Oh how great it was to stumble upon a rare beauty such as this! What a voice! What a set of lungs this woman has! With virtually nothing out there about this extraordinary singer, I was lucky enough to find a Billboard magazine article dated from September 1960 which has allowed me to unearth a brief outline of who Hannah Dean was!!
The write-up seems to be one of the first reviews out there about this soul sensation and states how: “Hannah Dean is a new name on the scene via the release of her first Columbia Record, ‘So Little Time/Itty Bitty Love’. Until two months ago she was a Los Angeles housewife whose only singing outlet was the L.A Baptist church. She was heard at the church by a talent scout who encouraged her to make a demonstration record that found its way to Columbia Records and resulted in a contract. Irving Townsend, Executive producer for Columbia in Hollywood, describes Miss Dean’s style as a “mixture of rhythm and blues and rock’n’roll sung with the feeling and unbuttoned phrasing of a gospel singer'”
From housewife to superstar in a blink of an eye, this was a remarkable transition for Dean, but is it any wonder? I mean, if you were confronted with a gift like this and had the chance to share this find with the world, you wouldn’t hesitate would you!? … Tracking down her singles it looks like she recorded with Columbia Records for at least three years, but what happened after that I cant tell you? If anyone can, do let me know?
Released in January 1961, “Strange Man” is big, bold and beautifully delivered with Dean’s mighty voice adoringly revering the strange qualities of her love as she passionately declares “Strange man/Strange in every way/ Please. please, please love me as strange as you can….” It’s quite a beauty..check it out above.