Born Rosemarie Timotea Aurro (pronounced “Yuro”) in Chicago to Italian-American parents in 1940, Yuro moved with her family to Los Angeles in 1952.
Signed by Liberty Records in 1959 Yuro soon realised the label didn’t know what to do with her.
In 1961, she crashed a board meeting in frustration and sang Roy Hamilton’s sensuous ballad Hurt to some astounded label executives. They took her point and the epic song became her first hit single.
The unsuspecting American public assumed first that she was a man, and secondly that she was black. Her subsequent appearances on TV were greeted with astonishment.
It didn’t seem conceivable that those full-throated, anguished howls could possibly have emanated from such a petite frame, but Yuro’s Dinah Washington-styled power resonated way beyond the experience of her 21 years.
She soon became a respected soul stylist with fans including Elvis Presley, The Small Faces – who covered her version of What’s A Matter Baby – and Morrissey. Later, the Northern Soul fraternity took her to heart.
Whilst Timi was in England in 1968 to record some tracks for her album, Something Bad On My Mind, the producers of the movie, Interlude starring Oskar Werner and Barbara Ferris, made a deal with Miss Yuro to record the title song for the soundtrack.
Written by French composer, Georges De La Rue with English lyrics by Hal Shaper, she was so moved by the song that she decided to re-record it for a single release with a longer intro and in a different key.
Her death on 30 March 2004 followed a battle with cancer that led to the surgical removal of her larynx in 2002. She was just 63.