GLORIA JONES with the original "Tainted Love" from 1964. She was from Ohio, but considered part of the British northern soul music and dance movement of the 60's. Her story is sad - she survived the fatal car crash of boyfriend (and father of her child) Marc Bolan when he was killed in 1977.
Of course there's been other versions and remixes of her UK hit "Tainted Love," most of them...uh, not bad. I believe Soft Cell's version from 1981 is possibly just as great as hers, mainly because it is completely original in its own style and form.
* Super Nerd-Alert: according to the book I posted about last month "Perfecting Sound Forever" by Greg Miliner, the Synclavier is what makes that cool trademark GONG sound in Soft Cell's "Tainted Love," as well as in the intro to Michael Jackson's "Beat It." I've brought this up in casual conversations about recording before, usually getting blank stares back. Another post for another time. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synclavier