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RIP Linda Lewis

Linda Lewis made a significant contribution to one of my very favorite songs, but before I saw that she passed away on May 3rd at the age of 72, I didn’t know her name. Lewis was one of the backing vocalists on Aladdin Sane, and her five-octave voice was especially distinctive on “Panic in Detroit.” As I write this, I’m hard pressed to think of another Bowie song that leans so heavily on the contributions of the backing vocalists (Lewis was joined by Juanita Franklin and Geoffrey MacCormack, though the female voices are most prominent on this song). Lewis was successful as a lead singer in her own right and had a hit with “Rock-A-Doodle Doo,” which, sadly, I don’t know.

My February 2, 2016 post of “Panic in Detroit” features a live performance video from, I think 1990, in which presumably Linda Lewis is not a participant. The album version, which I’m posting here, is one of my top three favorite Bowie songs, and Linda Lewis helped make it so.

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