Soul And / Or Related Artists
the ridgeway sisters

The Ridgeway Sisters

The Ridgeway Sisters comprised of:

Gloria Dehaven Ridgeway, (b. June 1955, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.)

Esther Lene Ridgeway (b. 7th June 1959, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. d. 22nd February 2003, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.)

and

Gracie Mae Ridgeway (b. 16th June 1957, Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, U.S.A. d. 19th April 2006, Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, U.S.A.)

The Ridgeways hail from Detroit, Michigan.

The sisters first came to the attention of soul fans via their fine vocal contributions to the Gene Dunlap album 'It's Just The Way I Feel' for the Capitol Records label in 1981.

Sweet CreamGene Dunlap

sweet cream and other delights - sweet cream - 1980 / it's just the way i feel - gene dunlap - 1981

Prior to that outing, the group recorded under the name Sweet Cream, releasing 'Sweet Cream And Other Delights' for the Shadybrook imprint in 1978.

Gene Dunlap featured a photo of the women on the rear of that album cover, an album that featured them vocalising on the albums title track along with the excellent 'Before You Break My Heart' (highly popular in the U.K. at the time).

On the album, the group were joined by their brother Tommy Ridgeway.

The Sisters formed a singing group called The Ridgeway Sisters at the age of four, six and eight and sang all types of music from Gospel to Jazz, Blues to Hip Hop, Classical to Country Western.

The Ridgeways had since become highly sought after session singers performing with the likes of Aretha Franklin ('A Rose Is Still a Rose'), Nancy Wilson ('If I Had My Way'), Gerald Alston ('First Class Only'), Vesta ('Everything-N-More'), Keith Washington ('You Make It Easy'), Vanessa Bell Armstrong ('Something on the Inside'), Jerry Butler, Fontella Bass, Dionne Warwick and Wendy Moten.

The group also took a cameo role in the movie 'Blues Brothers 2000', playing the roles of Mrs Murphy's friend.

More recently, they can be heard on the Dave MacMurray, smooth jazz vehicle 'Soul Searching' singing their version of the Stephanie Mills evergreen 'Whatcha Gonna Do With My Lovin'.

Tragically, Esther Ridgeway (the youngest of the Ridgeway Sisters) died from a heart attack on the 22nd of February 2003 in the Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan. She was 43.

Anita Baker cites the group as being responsible for her returning to the stage following her mothers death.

Gracie Ridgeway passed away in 2006 from a skin condition. She was 49.

A musical memorial was held for Gracie Mae Ridgeway at 6 p.m., Thursday 26th 2006 at the Third New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, 12850 Plymouth Road in Detroit, Michigan.

Gracie's homegoing / funeral was held at 10 a.m. Saturday 28th 2006 at the same church, according to her surviving sister, Gloria Dehaven Ridgeway.

Tommie Ray Ridgeway Jnr. was the songrwriter in the family. He was born 12th November 1949 in Detroit, and passed away in 1989 at the age of 40, 6 days after his birthday. This was after a drug dealing incident.

...gracie mae ridgeway's funeral program is here...many thanks to ronn matlock for sending me this.....

Real Player

Albums:

as Sweet Cream:

Sweet Cream And Other Delights (Shady Brook Records 1978)

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