Lost links & Re-ups

On any post, if the link is no longer good, leave a comment if you want the music re-uploaded. As long as I still have the file, or the record, cd, or cassette to re-rip, I will gladly accommodate in a timely manner all such requests.

Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

06 January 2008

Too Mu Chi Lou Rawls

Lou Rawls, the smooth-voiced, enduring singing star whose career traced a line from gospel to jazz & pop, died two years ago today, January 6, 2006 of lung cancer. Lou Rawls was in the recording business for forty years, & his voice is as distinctive & instantly recognizable as any in music

Born Louis Allen Rawls on Dec. 1,1933? or 1935? (both dates are cited by many divergent sources, even 1936 by one biographer) in Chicago, Illinois, Lou was raised in Chicago by
his paternal grandmother. He began singing gospel at age 7 in the choir of the Greater Mount Olive Baptist Church. His singing became known around town.

Lou first recorded in June 1950 with The Holy Wonders (imprint: Premium 854 : 'I Won't Be Long' b/w 'Move In The Room With The Lord'). He later recorded in February 1954 with The Pilgrim Travelers.

As a teenager, he began joining doo-wop groups with his classmate Sam Cooke, whose own singing career in the 1950's & 1960's really took off. As natives of Chicago, Rawls & Cooke were often running partners on the gospel scene when Rawls sang with The Pilgrim Travelers & Cooke starred as the lead of the Soul Stirrers with Lou singing along. One rainy night the Soul Stirrers were on their way to one of their concerts when they were in a car wreck. They collided with an 18-wheeler. Rawls was initially pronounced dead; Eddie Cunningham was killed; Cliff White broke his collarbone; Sam Cooke was hardly injured. Rawls wasn't dead, but lay in a coma for five days before waking & eventually recovering from the severe concussion.This near death experience & Sam's success as a secular artist were to influence Rawls. After he recovered, he went out on his own as a secular artist in 1959.

He applied his velvet baritone voice with effortless flexibility to gospel, blues, jazz, soul & middle-of-the-road pop, ensuring his success that will last beyond his death. He earned three Grammys, sold one platinum & five gold albums.

He said: "There are no limits to music, so why should I limit myself?"

I have in my collection a record that I have not been able to find any information about,
by the limitless man himself. It is on clear orange vinyl, pressed I believe in Korea for First Stereo Record - SFL1494. It is probably a rip of the 1967 Capitol release Too Much!

Yes, It Hurts (Doesn't it?)
It's an Uphill Climb to the Bottom
I Just Want to Make Love to You
You're Takin' My Bag

Lou Rawls was in the midst of a hot streak at Capitol, scoring smash singles & winning Grammy awards. Too Much! was one of three albums he released in 1967, all of which made the pop Top 40 albums chart. It was superbly produced & arranged by David Axelrod, with Rawls being bluesy, soulful, anguished, triumphant, & resigned. He displayed both a variety of moods & a vocal mastery at its peak.

Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye
Dead End Street (monologue)
Dead End Street
Twelfth of Never

The record is in a flimsy paper cover that looks like a copy of the Capitol cover with
First Record logo & number added to avoid legal issues. The greatest thing about this record other than the orange vinyl is the translation work. On the record, several tracks are listed incorrectly, as 'It's Anuphill Climb to the Bottom', but the best is the albums title itself:
Too Mu Chi Lou Rawls

Righteous Woman (monologue)
I Wanna Little Girl
Why (Do I Love You So)
I'll Take Time
You're Always on My Mind

& a tip of the hat to the Soul Stirrers, from Lou's friend Sam Cooke,
a bonus TRACK:
You're Always on My Mind

So, to Mu Chi, Lou Rawls!


  1. Oh my goodness! You have taken me back so so far! I can remember putting the "record player" in the bed, holding the cover up tent like and play the record with the volume very very low. When I think of it now I could just roll on the floor laughing. My favorite songs on the Too Much album were "It's an Uphill Climb to the Bottom" and "Taking My Bag." Thank you so much for adding these to your blog. I thought I'd never hear these songs again. You've really made me smile!

  2. Thanks for the kind words.
    Always glad to host a smile.