Happiness and joy she brings, when you call her name, coming out of the rain. Remember that one? So what happened to Wendy Moten?
“Some people spend a lifetime
Looking for love
But I had love right here
All of the time
Why did I try to deny it
When deep inside
I just couldn’t fight it
You turned my life around
The love I lost is found
So let the rain come down”
Epic, power ballad lyrics from the middle eight of this early 90’s smash hit. Memphis born singer Wendy Moten released this outstanding track in late 1992, surprisingly it was only a minor hit in her home country, where it made No.55. It did however top the Japanese singles chart and did a little better ‘down under’ reaching No.52 in Australia. It wasn’t until January 1994 that it saw release in the United Kingdom and it hurled up the chart, peaking at No.8 and spending seven weeks in the top 40 there.
Wendy was born in 1965 and had sung in church choirs as a young girl. She got her big profession break singing with Michael Bolton at a benefit concert at the beginning of the 1990’s and was quickly snapped up by EMI Manhattan Records and work began furiously on her debut album. Self titled, it was released in August 1992 and was preceded by the single “Step By Step” which made No.66 on the US R&B chart but didn’t do much else beyond that.
“Wendy Moten” was a blink-and-you-miss-it chart entry Stateside although it did better in Japan after “Come In Out Of The Rain” went to number one. Once the song had hit the UK charts, the album was release there in February 1994 and made it to No.42. This was followed by the single “So Close To Love” which reached No.35 in the UK.
By now the album was two years old and Wendy has already begun writing and recording her follow up “Time For Change”, which was released in February 1995 and reached No.18 in Japan where she gained a second No.1 with “Change Of Heart” and a No.2 with “Your Love Is All I Know”.
Aside from her own career, Moten has worked as a backing and session singer for many other artists including Regina Belle, Peabo Bryson, Keith Washington, Michael McDonald and John Oates of Hall & Oates. She contributed the song “Whatever You Imagine” for the 1994 film ‘The Pagemaster’ and the following year released a Christmas EP “Christmas Time” featuring her version of the classic “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)” as well as her two hits “Come In Out Of The Rain” and “So Close To Love” for good measure!
Her third album “Life’s What You Make It” was released in 1996 and made No.67 in Japan, despite the title track giving Wendy her third number one single there! Since then she has released the holiday album “Tis The Season” in 2009 and “Timeless” in 2014, a collection of songs from American Jazz composer Richard Whiting.
Wendy has also toured with Soul II Soul and sang backing vocals on Bonnie Tyler’s ‘comeback’ album “Rocks And Honey” in 2013, which included her Eurovision Song Contest entry “Believe In Me”.
In 2020, Wendy released a new album, “I’ve Got You Covered“, with more than a nod to Country music. It was her first for six years and the voice is still recognisable.
In 2021, Wendy made an appearance on The Voice USA and it’s hard to understand when she introduced herself, how nobody knew who she was!
But perhaps we shall always remember her for her brief moment of global limelight and those early weeks of 1994 when star-crossed Valentine lovers everywhere, snuggled up with Wendy and a gorgeous love anthem that went something like this…
“You told me that you’d love me
If I’d ever change
Welcome me into your arms again
Come on in out of the rain”