Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Dobie Gray drifts away

The Grim Reaper has cut a swathe through the ranks of soul men this week. The latest to pass away is Dobie Gray, at the age of 71. Born in Texas, Dobie made some records for small labels in the early 60s but made it big in 1965 with the discotheque hit The In Crowd and followed up with See You At the Go-Go. Another song from that era, Out On The Floor, became a Northern Soul hit in the UK in the mid 70s.
After some unsuccessful records and a spell as an actor in the stage production of Hair he joined a soul/psychedelic band called Pollution which had some success, before joining US Decca and having a massive country/soul smash with Drift Away in 1973. He released three LPs on MCA, as the label then became, and later recorded some country flavoured material for Capricorn and Capitol. In the late 70s he performed in South Africa after persuading the apartheid authorities to allow him to play to integrated audiences, becoming the first artist to do so there.
Here are a couple of Dobie's classic tracks:


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