Perhaps best known for the 1977 dance music classic, “Shame,” the single was released just a year before disco reached its peak with commercial crossover acts including the Village People, Chic, Donna Summer and others.
The extended mix of the song, “Shame” began gaining radio play and eventually the Top Ten on the R&B and pop charts by spring 1978. The follow-up, “I Don’t Know if It’s Right,” also went gold, peaking at number seven R&B, number 23 pop in fall 1978. Smooth Talk went gold, and she made two more LPs with T. Life: Music Box and Call on Me.
It’s true that she was discovered as a young woman while working with her mother at Philadelphia International Records as an office cleaner. Producer Theodore T. Life overheard her singing in a washroom and began coaching her. She was eventually signed to a production deal with Life’s Galaxy Productions and a recording contract with RCA Records
These days King continues to be one of the genre’s most active and visible performers. Whether recording and performing on her own or touring as one of the First Ladies of Disco with Linda Clifford and Martha Wash, King’s crown shines as bright as ever.
The best advice that Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King ever received was from her mom. She told her daughter, “Don’t be anyone else, be yourself, and always remember that you are no bigger than anyone else. You can be a star for the moment, but stars do fall.”
LISTEN NOW: Diabetes Late Nite featuring music by Evelyn “Champagne” King courtesy of SONY Music.