TV One begins a new season of "Unsung" (10 tonight), its series exploring the life and times and unheralded performers, and this season is one to get excited about.
It starts strong with a look at Deneice Williams, the multi-octave singer of such hits as "Silly" and "Let's Hear It for the Boy," convincingly making the case that Williams never got her due for her soaring pipes. After all, before Mariah Carey trilled her pop, R&B and gospel tunes, Niecy did it. (I'd put Minnie Riperton, a former "Unsung" subject, firmly in R&B, albeit alternative at times.)
Perhaps the Gary, Indiana native has never gotten all her deserved glory because as amazing as her voice is, Williams approached her career with a Midwestern ethic of hard work, and letting that speak for itself. As "Unsung" shows, Williams' voice hardly ever failed to impress, but at the very beginning of her career she was already a wife and mother. She cherished her gift, but her family was her priority.
There's not a whole lot of drama to expose (a couple of bad marriages are the extent) but Williams' sassy personality is revealed. Plus you get a better sense of what Williams was aiming for in her career. It's a good piece of work.
Next week, there's an equally good look at the way unappreciated group the Spinners, and then Cherrelle and Alexander O'Neal. All good stuff.