Timi Yuro is known primarily as a one-shot artist for her fantastic version of Hurt in 1961.
Timi was born Rosemary Timotea Aurro Yuro (thus, Timi Yuro) in Chicago in 1941. She moved with her family to Los Angeles in 1952, where she sang in her family's Italian restaurant. She had a Mediterranean heritage and was influenced by some of the great Blues singers, to the extent that many people mistakenly thought that she was black.
Timi signed a contract with Liberty Records in 1959. She worked with songwriter/producer Clyde Otis and put 11 songs in the top 100 from 1961 to 1965. The biggest of these was her first, Hurt, which reached the top ten nationally. Brenda Lee was probably the hottest female singer at the time, but Timi's songs had a soul sound to them that were in contrast to Brenda's recordings. Timi put several such records on the charts, including What's A Matter Baby [Is It Hurting You], Gotta Travel On and Make The World Go Away.
Timi went into retirement but decided to come back in 1980. She assembled a 14-piece band and began rehearsals, but then was troubled by health problems. Doctors at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York performed surgery to remove nodules from her larynx and esophagus. This was followed by six months during which she was not allowed to talk, much less sing.
When she regained her voice, Timi went to Nashville and recorded All Alone Am I. It was released in Europe by Dureko Records in Holland in 1981. In 1982 she headlined at the Sands in Las Vegas to a packed showroom every night for two weeks. Timi went to Amsterdam to promote her new album and it proved to be immensely popular in Europe. In Rotterdam she performed before an audience of over 20,000 along with Olivia Newton-John, Janice Ian and Art Garfunkel, and brought down the house. Timi Yuro was back. Timi had three more European tours and three more albums followed, including one that she recorded with her old friend Willie Nelson in 1984 titled Timi Yuro Sings ... Willie Nelson.
In the late 80's Timi had more throat problems and sang less and less. In the late 90's cancer was detected. It began to aggressively attack her throat and larynx, and in early 2002 this fine singer's larynx was removed to save her life. Her illness finally caught up with her and Timi died at her home in Las Vegas on March 30, 2004.
Timi's top ten recording of Hurt -- made when she was eighteen years old -- remains as one of the best vocal performances of 60's pop music.
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