American R&B and gospel singer Lula Reed, (also credited as Lulu Reed), was born in 1926 in Ohio and became involved in music from an early age when she began singing for her local church choir. Here she was taken under the wing of Professor Harold Boggs who nurtured the young talent. Also a well-known gospel singer, Boggs pushed her to audition for vocalist with the American R&B bandleader and pianist Sonny Thompson, for which she battled with 50 other contestants and won.
Credited as vocalist on Thompson’s records, she made her recording debut for King Records in late 1951 with the track ‘I’ll Drown My Tears’, which went on to reach number 5 on the Billboard R&B chart in 1952. Her vocal style was versatile, often switching between gospel, blues and R&B, and her music was covered by an array of artists including Little Willie John who recorded ‘Rock Love’ in 1954 and Ray Charles who recorded ‘I’ll Drown My Tears’ in 1956.
Most of her later records for King Records were credited in her own name even though she was she was still recording with Sonny Thompson (whom she married in 1954). In that same year Reed was voted number 4 in the Cash Box annual poll whilst she continued to record for the King label until 1956.
In 1962 she broke off on her own to spend a year with the label owned by her early admirer Ray Charles at Tangerine Records before deciding to quit the world of R&B in 1963 so that she could return to the church that had originally uncovered her talent, here she stayed and unfortunately recorded no more.
From 1958 to 1960, Reed spent two years with Chess’ Argo subsidiary (during which time, King released her only solo LP “Blue and Moody”) and in January 1960 she recorded today’s song, ‘Lovin’ – Listen above.