Home » Before “The Voice,” There was Lou Rawls

Before “The Voice,” There was Lou Rawls

Louis Allen Rawls was born in Chicago in 1933. He was friends with Curtis Mayfield and Sam Cooke, who would play a significant role in his life.

Rawls was in and out of singing groups, often with Cooke, after graduating from high school. In 1955, Cooke enlisted and became an Army paratrooper. He was discharged and, in 1958, Rawls was in a car crash while traveling with the sing group The Pilgram Travelers. He spent five and a half days in a coma. It took a year for him to fully recover.

His first album was released in 1962. Check out the profiles to read about his road to stardom.

None other than Frank Sinatra said that Rawls “had the classiest and silkiest chops in the game,” according to both the Wikipedia profile and Rawls’ website. he The three-time Grammy winner sold more than 40 million albums.

Rawl’s website has a loving profile, as it should. The piece notes that Rawls opened for The Beatles at Crosley Field in Cincinnati in 1966 and that he displaced Sinatra as the Downbeat singer of the year in 1971.

The voice went with the face. Rawls was handsome. He sounded handsome, with a smooth and deeply melodic voice. He was a familiar television face as a singer, actor and commercial spokesperson in the 1970s and 80s. Rawls died in early 2006.

Above is “Stormy Monday” (with Stanley Turrentine on the saxophone). Below is “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine,” which was Rawl’s biggest hit.

All Music, Wikipedia and Rawls’ website were used for this post. Home page photo: Southeastern Louisiana University.


Our New Things: Links to Music Sites and Info on Analog Tech and Vinyl

TDMB has focused on music and musicians. We will continue to do that, of course. We're also expanding our coverage to include vinyl and analog equipment.

More specifically, we'll look at this huge and interesting world from the perspective of music lovers who want a better experience, not committed non-audiophiles.

Check out is some of what we've written so far:

-- Assessing the Value of Vinyl Records: An Overview

-- 7 Quick Tips on Optimizing Your Turntable Cartridge

-- Why Vinyl Records Continue to Thrive

-- Finding the Best Amplifier

-- Finding the Best Phono Preamp

-- What Speakers Do I Need for My Turntable?

Check out more articles on analog equipment and vinyl.

The site also is home to The Internet Music Mapping Project, an effort to list and describe as many music-related sites as possible.

Our Music

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.


What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.


The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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