Lorraine Ellison is best known for her hit ballad "Stay With Me" and her cover of Jerry Butler's "I Dig You Baby." She originally recorded "Just a Little Bit Harder," later covered by Janis Joplin. She's also a favorite with U.K. Northern soul devotees. Born in 1931 in Philadelphia, PA, the deep soul vocalist first recorded with the gospel groups the Ellison Singers (who recorded for Sharp/Savoy in 1962) and the Golden Chords (who recorded for CBS in 1963). By 1964, she began recording R&B music, and her first hit was the 1965 R&B hit "I Dig You Baby" (later made into a pop smash by Jerry Butler).
One year later, she released her signature song — the intense, symphonic-drenched ballad "Stay With Me," written and produced by Jerry Ragovoy and issued by the Warner label. It hit number 11 on the R&B charts in the fall of 1966. Some of her other singles were "Heart Be Still," "Don't Let It Go to Your Head," "Try," and "I've Got My Baby Back." Songs that she wrote with her manager Sam Bell (of Garnet Mimms & the Enchanters) were recorded by Mimms and Howard Tate. Ellison's Warner LPs include Heart and Soul (1966), Stay with Me (1969), and Lorraine Ellison (1974) and the compilation The Best of Philadelphia's Queen (1976). Lorraine Ellison died on January 31, 1983. ~ Ed Hogan