R.I.P. LOU RAWLS.Three time Grammy Award-winning singer Lou Rawls has died.
From The New York Times:
"Lou Rawls, the smooth-voiced singer and actor who traced a line from gospel to jazz and pop, died early this morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 72 and died of cancer, according to his longtime manager and publicist, David Brokaw.
Modeling himself partly on his friend Sam Cooke - as well as Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra - Mr. Rawls was a suave entertainer who appealed to black and white adult audiences nearly equally. He had a wide vocal range, and became best known for an unmistakable, mentholated baritone, especially as heard on the hit song "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine."
Born in Chicago and raised by his father's mother, Mr. Rawls began singing at age 7 in the choir of his grandmother's Greater Mount Olive Baptist Church. He became known around town, and had one important connection: he was close friends with Sam Cooke, with whom he sang in a group called the Teenage Kings of Harmony."
His biggest hits were a little before my time, but, if you're a seventies-born child like I was, and the prime of your childhood was in the 1980s, you've probably heard Lou Rawls' distinctive voice in a slightly different context: he sang the theme songs for most of the CBS prime-time Garfield specials (at least those that pre-date the Saturday morning Garfield and Friends series), as well as most of the incidental songs in the specials other than those performed by the voice of Garfield himself, the late Lorenzo Music, and the other Garfield voice actors. To be precise, the specials Lou Rawls did the songs for are Here Comes Garfield, Garfield on the Town, Garfield in the Rough, Garfield's Hallowe'en Adventure, Garfield in Paradise, A Garfield Christmas, Garfield Goes Hollywood, and Garfield's Thanksgiving. I'd have to say that, of those songs Rawls sung, the ones I remember best are "Scaredy Cat" from Garfield's Hallowe'en Adventure (as well as "This is the Night"), the Here Comes Garfield theme, and "Hollywood Feels So Good" from Garfield Goes Hollywood.
So now both of the voices I associate the most with the Garfield specials have been silenced (Lorenzo Music died of lung cancer in 2001). Dang, I feel old.