Grammy winner Thelma Houston maintains her powerful voice by taking care of herself and keeping busy.
“I try to keep working as much as I can,” she said in a telephone interview.
Houston is widely known for her disco rendition of Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes’ “Don’t Leave me This Way,” released by Motown Records.
The single earned her a gold record and 1977 Grammy Award for Best R&B Female Vocal Performance. The honor earned her the distinction of being Motown’s first solo female artist to win the Grammy Award for Best R&B Female Vocal Performance.
Building on those Motown roots, Houston will come to the Lancaster Performing Arts Center at 8 p.m., Oct. 19 with her all-new “Thelma Houston: My Motown Memories & More” show.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Houston said. “Let’s reminisce a little bit and for those that don’t know about Motown, we’ll tell them a little bit about it. I hope I can meet my old fans and make new ones.”
The show features non-stop classic Motown songs, along with a tribute to the “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin.
Motown artists like Smokey Robinson and The Supremes were Houston’s peers. A Mississippi native, she grew up in Long Beach. She was on the West Coast while Robinson and other Motown artists were in Detroit.
“My dream was to be doing what they were already doing,” Houston said. “But they were the same age as me, so then I was thinking what was I doing when Smokey Robinson was doing ‘Shop Around.’”
Houston was on her way to becoming a mother for the first time.
“They were on their careers and I was on another direction,” she said.
Houston eventually joined Motown Records.
“Smokey had me opening for him at Carnegie Hall,” she said.
Houston worked with the Four Tops, The Temptations and Stevie Wonder. Her show is biographical in that she talks about experiences with the different artists on the label.
Houston has a new single, “ISLY” (I Still Love You), available on Spotify and other streaming services.
Tickets cost $42 for orchestra and $37 balcony.
For details, call 661-723-5950, or visit www.lpac.org or the Lancaster Performing Arts Center box office at 750 W. Lancaster Blvd.