Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings: I Learned the Hard Way
Steve LaBate, Paste, 6 April 2010
SHARON JONES WAS BRIMMING with promise as a kid in church choirs in the 1960s, as she bounced back and forth between her birth city of Augusta, Ga. and her mother in Brooklyn. She also had a foot firmly planted in the world of secular music, spending countless hours imitating the songs and dances of fellow Augusta native James Brown. As a teen in 1970s New York, Jones flirted with fame, making many uncredited appearances as a backup singer on gospel, soul, blues and disco recordings. But when the neon-flash '80s hit, her style was suddenly considered outdated. To support herself, she worked as a prison guard at Rikers Island (which surely came in handy later while shaking down sketchy promoters who dared hold out on her at the end of the night).
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