It seems like Don Covay had his fingers in just about every piece of R&B pie baked from the 1950s to the 1970s. His contributions were significant in the development of the r&b-pop dance craze of the early 1960s (with his "Pony Time") and Southern soul (with Stax as well as Aretha Franklin). He also dabbled in acid-hippie album-oriented soul-blues-rock of the late 1960s, raw funk, 1970s slow jams, and even Philly disco-soul. When he wasn't busy recording himself, he was writing songs that would be classics for others.
I can't say it would be hard to imagine soul music without Don Covay. No. It would be IMPOSSIBLE to imagine soul music without Don Covay. And with his passing over the weekend, sadly we've lost one of the very roots of this music.
He had a song called "Iron Out the Rough Spots" but luckily with few exceptions, Covay laid the gritty, raw quality of his voice out on the table for all to hear. He balanced the ruggedness with a unique, delicate vulnerability in his performances. I guess you could say Don Covay's jagged edges were often draped in satin. Those who would try to imitate him (Mick Jagger, eh hem) would not be able to capture the nuances of the Covay delivery. He was one-of-a-kind.
Today's selection of the day is by The Soul Clan, a soul supergroup initiated by Covay (the name being a political, Black Power jab at the KKK). This group was supposed to include Otis Redding, but unfortunately he died before they made it to the studio. Otis was replaced by Ben E. King who was joined by Joe Tex, Solomon Burke, Arthur Conely, and of course Don Covay. This song was written by Covay with another recently departed soul legend, Bobby Womack. Now that I'm listening to it again, I can definitely hear an echo of this record in D'Angelo's "How Does It Feel". What do you think?
DJ Action Slacks
I'm excited to highlight some of my favorite records in a variety of genres (soul, R&B, classic country, rockabilly, oldies, garage rock, etc). These won't all necessarily be "dance" records per se. They will all be records that I believe deserve a special listen. I simply love good music, rare or not. Hopefully you will spend some time here and love music right along with me! Lets give this a shot!