Friday, January 20, 2006

The last soul man

Who will be the last soul man? The death of Wilson Pickett yesterday means that yet another sixties soul great has joined the celestial choir. Years ago we lost Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Jackie Wilson, Little Willie John to name but a few, and in the last couple of weeks alone we have lost Lou Rawls and now the Wicked Pickett.
Bobby Womack, who wrote 17 songs recorded by Wilson Pickett, famously recorded an album entitled 'The Last Soul Man' in 1987 and judging by the great show he put on at the Apollo Hammersmith 18 months ago he could be a contender to hold that title once all the other soul greats have died. There again it could be the King of Rock and Soul himself Solomon Burke, James Brown (the hardest working man in show business), Bobby 'Blue' Bland (still excellent, as I witnessed in pre Katrina New Orleans last year) or possibly Percy Sledge, Sam Moore (of Sam and Dave), Ben E King, Eddie Floyd or Clarence Carter. They are still alive (as far as I know), unlike James Carr, Tyrone Davis, and Arthur Conley who have all passed on in the last few years.
Sadly as time passes the list of living legends gets smaller. We must grab every chance to see them while we can. And dig out those original vinyl LPs and 45s to remind ourselves of just how great they were.

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