Friday, April 30, 2010

Worth Another Listen - Lou Rawls

lou rawls

Armed with one of the most magical voices ever, the Chicago-born singer had a recording career that spanned more than four decades. Yet it is beyond my comprehension he had only one Top 10 hit, although he placed several others in the Top 40. He started singing in high school, singing in a group with classmate and immortal singer Same Cooke. After singing with a couple of groups, he enlisted in the service and served with honor, leaving the Army with the rank of sergeant. He went back on the road, again hooking up with Cooke, until he was once again sidelined, this time by a terrible automobile accident.

lou rawls

But that did not sideline him for long, and soon he was back singing, including laying down background vocals for Cooke on Bring It On Home To Me. He was eventually signed on his own, and started putting out records in 1962. Frank Sinatra once said that Rawls was "the classiest singing and silkiest chops in the singing game." It was in the 1970s that he achieved his greatest success, using those silky chops to sing You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine.



The song made it to #2 on the Pop chart, and #1 on the R&B and Easy Listening charts. The year was 1976, and Rawls was on top of his game. Two years later, Rawls released Lady Love, which made it to #24 on the Pop chart.



Lou's first hit was Love Is A Hurting Thing, which he sang to #13 on the Pop chart, and scored his first #1 on the R&B chart. It perfectly captured his soulful side, while showing off his smooth style.



Rawls would often cover the song he sang on with old friend Cooke, Bring It On Home To Me. His version was different than Cooke's, but again his easy style and superlative vocals proved to be a great match for the song.



Rawls passed away in 2006, at the age of 72. He left a rich legacy of great work, incredible talent, and total class.

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