Marlena Shaw  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
"California Soul" Youtube
"Woman of the Ghetto" Youtube

Marlena Shaw (September 22, 1944) is an African-American singer. Shaw was discovered by Chess Records in 1966. She released her first two albums on their subsidiary Cadet Records. She moved to Blue Note Records in 1972, and was that label's first female artist. She also recorded one of the Disco Era's biggest hits - a remake of "Touch Me In The Morning" on Columbia Records. Shaw still performs and records today.


Selected discography


  • Out of Different Bags (1967)
  • Spice of Life (1969)

Blue Note

  • Marlena (1972)
  • Live At Montreux (1973)
  • Who is This Bitch, Anyway? (1974)
  • Just a Matter of Time (1976)


  • Sweet Beginnings (1977)
  • Acting Up (1978)
  • Take A Bite (1980)

South Bay

  • Let Me In Your Life (1982)


  • It Is Love (1986)
  • Love Is In Flight (1988)

Concord Jazz

  • Dangerous (1996)
  • Elemental Soul (1997)

Soul Brother Records

  • Anthology (2000)


  • DJ Day "Gone Bad" Melting Pot Records (2005) includes sample from "Liberation Conversation" from the Spice of Life album
  • St. Germain sample from "Woman of the Ghetto" from Live at Montreux used in "Rose Rouge" on Tourist (2000)
  • DJ Shadow sampled her version of "California Soul" for "Midnight in a Perfect World" on Endtroducing, while DJ Premier also sampled the same song for the Gang Starr track "Check the Technique", and Adam Freeland sampled the track for "F.E.A.R." - this is more prominent on the version used as the soundtrack to 'Area 05' in the videogame REZ.
  • 9th Wonder and Buckshot also sampled from "Woman of the Ghetto" in the track "Ghetto", and Evil Dee (of Black Moon)'s remix of the same song, which almost sounds like a duet between Marlena and Buckshot.
  • Spanish hip-hop group Violadores del Verso uses a sample from "Woman of the Ghetto" for the base of their song "Balantains"
  • Dutch beer brand Grolsch used a sample of "California Soul" for a Dutch television commercial.
  • Jay Rock feat. The Game "California Soul" (2007) rap song samples "California Soul".
  • "Squire for Hire" Nathan Haines (Chillifunk records 2003) features Marlena Shaw vocals on the title track "Squire for Hire".

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Marlena Shaw" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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