Zora Young

The Princess Of The Blues

Zora Young, the princess of the blues and second cousin to the late blues legend Howlin' Wolf, was born in West Point, Mississippi in 1948. Seeking a better way of life, Zora's family moved to Chicago when she was eight years old. After graduating from high school, Zora started her professional singing career. She turned down an offer to record for Chess Records when she was nineteen because her heart was still in the more commercially viable genres. Nevertheless, Zora eventually fell in love with the blues of Otis Rush, Magic Sam and Muddy Waters and eventually fronted her own bands in Chicago nightclubs.

In 1982, Zora made her first trip to Europe as part of "Blues With The Girls" and is featured on the resulting record of the same title. She continued to work steadily in Chicago and found time for side projects as well, including a very successful Timex television commercial. Zora also played her idol, Bessie Smith, in the touring theatrical production "The Heart of The Blues." 1988 found Zora releasing her first full-length recording (Stumbling blocks and Stepping Stones) under her own name. Sales were meager without a distribution network but the strength of the material helped open many doors.

From the late 80's into the 90's Zora Young concentrated on touring with her own band, Her Chicago Blues Posse, and completed special tours with Legendary Blues Band and Maurice John Vaughn. She has appeared at many of the most prestigious festivals - Chicago Blues, Mississippi Valley Blues, Montreal Jazz, and three years running at the Benson & Hedges Festival in New York City. Regardless of whether Zora is singing for a few hundred people in an intimate nightclub or for thousands at a major festival, she never fails to leave a lasting impression with her audience.

January, 1993 marked the release of Zora Young's debut release on Deluge Records. With Zora's powerful and sweet voice ably backed by some of the finest musician's on the planet (Colin Linden, Pinetop Perkins, Anthony Geraci, Jerry Portnoy, Willie Smith and "Mudcat" Ward), Travelin' Light was a smashing critical success. The record charted on the Hard Report and rose to the top of the Living Blues chart while gathering critical acclaim from the print media. Plans are underway for a follow-up to Travelin' Light but Ms. Young likes to take her time.

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Last Update: March 27, 1996 12:15 PM