The 1967 Grammy for the Best Rhythm and Blues Solo Vocal Performance, Male went to “Dead End Street,” as performed by the late, great crooner Lou Rawls.
Composed by David Axelrod, Ben Raleigh and Lou Rawls, this hit was from the LP “Too Much!” which was one of four albums Lou released in 1967 — three of which made the pop Top 40 albums chart. I could not find stats on the fourth which was Lou’s first (of many) Christmas LP.
“Too Much!”, on Capitol Records, was #1 on the Billboard Jazz chart; #2 on the Billboard R&B Album chart and #3 on the Pop Album chart. Not bad for a little boy from the South side of Chigaco who’s grandmother had him signing in her Baptist church choir at age 7!
As a teenager Lou began singing harmony in “The Teenage Kings of Harmony” with his high school buddy Sam Cooke. He then sang with the “Holy Wonders”. When his fnend Sam left the Hiway Q.C.s, for the “Soul Stirrers“, Lou replaced him. In 1953 the “Chosen Gospel Singers” then recruited Lou and he made his first recording with them in 1954. Next Rawls joined the Pilgrim Travelers but later quit to join the Army.
When discharged back to civilian life, Rawls returned to the “Travelers” and toured with Cooke. An auto accident injured Cook and left Rawls pronounced dead. But after coming out of his coma and a year of recuperation a recovered Rawls switched to secular music.
With his four octave vocal range, Mr. Rawls sang R&B, Soul, Jazz, Blues and Pop during his long and successful career. And more importantly he gave back with his involvement with the “United Negro College Fund” and many other charities in his lifetime.
You may read more details in his Biography at the Official Lou Rawls Website.
Here is one of those wonderful vintage clips, from the YouTube goldmine, of Lou performing his Grammy Award Winning Song in 1967.
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