BUFFALO, NY - Barbara St. Clair, dubbed Buffalo's Queen of Soul by many local musicians, has passed away after a battle with cancer.
In August, our Claudine Ewing looked at how the community came together to host a benefit for St. Clair. Her story is below.
Barbara St. Clair's daughter, Dawn Scott tells 2 On Your Side that her mother has terminal brain cancer.
Now those who worked with Barbara St. Clair over several decades are planning a couple of benefits to raise funds for medical expenses. The first benefit is set for Monday, August 26, at 7 p.m. at The Forum on Maple and Sweet Home. The Shadows will hold a special musical tribute on Saturday, September 14, 2:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m at the Sportsmens Tavern on Amherst Street in Buffalo. Chris Haug said "any musician that was in a situation like this, she was always right there to do the benefit."
Nick Veltri sat down with four fellow musicians to reflect on the woman they all admire on and off the stage. "When she came on stage, she was pure class," he said. "She had icon status."
The Buffalo Music Hall of Fame member was a member of the Sessions and later formed Barbara St. Clair & the Pin-Kooshins.
If there was a benefit and Barbara was called on to perform she did. Now the guys in the band hope Western New York music lovers will do the same. Sam Guarino said he was devastated to learn of her illness. "The thing about Barbara, I've never heard a bad word from her or about her, ever," he said emphatically.
While many know the stage name Barbara St. Clair, she is known by close family and friends as Barbara Spivey.
St. Clair was always performing in Buffalo at The M&T Plaza concert series, Taste of Buffalo, Bidwell Park, Thursday in the Square.
The 71-year old singer has left of mark on those who worked with her and those who listened to her over the years. Bandmembers say she loved chatting with fans during breaks, just as much as she loved performing on stage.