Sonia Ross

Sonia Rossman was, at just 14 years of age, the lead soloist for the choir at Union Baptist, one of the largest and most influential black churches in Atlanta. She had the vocal strength for shouting from the choir stalls at Sunday services, but her heart lay with the soft ballads of Dionne Warwick and Roberta Flack. Lamar brought Sonia to 799½ Hunter and watched her audition a few songs she had written. Impressed, Jones invited her to cut two of her songs during a session he already had booked at Kintel Studios on Spring Street to record the bubblegum bopper “Young Love” and the simmering “Breaking My Heart.” These were intended to fill the 6807 spot in the Tragar catalog but were shelved when Jones received feedback that the “oohs” and “aahhs” were too sensual for southern airplay. The most obscure Tragar record is Rossman's, who finally got her shot at the jukebox when Jones blessed a limited promotional run of her only 45. Shortened to Sonia Ross on the label, her original composition “Let Me Be Free” opts for a faster tempo, while the Jones-authored ballad “Every Now And Then” puts her back in familiar territory. The murky production leaves no question about why the single was never properly issued. The only known copy is in the personal collection of Sonia herself—and was badly damaged to boot.

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