Barbara Mason

There are some songs that bring back memories to we baby boomers, especially love songs. 

Yes, I’m Ready

One of those is “Yes I’m Ready” by Barbara Mason.  To many of us, it was one of those coming of age songs.  We did not know a whole lot about love in 1965 when the song hit the charts.  But we, too, were ready to learn.

Those innocent dreams of romance and intimate moments when love was budding – those were exciting and nervous times.  First times for our own love and the season for loving of an entire generation.    Just listen to the song again.  I bet it brings back memories.

Try reading the lyrics and bring back more memories.

Are you ready? Yes I’m ready
Are you ready? Yes I’m ready
I don’t even know how
To love you
Just the way you want me to
But I’m ready, ready to learn
Yes I’m ready, ready to learn
To fall in love
To fall in love
To fall in love
With you

I don’t even know how
To hold your hand
Just to make you understand
But I’m ready,
Ready to learn
Yes, I’m ready, ready to learn
To hold your hand
And make you understand
To hold your hand
Right now

I don’t even know how
To kiss your lips (kiss your lips)
At a moment like this
But I’m going to learn
How to do
All the things
You want me to
Are you ready? Yes, I’m ready
Are you ready? Yes, I’m ready
To fall in love,
To fall in love,
To fall in love,
Right now

Are you ready? Yes I’m ready
Are you ready? Yes I’m ready
To kiss me? Yes I’m ready
To love me? To kiss you, to love you, to hug you
Baby I’m ready

The song reached number three on the charts for 1965.  It outsold some of the giant hits of the Beatles in the mid-60s.

Barbara Mason’s Early Career

At the age of 12, she began to play her grandfather’s piano (you never know what introducing your grandchild to an instrument might mean for their future).  Barbara Mason was born in Philadelphia in 1947 and used to sing in impromptu talent shows as a child.

She began her career with a fledgling local, Philadelphia, label called Charger.  Later she moved up to Arctic records.  She wrote most of her own songs, including “Yes, I’m Ready.”    She was one of the few ladies of soul in the 60s.  “Yes, I’m Ready” is considered one of the first real soul records out of Philly.  They called it the Philadelphia sound.

The Darker Side of Love

Her first single was “Girls Have Feelings Too” in 1964.

In the 1970s, Mason contracted with Buddah Records.  This exposure and financial freedom gave her the opportunity to record songs of the troubling and darker side of romance, such as sexual love and infidelity with with song like “Bed and Board.”

Here just a taste of the song, so you can feel the difference:

You know, sometimes a man will
Cause such heartache (yes, he will)
That a woman feels she only take
He’ll make all kind of mistakes
(Yes, he will) that cause your
Heart to break
Seems like every day
Is like the one before
The things you used to say
You don’t say anymore
Bits and pieces of your time
Are all you can afford
It looks like you just can’t see
That there’s much more to love
Than bed and board (bed and board)
Bed, bed, bed, bed and board
(Bed and board)

Produced By Curtis Mayfield

“From His Woman to You”, and “Shackin’ Up” and would interrupt her singing to deliver straight-talking ‘raps‘ about romance. She also continued to write some of her new material. Curtis Mayfield produced her on a cover version of Mayfield’s own “Give Me Your Love”, which restored her to the pop Top 40 and R&B Top Ten in 1973; “From His Woman to You” (the response to Shirley Brown‘s single “Woman to Woman”) and “Shackin’ Up”, produced by former Stax producer Don Davis in Detroit were also solid soul sellers in the mid-1970s.

For most of the seventies, Ms. Mason could be seen on many variety and talk shows such like: Soul Train, The Mike Douglas Show, Don Kirschner’s Midnight Special, and, of course, the wildly popular Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.

She learned so much from those experiences that she created and hosted her own nationally syndicated program, “Lady Love” – In Day and Night.  It was a live production from Philadelphia’s Japanese Pagoda.

Barbara Mason took a hiatus from recording after some lackluster albums in the 1980s.  But, in the early ’90s producer Alan Beck asked her to perform at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles.   She was well received and her career once again took off. She has worked on commercial ventures for companies such as Blockbuster, Sony, and Toyota and has her own publishing company called Marc James Music (named for her son).

Barbara Mason – Today

Barbara Mason is an underrated star.  She still resides in the Philadelphia area and continues to perform.

Here is one of her later recordings, with a bit of funk, World In Crisis:



See more of our 60s Music articles here.

By Chowning

Richard Chowning was a teenager during the 60s. Being a Southern California resident during those years, he experienced many of the events and trends that distinguished those times.