See also another Soul classic
So one by one the great soul singers of the 60s and 70s leave us with the announcement of the death of Percy Sledge at the age of 73 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
In a career that started in the 1960s, Sledge had a number of hits, including “Take Time to Know Her,” “Warm and Tender Love” and “It Tears Me Up” among them. But his first and biggest hit, “When a Man Loves a Woman,” towered over them all.
Over a mournful, slowly rising instrumental track provided by organist Spooner Oldham, drummer Roger Hawkins and guitarist Marlin Greene — key musicians of what became the Muscle Shoals sound, heard on countless soul records — Sledge crooned, pleaded and roared his way through the tune. It came directly from the heart: Originally called “Why Did You Leave Me Baby,” he’d written it about a former girlfriend, drawing from a tune that…
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