So, another reason for breaking my "the world's a happy place" promise: We have an RIP this week as another part of my youth slips away.
Percy Sledge has died of natural causes at his home in Baton Rouge, LA. He was 74.
If you're going "who is that" or "the name rings a bell but I can't quite get it," you may not know who he was, but you know The Song he made - and made him - famous.
“When a Man Loves a Woman” has been called "the definitive soul ballad," "almost unbearably heartfelt," "the ultimate make-out song," and "a holy love hymn."
Sledge started singing at local clubs with a group called the Esquires in 1965. The next year, Atlantic Records released the song that made his career.
In a fit of generosity which he later called "the worst decision I ever made," he gave the songwriting credit to two of the Esquires, who had helped him with a few chords. As a result, he never saw a dime of songwriting royalties.
"When a Man Loves a Woman" was not his only hit - he charted about five other times - but it was by far his biggest. And even though the song has been covered by others - in fact Michael Bolton took his version to #1 in 1991 - if ever one song and one singer were joined as one thing, this was that thing.
RIP, Percy Sledge.
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