2nd Annual XPN Music Film Festival Welcomes Singer Darlene Love

Singer Darlene Love
Singer Darlene Love appears in documentary Twenty Feet from Stardom

The 2nd Annual XPN Music Film Festival has been under way since April 11, hosting screenings in collaboration with the Philadelphia Film Society. On Sunday, April 14, legendary singer Darlene Love stops by with Twenty Feet from Stardom, a documentary about her and other classic background vocalists. The screening is at Drexel University's Mandell Theater (33rd and Chestnut Streets, Phila. PA) at 7:30 p.m.

Love is by no means strictly a background vocalist. She was the lead on Phil Spector Wall-of-Sound hits such as "He's a Rebel" (credited to the Crystals) and "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" (as Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans). Despite her own smash with "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" in 1963, Love claims to have never truly pursued a solo career until she turned 40 in 1981. "I didn't want to just do background vocals anymore,” says Love, who spoke with me before a recent Philadelphia appearance with influential radio personality Jerry Blavat. “It wasn't giving me what I needed, physically, mentally, and socially.”

Still, Love is proud to be acknowledged for her background vocal gigs for Elvis Presley, Cher, Luther Vandross and U2 frontman Bono. That’s why she jumped at the opportunity to be part of director Morgan Neville’s Twenty Feet from Stardom along with sisters-in-song such as Gloria Jones, Patti Austin, Sheryl Crow and Lisa Fischer. Fischer, Mick Jagger’s favorite background singer when the Rolling Stones hit the road, accompanies Love to the XPN Music Film Fest screening. “Fans are finally figuring it out,” says Love, when it comes to audiences appreciating background voices. “I love it.”

For tickets and information: xpn.org/events/music-filmfest

Photo courtesy of Radius/Weinstein Inc.

Posted on Saturday, April 13, 2013