1973 Soul, Timeless Love Songs: Aretha Franklin, Barry White, Al Wilson, The Spinners

“OH ME, OH MY, I’M A FOOL FOR YOU” ARETHA FRANKLIN

Anyone who’s a fan of movies about great teachers and schools has to see “To Sir With Love”. It’s a black and white classic starring Sidney Poitier.  British pop star, Lulu, starred as one of his students. She sang the theme song, the ultimate dedication to her teacher. Lulu didn’t have a lot of chart success but her version of “Oh Me Oh My” went to #23 in 1969. But like so many great songs of the 60’s once Aretha Franklin chooses to cover your song, it’s never really going to be your song anymore. “Oh Me Oh My” by Aretha was released as a B-Side to Rock Steady but it’s a vintage piece of R&B history for such a hauntingly beautiful vocal performance by the Queen of Soul.

“CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF YOUR LOVE, BABE”     BARRY WHITE

Barry White’s signature song opens with his deep voice, “I’ve heard people say that too much of anything is not good for anyone babe”…..behind lush orchestra string arrangements, Barry mesmerizes us with that one-of-a-kind talking introduction. Then the disco beat drops and we’re totally hooked. A timeless masterpiece that works on so many levels. a hopeful love song, a get back your girl plea, a melody to set the mood. C&C Music Factory produced a cover version by Taylor Dayne that went to #2.

 

“SHOW & TELL” AL WILSON

An instantly recognized million selling #1 hit by an artist that never achieved similar chart success after his one-hit wonder. Al released his first single in 1967 but it didn’t score high on the charts, finally he broke through in 1973 with “Show And Tell”, an international smash that should have exploded his career. But except for a minor hit, “I’ve Got A Feeling We’ll Be Seeing Each Other”, Al was typecast for his platinum single, “Show And Tell”. He sold out lounges around the country until his death in 2008 at age 68 from kidney failure. His legacy was cemented with this #1 R&B gold nugget.

“THEN CAME YOU”     THE SPINNERS with DIONNE WARWICK

Philly Soul at its best. The Spinners have been around for 50 years, “I’ll Be Around”, “Rubberband Man”, “Games People Play”, “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love”…..on and on, essential soul music that defined the 70’s. On “Then Came You” they teamed up with Dionne Warwicke (she added the “e” during this time period). Ironically Dionne didn’t like the song. After the recording session, the producer ripped a dollar in two. He signed each half and told Dionne “if the song doesn’t go to number one, I’ll send you my half.” It went on to be the FIRST #1 hit for Dionne!

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