same name in 1969. This was an immediate success for The Emotions. They were ecstatic to hear comments from their school friends telling them that they heard their song on the radio. "So I Can Love You" was not only a successful recording for the group, but sister, Sheila Hutchinson, wrote it.
After releasing the successful "So I Can Love You" project, The Emotions were on a hot streak and teamed up with producers Isaac Hayes and David Porter for their next big hit single at Stax / Volt, titled, "Show Me How" from the album "Untouched" released in 1971. The Emotions were running up the charts consistently with hit records. By this time, The Emotions had definitely proven themselves as an asset at Stax / Volt and began recording a third album for the label, "Songs of Innocence and Experience." Unfortunately, Stax / Volt was beginning to experience some financial difficulties and the album was never released, however almost all of the songs recorded for that album were released as singles, many of which charted and kept The Emotions' name out there. Also at this time, oldest sister, Jeanette took some time off to begin her family. Theresa Davis, who toured and performed with Wanda and Sheila, replaced her for a few years. Later in the 1970's Stax released a collection of previously recorded songs by The Emotions. This released material that was recorded earlier at Stax was put together and titled "Sunshine" which was released by Stax at the height of The Emotions' extremely successful Columbia Records release "Rejoice" in 1977.
With the financial problems at Stax / Volt, The Emotions found themselves getting lost in the shuffle. It was at this time that family friend, Ron Ellison told Joseph Hutchinson about Charles Stepney and Maurice White. Ron wanted to get the girls over to Charles Stepney because he knew that this combination was going to be explosive and spectacular. Charles heard the girls sing several songs in which they had written and he loved them. By this time, Jeanette had returned to the group to continue performing with her sisters. In 1976, Charles and Maurice signed The Emotions to Kalimba Productions and Columbia Records where they went on to record their very successful album "Flowers," which contained three singles, "Flowers," "I Don't Wanna Lose Your Love," and "You've Got The Right To Know." The Emotions toured with Earth, Wind & Fire to promote their new project, which re-introduced the group and garnered gold certification for The Emotions.
The Emotions Song List
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