Theola Kilgore (born 1925 in Shreveport , Louisiana , † May 15, 2005 in Los Angeles ) was an American soul and gospel singer .
Kilgore grew up in Oakland, California and came to music through gospel choirs . In the early 1950s, the African American sang in the professional gospel choir Mt. Zion Spiritual Choir. With the choir she participated in 1955 with the recording of a single record , which was produced by the Ajax label in Oakland. Her acquaintance with songwriter and record producer Ed Townsend led Kilgore to turn to secular music in the 1960s. In the fall of 1960, Townsend produced a single with Kilgore for the Los Angeles record company Candix, entitled The Sound of My Man , a response to Sam Cooke's hit song Chain Gang .
Kilgore's version received little attention, and so her next record didn't come out again until early 1963. It was again produced by Ed Townsend and he had also written both tracks for the single. This was released in March 1963 by the Serock record company, a sub-label of Secpter from New York. The A-side title The Love of My Man was, on the one hand, a replica of Kilgor's first record and, on the other hand, a secular adaptation of the gospel song The Love of God , which the gospel group The Soul Stirrers had released on record in 1958. The US music magazine Hot 100 took the title on April 20, 1963 for the first time in the Hot 100 at number 95. On June 1, it reached its highest rating of 21st place and stayed in the Hot 100 for a total of 12 weeks. The song had even greater success in the rhythm and blues charts , where it was ranked third. This Is My Prayer , which was also published by Serock in the summer of 1963, also made it onto the Hot 100, but only rose to 60th place there.
In 1964 Theola Kilgore and Ed Townsend founded their own record company, which they named "KT Records" after their initials. With Theola Kilgore, the debut single was produced, the two tracks He's Coming Back To Me and I'll Keep Trying were composed by Townsend and Kilgore. The record came on the market in May 1964, but went largely unnoticed. The KT label couldn't hold its own either and withdrew after two years. After another two-year hiatus, the successful record company Mercury Records brought out a single with Theola Kilgore, in which Townsend was no longer involved. The record was also unsuccessful. After Secpter had released Kilgore's hit The Love of My Man on a single again in October , Kilgore's record career was ended. She returned to the gospel scene and died in Los Angeles at the age of 80.
US charts on Billboard
|4/1963||The Love of My Man||21st||3.|
|8/1963||This is my prayer||60.|
|From page||Catalog no.||published|
|The Sound Of My Man (Chain Gang) / Later I'll Cry||Candix 311||12/1960|
|The Love Of My Man / I Know That He Loves Me||Serock 2004||3/1963|
|This Is My Prayer / As Long As You Need Me||Serock 2006||7/1963|
|He's Coming Back To Me / I'll Keep Trying||KT 501||5/1964|
|It's Gonna Be Alright / I Can't Stand It||Mercury 72564||5/1966|
|The Love Of My Man / As Long As You Need Me||Scepter 12170||10/1966|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||American soul and gospel singer|
|DATE OF BIRTH||1925|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Shreveport , Louisiana|
|DATE OF DEATH||May 15, 2005|
|Place of death||los Angeles|