Maxine Weldon

       

 

 

Native Oklahoman Maxine Weldon was reared in Bakersfield, California, where she developed an early liking for country music but heeded her parents and took up nursing professionally. Love took her to Honolulu, where she abruptly decided to become a singer and began auditioning in clubs. She was eventually successful enough at this to give up nursing and perform full time. 

For five years she toured Japan, Malaya, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and South Korea, where she married. She relocated to San Francisco in 1965 to raise her son, and resumed nursing until she was able to reestablish herself on the club circuit. She moved to Los Angeles in 1969, where her talents gained her increasing acceptance and career advancement, into television concerts with Bill Cosby, a Billie Holiday tribute concert series with Nina Simone, Carmen McRea, Morgana King and Esther Phillips.

Weldon cut her first LPs, Right On and Chilly Wind, for Mainstream over 1970-1971; despite an overall soul flavor, she received significant support from members of the Jazz Crusaders, among others. Weldon next turned up on the Monument label with 1974's Some Singin', a Southern-style country-soul outing that nonetheless bore the hallmark of Weldon's innate sophistication. It became her biggest seller, climbing into the Top 50 on the R&B album charts. She followed it in 1975 with Alone on My Own, but concentrated much less on recording in the years to come. Weldon remained active, though, performing regularly over the next several decades. She was a cast member of the Broadway show Black and Blue, touring with the European production from 1995-1997.

Weldon is a co-star with Linda Hopkins in their current touring show, “Wild Women Blues.”  They first met through singer Nancy Wilson when Hopkins was starring in:”Me and Bessie,” and first worked together in “Cotton Club Revue” in 1983 in Los Angeles and Chicago. 

From November 1995 through January 1997, Weldon toured with Hopkins in Europe with the Broadway show Black and Blue, along with company drummer Washington Rucker, former Tulsan and fellow Jazz Hall inductee.