The Gospel of Diane Kolby

"…Robust, delicate, [she] tauntingly charges with the freshness of a child, the discernment of a sage"
— Marge Crumbaker

Born April 2, 1946 in Houston, TX to parents of German descent, Diane Kolbe's family never expected anything of her in life other than to be a singer. Surrounded by music at birth, she grew up in a home inundated with instruments, so gifted with an ear for music that she soon surpassed her teachers and became mostly self-taught at guitar and piano from then on. Weekends were spent alternately going to church on Sundays, or hanging out at the local dance halls the night before, shooting pool and soaking in the music and nightlife. Socially, she was described as being simultaneously both simple and complex, and conversationally talking either non-stop or not at all. After graduating high school, she started playing gigs in the small town of La Grange, situated between Houston and Austin, moving on to bigger cities and even various local political events (Texas state senator John Wilson was a huge fan). At some point, music executive Clive Davis apparently fell head over heels for her voice, and signed Kolby to Columbia Records. Music executives were shocked when she arrived to her first recording sessions, 12-string Fender acoustic and dog, Ginger, in tow, and proceeded to record her self-penned songs with one barefoot on top of a homemade bar of lye soap made for her by elderly friend Bessie Kimble (for luck). Although initially slated to go by the moniker Jancy Lee Tyler, she ended up simply changing her last name from Kolbe to Kolby professionally, releasing her first and only self-titled album in 1973. It contained her only charting single, "Holy Man", peaking at #67 on the U.S. Billboard charts, and charting in other countries as well. The remainder of the album is filled with soaring spiritual songs ("Reincarnation", "Jesus, Oh My Jesus"), mixed with reminiscent love songs ("Once Around The Park"), and songs about the people and places she knew ("Bessie Kimble"). Competently recorded in both Hollywood and Houston by two different producers/arrangers, the album stands out because of the bold, loud, perfectly tuned vocals of it's performer.

Diane Kolby :: Holy Man
Diane Kolby :: Was I The Last Thing On Your Mind

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