Luther Thomas Ingram was born November 30th, 1937 in Jackson Tennessee. His first recording was with the group The Gardenias, which included his brothers Archie and Richard, Connie Perry and Lawrence Witherspoon. The Federal single of “My Baby’s Tops” b/w “ Flaming Love” is still collectible today, valued at $100.00. He moved to New York and became a songwriter working with producers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. His first solo recording came on Decca records in 1965, “You Never Miss Your Water” b/w “Ain’t That Nice”. After a few more unsuccessful recordings, he moved on to the Koko label, an obscure subsidiary of Stax records, and re-launched his solo career. He hit the Billboard Hot 100 seven times as a solo artist, and co-wrote the Staple Singers hit “Respect Yourself” with Mack Rice. Ironically, he didn’t write his “signature song” which climbed all the way to number 3 in 1972, “If Loving You Is Wrong – I Don’t Want To Be Right”. Luther continued to record through the 80’s and hit the R&B charts another thirteen times. After a decade old battle with kidney problems and complications from a transplant, Luther died of a heart attack on Monday, March 19th 2007 at the age of 69. He is survived by his wife Jacqueline, sons Luther Jr. (Eric) and Kenneth. Luther also has a sister Daisy, and five brothers, Archie, Richard, Jesse, Frank and Tommy. And finally, Luther’s biggest fan, his mother, Mrs Callie Louise Ingram, 94. She has every record Luther ever recorded, plus one that was only meant for her… Luther sang “You Are My Sunshine” to his mom from his hospital bed. Our condolences go out to the entire Ingram family and remind them in their time of loss, of the untold number of people Luther’s voice and writing talent entertained over his long and successful career. He will be missed.
Listen for Luther’s first recording as a member of the Gardenias on TUNEDEX MEMORIES.