Barbara George (born Barbara Ann Smith in 1942 – died in 2006) was an American R&B singer-songwriter fondly remembered for her self-penned #1 R&B hit “I Know (You Don’t Love Me No More)” during the 60s music era. Born and raised in New Orleans, she was a choir member at a local church. Later, singer Jessie Hill discovered her talents and sent her to Harold Battiste, a record producer who also headed his own imprint AFO (All for One). On that label, George released her first record “I Know (You Don’t Love Me No More)” which topped the R&B chart and also became a Top 10 pop hit in late 1961. She released later records that were unable to match the success of her first single. She retired from the music business, with a few unsuccessful comeback attempts. She died in 2006 in Chauvin, Louisiana on August 10, 2006, only six days before turning 64.
Professionally known as Barbara George, Barbara Ann Smith was born on August 16, 1942 in Smithridge, Louisiana. George was raised in nearby New Orleans where she began singing at a church choir while penning bothreligious and secular songs. She was married at the early age of 16.
Singer/pianist Jessie Hill discovered George whom he auditioned for record producer Harold Raymond Battiste, Jr. On AFO (All For One) label which was owned by Battiste, she released the first single “I Know (You Don’t Love Me No More)” in 1961. Her self-penned tune was a chart-topper on R&B chart and crossed over on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #3. It was also became a staple for the 1960’s British performers (the Merseybeats, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, and Beryl Marsden) and later covered by top artists including Cher, Ike and Tina Turner, Bonnie Raitt and Fats Domino.
In 1962, George released her sophomore record “You Talk About Love” but it was not as successful as her first release. Later, Battiste allowed George to switch labels and she moved on Sue Records where she issued two singles, “You Talk About Love” and “Send For Me” (If You Need Some Lovin’) Although she moved to a more prestigious label, it was no help to boost her music career. After two years on Sue Records, she left the company in 1964.
In 1967 George tried to launch a comeback but it was unsuccessful. Aside from her declining music career, she also struggled with drugs and alcohol during the 1970’s. George later returned to the nostalgia circuit in the early 1980’s before she returned to Louisiana for good. Her breakthrough hit “I Know (You Don’t Love Me No More) was later performed by the Mexican singer Marisela Esqueda for the 1988 film musical Salsa.
In the mid-1990’s, George started to write her autobiography but at the same time, she was diagnosed with a liver cancer which led her to death on August 10, 2006 in her home state, Louisiana. The autobiography was left unfinished.