Betty Wright, legendary soul and gospel singer, passed away tragically a couple of weeks ago at the age of 66. She released dozens of classic songs and albums in her remarkable career. While for many, Betty Wright songs were the soundtracks of their lives, some may not be as familiar with her work as others. So here is a quick crash course of Betty Wright Top 5 Songs.

Tonight is the Night

Released in 1975 and made famous on Betty Wright’s 1978 live album, “Tonight is the Night” is probably a perfect slice of mid-70s soul. It has the kind of laid back groove that seems like it can just keep playing forever, with a sweet guitar line and a rolling bass line. It tells a story that I’m sure plenty of people can relate to, and Wright’s spoken introduction makes it feel like she’s talking right to you. And of course, Wright sings this song in the way only she can. So sit back, relax, and just let this one ride out.

Shoo-Rah! Shoo-Rah!

Although many Betty Wright songs are slow and lush ballads, she was just as adept when it came to upbeat songs. This funky record from 1974 is perfect for cleaning the house or dancing at a family reunion; put this song on in a large group of people and you can literally see the groove take effect. The sing-along chorus is the kind of hook that gets stuck in your head for days, and when coupled with some catchy horn parts, you have a recipe for a truly classic piece of old school funk.

Secretary

The great thing about the 1970s era of soul music is being able to see the influence it had. This 1974 song starts with the kind of rock-solid drum and horn riff that would set the stage for countless hip hop records in the decades to come, and it only gets better from there. This short and sweet number is a perfect showcase for Wright’s voice, and the infectiousness of the melody will almost make you forget the tale of infidelity that the song’s lyrics describe.

Thank You for the Many Things You’ve Done

This song might be the most famous Betty Wright song. It perfectly encapsulates everything that made her era of music special. Wright outlines her love over a lush, gorgeous instrumental complete with swirling guitars, gentle drums, and delicate bells. This is a song that is almost tailor made for slow dances and lazy romantic evenings.

No Pain, No Gain

But Betty Wright’s genius did not end in the 1970s, she successfully adapted to a new decade and the new sounds that came with it in this late 1980s cut. This song is an all around perfect piece of R&B; the sweet chord progression provides the perfect background for Wright’s tale of romantic difficulties. But her voice makes you forget how hard love can be; when she talks about it, it sounds so easy.

Here is a mix of Betty Wright’s top 5 songs, hand picked by HYROAD Radio.

Enjoy!

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