Lou Rawls (December 1, 1933 - January 6, 2006) was a high acclaimed and versatile singer with a smooth and highly recognizable baritone and a range that spanned four octaves.
Born Louis Allen "Lou" Rawls in Chicago, he began singing in his church's choir at age 7. As a teenager, Rawls performed with various local groups, and after graduating high school, he sang with Sam Cooke in the Teenage Kings of Harmony. In 1951, he replaced Cooke in the Highway QC's after Cooke left to join The Soul Stirrers. Rawls was also a member of the Pilgrim Travelers and several other gospel groups before enlisting in the Army in 1955 where he served for 3 years. Afterwards, he rejoined the Pilgrim Travelers, but his career was temporarily cut short in 1958 when he suffered a nearly fatal car crash that left him in a coma for five and a half days. He resumed his career about one year later after he had recovered sufficiently, shifting his focus to jazz, R&B, and pop.
Rawls debuted on the Billboard Pop/Rock charts in 1965 with his soulful and more contemporary rendition of "Three O'Clock In The Morning," an old pop/jazz standard that became a #1 hit for Paul Whiteman in 1922. His fame took off the following year with the R&B chart topper, "Love Is A Hurtin' Thing," which also became a Top 20 Pop/Rock chart hit. This was followed by a long string of hits that also included "Dead End Street" (1967), "Show Business" (1967), "Your Good Thing (Is About To End)" (1969), "A Natural Man" (1971), "Groovy People" (1976), and the song for which he is most famous, "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine" (1976), which topped the R&B and Adult Contemporary charts and reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. During the late 1970s, Rawls became a member of the Philadelphia International All Stars, an R&B supergroup that had a hit in 1977 with "Let's Clean Up The Ghetto." Rawls recorded over 60 albums through 2003, several of which went platinum or gold.
Over the years, Rawls also made many TV and movie appearances, did voice-overs for commercials and cartoons, and became well known as a philanthropist. His many awards and accolades include three Grammys and a Star on the Hollywood Hall of Fame.
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- Dead End Street 1967
- Love Is A Hurtin' Thing 1966
- A Natural Man 1971
- Your Good Thing (Is About To End) 1969
(This song was previously a hit for Mable John (1966).)
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