Signe Anderson, Jefferson Airplane's original female vocalist who sang on the band's 1966 debut LP Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, passed away January 28th. Anderson was 74. Anderson's death came the same day as her former band mate Paul Kantner, who passed away January 28th from multiple organ failure and septic shock.
Born in Seattle and raised in Portland, folk singer Signe Toly boarded Jefferson Airplane in the summer of 1965 after being asked to join the band by Marty Balin following a San Francisco performance; soon after she would marry Merry Prankster Jerry Anderson.
Anderson would appear on the band's debut album Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, singing lead on that LP's "Chauffeur Blues" and featuring prominently on their version of "Let's Get Together," the Chet Powers-penned track that would become a hit for the Youngbloods the next year.
Just as Jefferson Airplane was ascending, Anderson gave birth to her first child. Realizing that life on the road with a newborn was unfeasible, Anderson opted to part ways with Jefferson Airplane in 1966. Anderson remained with the group while they searched for a replacement, eventually choosing the Great Society singer Grace Slick.
(I wonder how Ms. Slick worked out.)
Seriously, I've always loved the Airplane's version of "Let's Get Together," particularly Ms. Anderson's contribution. What a beautiful voice!