A pre-stardom Barry White began using singer Viola Wills as a session vocalist on sides that he produced for Bob Keane's Bronco/Mustang labels. In the mid-'60s, Keane -- known for hits by Ritchie Valens, the Bobby Fuller Four, and Johnny Crawford of ABC-TV's hit western The Rifleman -- wanted to expand into soul music. In 1965, A&R director White signed Wills to Bronco as a solo artist. She recorded several sides for the label; all failed to chart. In 1969, she recorded a single for the A Bem Soul label that also failed to hit. In 1974, she replaced backup vocalist Claudia Linnear on Joe Cocker's European tour. While in the U.K., Wills recorded for Goodear. Three years later, she signed with Arista Records.