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Various Have Mercy - The Songs Of Don Covay

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(Ace Records) 26 tracks - 24 page booklet This latest addition to our songwriter series focuses... more

Various: Have Mercy - The Songs Of Don Covay

(Ace Records) 26 tracks - 24 page booklet

This latest addition to our songwriter series focuses on the behind-the-scenes endeavours of Don Covay, provider of great material to some of the biggest stars of the 1960s.

Don made his recording debut in 1956 as a member of the Rainbows vocal group. His idol at this time was Little Richard, whom he managed to meet in 1957. Richard took him on as his opening act, bestowing upon him the nickname Pretty Boy, as which Don released his first solo disc. When record sales proved meagre, he channelled his energy into writing songs with John Berry of the Rainbows. Off the bat their compositions were picked by name artists Gene Vincent, Dee Clark and Wanda Jackson.

‘Pony Time’, Don’s first record to bear an additional credit for his backing combo the Goodtimers, saw him enter the Hot 100 for the first time in 1961. The same week, a cover by Chubby Checker debuted on the charts on its way to #1, leaving Don stuck at the lower end. Convinced that financial security would come from writing rather than recording, he signed with song publishers Roosevelt Music in New York’s famous Brill Building, where he shared a cubicle with his cousin, ace arranger Horace Ott.

Gladys Knight & the Pips delivered Don’s ‘Letter Full Of Tears’ into the Top 20 in 1962. His profile raised, Don was sought out by Atlantic Records’ Jerry Wexler on the hunt for material for Solomon Burke, thus beginning a long and fruitful relationship that would see the name Don Covay grace the record labels of many of the company’s major soul stars.

In 1964 Goodtimers’ guitarist Ronnie Miller came up with a catchy lick that evolved into ‘Mercy Mercy’, which saw Don finally crack the Top 40. The number would be a cream cut on the Rolling Stones’ “Out Of Our Heads” album in 1965, swelling Don’s coffers further.

Meanwhile, he was added to the roster of Atlantic, who dispatched him to Stax Records’ studio in Memphis to record. The trip did as intended, returning him to the charts with the blistering ‘See Saw’, co-written by guitar genius Steve Cropper. 1965 also saw Little Richard enjoy the biggest hit of his post-50s career with Don’s masterpiece ‘I Don’t Know What You’ve Got But It’s Got Me’.

Don continued to record prolifically for Atlantic, but of his subsequent singles for the company, not one reached the Hot 100. Fortunately, the fallow period was offset by the massive success of Aretha Franklin’s version of Don’s ‘Chain Of Fools’ and her revival of ‘See Saw’.

Don remains best remembered as a performer. Given that his catalogue runs to several hundred songs and his client list as a writer includes – in addition to those already mentioned – Connie Francis, Etta James, Wilson Pickett, Joe Tex, Ben E King, Jerry Butler and dozens more, the man deserves to be a household name, regardless of his great body of recorded work.

By Malcolm Baumgart

Article properties: Various: Have Mercy - The Songs Of Don Covay

  • Interpret: Various

  • Album titlle: Have Mercy - The Songs Of Don Covay

  • Genre R&B, Soul

  • Year of publication 2012
  • Label Ace Records

  • Artikelart CD

  • EAN: 0029667050326

  • weight in Kg 0.1
Various - Have Mercy - The Songs Of Don Covay CD 1
01 Three Time Loser PICKETT, WILSON
02 Chain Of Fools FRANKLIN, Aretha
03 You're Good For Me BURKE, Solomon
04 This Old Town (People In This Town) STAPLE SINGERS
05 I Don't Know What You've Got But It's Got Me LITTLE RICHARD
06 Long Tall Shorty GRAHAM BOND ORGANIZATION
07 There's A Party Goin' On JACKSON, Wanda
08 Pony Time CHECKER, Chubby
09 Mercy Mercy WAILERS
10 Mr. Twister FRANCIS, Connie
11 Love Bug HORNE, Lena
12 Don't Drive Me Away KING, Ben E.
13 Give FISHER, Mary Ann
14 Letter Full Of Tears FURY, Billy
15 You Can Run (But You Can't Hide) BUTLER, Jerry
16 Come See About Me KNIGHT, Gladys & PIPS
17 Shoes BENTON, Brook & DIXIE FLYERS
18 Sookie Sookie BRITT, Tina
19 See Saw BENNETT, Cliff & REBEL ROUSER
20 Kangaroo Hop CLARK, Dee
21 A Big Fat Saturday Night VINCENT, Gene
22 Mon Cherie Au Revoir SMITH, Arlene
23 The Continental Walk ROLLERS
24 I'm Gonna Take What He's Got JAMES, Etta
25 She Said Yeah TEX, Joe
26 Watch The One Who Brings You The News JACKSON, Millie
Various Artists Different artists/interpreters on a CD, Vinyl LP, 7ich Singe... Either as a... more
"Various"

Various Artists

Different artists/interpreters on a CD, Vinyl LP, 7ich Singe...
Either as a theme compilation or as Greates Hits, Best of..., Singles Collections etc.

 

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