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Yes, I'm Ready by Barbara Mason

Album: Yes, I'm ReadyReleased: 1965Charted:
  • Barbara Mason wrote this song, which captured the innocent stirrings of adolescence, at the age of 18.
  • Mason told Mojo magazine October 2008 that this was inspired by the sounds coming out of Chicago, particularly Curtis Mayfleld. She explained: "I was a huge Curtis Mayfield fan, and I heard a record he had produced; Major Lance's 'The Monkey Time' and he sings, 'Are you ready?' and I just thought, there's my record. It only took me 10 minutes to write, and then we recorded it live in one take."
  • With its use of sweet, sweeping strings and musicians who would go on to form the nucleus of the Philadelphia record label's house band MFSB, this song is considered by many to be the first record to have the Philadelphia sound. The Philadelphia soul sound was popular throughout the 1970s and laid the foundations for other genres such as urban contemporary music later on. Check out "TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)" by MFSB featuring The Three Degrees, "If You Don't Know Me By Now" by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, "Back Stabbers" by The O'Jays and "You Make Me Feel Brand New by the Stylistics for examples of Philly soul.
  • This was Barbara Mason's first and biggest hit. The Philadelphia born singer went on to record a string of other R&B chart entries all based on the same formula of this song. Mason had four Top 40 entries in the US pop charts in total and has been dubbed The First Lady of Philly Soul. She is still recording and released an album Feeling Blue in 2007.
  • In 1979 Teri DeSario, a singer from Miami, recorded this as a duet with KC., the leader of KC & the Sunshine Band. Their cover peaked at #2 on the Billboard singles chart. Other artists to record this include Gladys Knight & the Pips and Maureen McGovern.
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Comments: 6

This was such a huge hit in 1965 & I still love it. It was remarkable for its simplicity, sweetness, and lyrics about being inexperienced. No raunchiness there. I was in college in '65 and the song was all over the radio in the Kansas City radio area. I think it was a #1 song on a few of the city's radio stations back then. I also loved Barbara's followup "Sad, Sad Girl."Babbling Babette - Tulsa Ok
On October 9th 1965, Barbara Mason performed "Yes, I'm Ready (To Learn)" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
Five months earlier on May 9th, 1965 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #97; and 11 weeks later on July 25th, 1965 it peaked at #5 {for 1 week} and spent 14 weeks on the Top 100...
Prior to peaking at #5 it spent 3 weeks at #6...
It reached #2 {for 1 week} on Billboard's R&B Singles chart {the week it was at #2, the #1 record for that week was "I Can't Help Myself" by the Four Tops}...
Between 1965 and 1975 she had eleven Top 100 records; her next biggest hit on the Top 100 was "Sad, Sad Girl", it peaked at #27 in 1965 {at the time of this 'Bandstand' appearance "Sad Sad Girl" was at #20 on the R&B Singles chart}...
Ms. Mason celebrated her 67th birthday two months ago on August 9th {2014}.
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
This song I love the most. I listen to oldies and I'm only 17.Chili Redd - Houston, Tx
To bad they don't write and sings songs like this anymore. Definitely one of the best songs ever sang.Robert - Hagerstown, Md
I was born in 1958. This is one of the first songs I can ever recall listening to on the radio while riding in the back seat of my parents' car. It made a big impression on a little seven year old girl. Simple, sweet, easy to sing along to. How's come they never play it on radio anymore?Camille - Toronto, Oh
Barbara Mason updated this song in 1973 so that the lyrics would reflect a more "experienced" view. Instead of "I don't even know how to hold your hand/just to make you understand", Mason sang "Now I even know how to hold your hand/just to make you understand/'Cause I'm ready/and I learned..." The then 27-year old Mason thought that it would seem odd that sexually inexperienced lyrics would come from someone who is pushing 30. This version can be found on the cd GIVE ME YOUR LOVE: THE BEST OF BARBARA MASON.John - Nashville, Tn
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