Linda Martell was one of the few African-American women to become a popular country music singer. She was born in Leesville, South Carolina and started out singing R&B in Columbia clubs. She got her start in country music in 1969 when she signed with Shelby Singleton's Plantation label. That summer she made the Top 25 with "Color Him Father," which helped her become the first black woman to appear on the Grand Ole Opry. In 1970 she scored two Top 60 hits with "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" and "Bad Case of the Blues," and never again appeared on the country music charts.