Monday, August 15, 2016

The 2015/1967 Countdown - 08/15/2016 Update

Today we return to our 1967's Super Soulster's Deep Cuts Review mix, and take a quick look at 1967 mega-hit Sweet Soul Music by Georgia-born, Otis Redding protege Arthur Conley.

Conley's second single released under Redding's tutelage (a lyrical reworking of Sam Cooke's Yeah Man), the shout-out to the biggest names in the genre at that moment went on to finish 17th on Billboard's 1967 Hot 100, and today is widely considered one of the greatest "celebration of music" songs ever recorded.

Though Conley was devasted, and his career in some way stalled, by Redding's death in 1968, he would continue to produce modest hits over the next few years. But Conley had a secret that would soon bring his American career to an end.

A closeted homosexual, the pressures of maintaining his facade on the soul circuit eventually became too much, and by the mid-70s Conley left America for what was, at the time, perceived to be a more open-minded Europe. There he changed his name to Lee Roberts and went on to find greater peace and a certain level of success as a performer, producer, and talent manager.

He died in the Netherlands in 2003 at the age of 57.

Here's a video of a 1967 performance of the song on the Sam & Dave show.

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