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Rachel Sweet

By the age of 16, Akron-girl Rachel Sweet was a veteran performer, having been on the stage since the age of nine as well as recording commercials and TV advertising jingles.

Amongst the products she promoted were Caravelle Candy Bars, Faygo RedPop, Frigidaire refrigerators and Dole Bananas.

At the advanced age of ten, Rachel was working as the opening act for Mickey Rooney and Bill Cosby respectively. She then trooped off to Nashville for a three-year stint with the tiny Derrick Records label.

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Although her singles featured backing from the cream of Nashville, the best she could manage was a disc that peaked at #96 on the country chart, We Live In Two Different Worlds.

In 1977, Rachel teamed up with a Kim Fowley-esque character called Liam Sternberg, who was also a songwriter and producer. Together they contributed two songs to an Akron-based compilation album which was released in the UK by Stiff Records, who signed her immediately.

Stiff tried to market her as a post-punk sex symbol and somehow stumbled into dubious jailbait territory.

Her 1978 single B-A-B-Y (written by Isaac Hayes and originally a hit for Carla Thomas) proved to be the high point of her career.

After parting with Sternberg in 1979, her second album presented Rachel with a harder image, complete with an advertising campaign bizarrely depicting her as a sullen child abductor in a leather jacket. Backed by Fingerprintz, the songs on the album contained cover versions of Lou Reed‘s New Age, Graham Parker‘s Fool’s Gold and The Damned‘s New Rose, as well as the usual quota of country rock.

As with the first LP, Protect The Innocent was a commercial failure.

Her departure from Stiff to CBS saw the release of …And Then He Kissed Me which included the UK and US hit duet with Rex Smith, Everlasting Love, in 1981.

She then dropped out of the music business and returned to America, where she eventually became a powerful television executive.

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