Off Topic Messages

Lou Rawls Has Died

Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:21 pm

Singer Lou Rawls has passed away from cancer. He was 72. RIP.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:28 pm

One of my long-time faves. Rest in peace, Lou.

Here are two of his best. The 2nd one I bet many Elvis would like:

Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:30 pm

Great voice. Sorry to hear this.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:33 pm

That's 1.


Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:35 pm

Predictions for the other 2 Tom?

We'll see if your "in 3's" theory holds.

RIP Lou, another link to my teens gone.


Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:53 pm

No idea Geoff. By the way, I didn't want it to sound as if I didn't care that the man died. He was a great guy with an incredible voice.


Fri Jan 06, 2006 8:04 pm

Didn't sound like that at all Tom, but you've been uncannily accurate in the past. :wink:


Fri Jan 06, 2006 8:21 pm

tupelo_boy wrote:....... you've been uncannily accurate in the past. :wink:


What exactly are you implying????? :wink:


Fri Jan 06, 2006 9:10 pm

Always loved those deep vocals.

RIP Lou.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 10:54 pm

Tom in North Carolina wrote:No idea Geoff. By the way, I didn't want it to sound as if I didn't care that the man died. He was a great guy with an incredible voice.


I think everyone understood that, Tom. It is a strange phenomenon, though, that theory of "three's." Prime Minister Sharon could be #2...

Sat Jan 07, 2006 1:28 am

This saddens me greatly Rawls was not only a wonderful but a direct connection to the 1940s and 1950s gospel scene that helped to create so much of modern music. He will be missed because of his tremendous talent and because of his insight into the past and his general open and generous nature.
Last edited by likethebike on Sat Jan 07, 2006 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sat Jan 07, 2006 2:07 am

One of my favorite singers along with Sam Cooke and Elvis...
Had a chance to see him at one of the Casino's here in Phoenix a few years ago, but nobody else wanted to go so I missed out :cry:

Sat Jan 07, 2006 2:18 am

likethebike wrote:This saddens me greatly Rawls was not only a wonderful but a direct connection to the 1940s and 1950s gospel scene that helped to create so much of modern music. He will be missed because of his tremendous talent and because of his insight into the pass and his general open and generous nature.

You took the words right out of my mouth. I can only add that Lou is mentioned quite a bit in Guralnick's amazing new Sam Cooke biography, "Dream Boogie."


Sat Jan 07, 2006 3:42 am

RIP were an incredible talent, and you will be missed.

Sat Jan 07, 2006 7:16 am

A bio-snipit courtesy of

Rawls was born on December 1, 1933, in Chicago, Illinois. (Some sources say 1935)
He was trained in gospel, like his childhood friend Sam Cooke.

As a teenager he took Cooke's place in Cooke's gospel group, the Highway QCs.
He later supported Cooke on tour and in the studio.

Rawls nearly died in an auto accident while traveling with Cooke in 1958, spending several days in a coma.

"I really got a new life out of that," Rawls said at the time. "I saw a lot of reasons to live.
I began to learn acceptance, direction, understanding and perception -- all elements that had been sadly lacking in my life."

Rawls sang in a variety of genres, from gospel to soul to standards.

"I've gone the full spectrum, from gospel to blues to jazz to soul to pop," Rawls once said on his Web site,
according to the AP. "And the public has accepted what I've done through it all."

Rawls sang background on Cooke's "Bring It on Home to Me" -- that's him doing the "yeah" responses
and some harmonies. He had his first big solo hit with 1966's "Love Is a Hurtin' Thing," which earned
him a mention in Arthur Conley's "Sweet Soul Music."

He had his biggest hit in 1976 with "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine," which topped the
R&B charts and hit No. 2 on the pop charts.

Other hits include "Your Good Thing (Is About to End)," "A Natural Man" and "Lady Love."

He won three Grammys and is reported to have sold more than 40 million albums.

Sun Jan 08, 2006 9:37 am

Tom in NC, Tupelo and K-hoots, if it's all the same to you, spare us the morbid "death watch" games here...

Not to stretch the point, but like Elvis, Lou Rawls was another genre-hopping artist who to some extent gets unfairly pigeon-holed, in this case, for his crooning on the '78 disco-flavored "You'll Never Find A Love Like Mine" or his '70s-era "When You've Said Budweiser, You've Said It All" TV commercials.

He doesn't really get properly claimed, but Lou's blues, soul and gospel work alone should rank him among the great singers of each mold. By being at home with so many genres, and particularly by knowing how to "'do' pop", he was sometimes not fully appreciated. However, his sales over the years show plenty of appreciation and his best work will continue to be discovered throught the ages.

Along the same lines, here, from New York, is the Daily News column of David Hinckley: ... 3305c.html
You'll never find ...

Saturday, January 7th, 2006

To music fans who appreciated sultry songs that flowed smoothly across all lines - from jazz to pop to soul to rhythm-and-blues to gospel - Lou Rawls was a master singer.
His eclectic taste, ironically, sometimes worked against him in the peculiar world of popular music, where marketers prefer a singer to find one style and stick to it.

Rawls never did any such thing.

He started in the gospel world as a protégé of his school buddy Sam Cooke, singing with the famed Highway QCs, Soul Stirrers and Pilgrim Travelers before following Cooke to the pop world by the end of the 1950s.

He soon built a reputation as a splendid live cabaret singer with a bluesy, understated style. Unfortunately, most of his early recordings didn't capture this - the ones that did, like 1961's "Stormy Monday," with pianist Les McCann, didn't sell.

In 1962, Rawls teamed with Cooke on one of the most soaring pop-gospel records ever, "Bring it on Home to Me." Nonetheless, Capitol Records was about to drop Rawls in 1966 when it decided it had nothing to lose by releasing a live album that finally showed music fans what Rawls was all about.

"Live" was a smash hit, and a few months later he followed with a radio single, "Love is a Hurtin' Thing," that shot to No. 1.

Still, it was a decade before Rawls went back to the top of the charts with "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine," which has grown to become a standard on both R&B and pop radio.

With its gospel-style chorus and beautifully understated admission of pain, "You'll Never Find" became Rawls' signature song.

He used the capital he built with these hits to spend his last three decades doing what he wanted: blues albums, standards albums and United Negro College Fund telethons. As a kid from the Chicago projects who made it big, he wanted other kids to believe their own dreams could work out.

And when they didn't, Rawls could offer up "Love is a Hurtin' Thing" to show that, even when things go bad, they can still sound achingly good. ... 3305c.html

Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:15 am

Here's a nice obit by the NY Times.

Today's Wall Street Journal had a great feature on him today as well.

January 7, 2006
Lou Rawls, Singer of Pop and Gospel, Dies at 72
Lou Rawls, the smooth-voiced, enduring singing star whose career traced a line from gospel to jazz and pop, died early yesterday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 72.

The cause was cancer, said his longtime manager and publicist, David Brokaw.
Successfully modeling himself partly on his friend Sam Cooke, as well as on Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra, Mr. Rawls was a suave entertainer who appealed nearly equally to black and white audiences. He became best known for the unmistakable, mentholated baritone end of his vocal range, especially as heard on his biggest hit, "You'll Never Find (Another Love Like Mine)."

After his greatest successes, in the 1960's and 70's, Mr. Rawls became something of an elder statesman, raising millions for black colleges; providing a recognizable face in movies and on television, and a familiar voice for cartoons and commercials; and continuing to tour as a singer. His songs are still as likely to be played on jazz and easy-listening stations as on rhythm-and-blues and gospel outlets.

Born in Chicago and reared by his father's mother, Mr. Rawls began singing at 7 in the choir of her church, the Greater Mount Olive Baptist Church. His singing became known around town, where he had what would become an important connection: Mr. Cooke, with whom he sang in a group called the Teenage Kings of Harmony.

Later Mr. Rawls joined another local gospel group, the Holy Wonders. In 1951, he took Mr. Cooke's place in the Highway QC's, staying for two years. In 1953, when the Chosen Gospel Singers came through Chicago, they hired him, giving him his first exposure on a recording, in 1954. He later sang with another group, the Pilgrim Travelers.

In 1955 Mr. Rawls enlisted as a paratrooper in the Army, and upon his return to civilian life, rejoined the Pilgrim Travelers as a lead singer. In 1958, while the group was touring with Mr. Cooke - who by that time had crossed over to the pop charts with "You Send Me"- both Mr. Rawls and Mr. Cooke were injured in a car accident that killed Eddie Cunningham, Mr. Cooke's driver. Mr. Rawls was in a coma for several days. After his recovery, he often said he felt he had been given a new life, and new reasons to live.

Like Mr. Cooke, Mr. Rawls was then leaning more and more toward secular music. (He sang on a number of Mr. Cooke's records, and can be heard singing low harmonies in the Cooke hit "Bring It On Home to Me.") In 1959, having recorded some singles of his own for the Candix label, he was performing at the Pandora's Box in West Hollywood. There the producer Nick Venet heard him, and soon signed him to Capitol Records, where he spent a decade.

His Capitol debut, in 1962, was "I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water," teaming with the pianist Les McCann for a set of blues and jazz standards.

In his performances during the 1960's - a good example is "Lou Rawls Live!," a hit record from 1966 - he became famous for his monologues, sequences in which he would just talk over a chugging vamp, leading into and away from a song's refrain. In 1966 he had his first R&B No. 1 single, "Love Is a Hurtin' Thing," and in 1967, he won his first of three Grammy Awards for the song "Dead End Street."

"I was born in a city that they call the Windy City," his drawled spoken sequence on that hit song began. "They call it the Windy City because of the Hawk, the almighty Hawk. Mr. Wind. Takes care of plenty business, round wintertime." Mr. Rawls talked about growing up fighting, bootstrapping and shivering through cold Chicago weather for almost half the song's length; then he broke into an impassioned, rugged, baleful cry, rough around the edges and imperturbably cool at the center.

Having also won the public admiration of Mr. Sinatra for his pop singing, Mr. Rawls signed with Philadelphia International, the label run by the producers and songwriters Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. In 1976 the team made Mr. Rawls's signature recording, "You'll Never Find (Another Love Like Mine)," a lavish ballad with disco rhythm. As a single, it sold a million copies and reached No. 1 on the Billboard R&B charts.

That same year, he became a spokesman for Anheuser-Busch; it was his voice heard intoning the slogan "When you say Budweiser, you've said it all."

In 1980 he started the Lou Rawls Parade of Stars Telethon, a yearly television event that raised hundreds of millions of dollars for the United Negro College Fund.

Mr. Rawls also acted, appearing in about 20 films, including "Leaving Las Vegas" (1995), and many television series. He lent his voice to children's television shows, including "Garfield," "Hey Arnold!" and "The Rugrats," and provided the voice of the grandfather on Bill Cosby's animated series "Fatherhood." From 1989 to 1992, he made three albums with Blue Note.

In 2003 Mr. Rawls moved to Scottsdale, Ariz. On Jan. 1, 2004, in Memphis, he married his third wife, Nina, a former flight attendant, who managed his career for a time. In 2004 he learned he had lung cancer.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Rawls is survived by their son, Aiden. He is also survived by another son, Lou Rawls Jr. of Los Angeles, and two daughters, Louanna Rawls of Los Angeles and Kendra Smith of Los Angeles, and four grandchildren.

Over the years, Mr. Rawls's hits ranged from material that recalled rough roots, like "Tobacco Road" and "Natural Man," to the good-humored flirtation of "Fine Brown Frame" and the romance of "Lady Love." In another sign of his versatility, he released a Savoy Jazz tribute to one of his early pop models, "Rawls Sings Sinatra," in 2003, the same year he released "How Great Thou Art," an album of gospel and spiritual favorites.