October 15, 1958 Jackie Wilson was recording Lonely Teardrops!
Before we wrote Beehive we had the show Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – A Motown Revue- and we had the fantastic Herb Rawlings performing Lonely Teardrops as Jackie Wilson with kicks over the mic stand and splits – he WAS Jackie Wilson. He was pretty amazing. I lost track of Herb – I think he moved to Vegas and was doing James Brown in the show Legends!
Another great singer who nails this song is C.E. Smith!
In the late fifties, singers like Jackie Wilson, the Isley Brothers, Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye combined doo wop and soul and created a new model for R&B singers!
Lonely Teardrops is perfect example of that!
September 3, 1966 The Four Tops’ Reach Out I’ll Be There enters the charts
My favorite version of this song is sung by another one of my favorite singers Michael McDonald.
And as Stevie Wonder said of Michael McDonald, “He’s got that thang in his voice!” That thang is soul.
I’ve worked with Michael and he is a great guy and a natural talent. I had the honor of doing 3 pianos with myself, Stevie and Michael. We were supposed to be playing all Stevie songs when Stevie stopped the show and started playing Michael’s Takin’ it to the Streets. Pretty amazing.
Michael did 2 albums of Motown songs which I use as a reference for hip motown arrangements and blue eyed soul singing.
OK. Summer’s over. It was a rainy Labor Day. We didn’t get to swim but went to lunch and relaxed. Claudia and her dad fed watermelon to a family of deer at our front door.
Back in the city now! Tomorrow I’m going to clean my work area and get recording my vocals on Claudia’s and my original stuff. I figure if I write that I’m going to clean, then I will. So remember I said I’m going to clean, damnit.
Here’s my version of Reach Out I’ll Be There. More tomorrow. 🙂
September 1, 1952, Atlantic Records bought Ray Charles’ contract from Swingtime Records. (via thisdayinmusic.com)
Ray Charles is a singer I’ve tried to model myself after. He has just the right combination of blues and gospel. I used to play this song for Linda Hopkins. In France this was one of her show stoppers. At the time I didn’t know it was Ray Charles who recorded it. When I finally did hear Ray do it, it went right into my playlist.
I saw Ray Charles a couple of times but was a little disappointed. At that point in his career he had a touring big band made up of young guys reading charts and it sounded like a Vegas act. Although Ray sang and played his ass off I didn’t need to hear the college big band. This song is recorded with a small band and some back up singers and is one of my favorites.
Jamie Foxx played the hell out of Ray in the movie and until I saw it I never really knew his story. Hollywood turns out to be the real historian, cause if they make it in a movie, it’s got to be real, right? LOL One thing I do know for sure is that Ray Charles is one of the greatest singers of all time. And that’s what I recognize here.
OK. Here’s Drown in My Own Tears!