Candi Staton had been singing in gospel groups for years when the future disco diva recorded a solo album of secular Southern soul at Muscle Shoals in 1969.
I’ve just heard this song for the first time – only half a century after it first came out. And… wow. It’s a spellbinding, heartbreaking account of a loveless marriage and the effect it’s had on the life of their unwanted child.
When I get the urge to hear some soul music, I often go straight to Otis. And when I go to Otis, I tend to go straight to Try A Little Tenderness. It was only when this came on the radio the other day that I remembered what a highlight it is on the immortal album Otis Blue.
You’ve got to feel sorry for Fred Neil. The obscure Canadian folkie recorded definitive versions of three great songs that went on to become standards – and all three were made famous in better versions by three other artists.