Percy SledgeWe are sad to report the death of soul music legend Percy Sledge at age 74. The Southern Soul singer performed successfully for a half century, but will always be known for a signature song, “When A Man Loves A Woman,” that stands as one of the all-time great love songs.

Those of us of a certain age may easily flashback to Saturday housecleaning or sitting on a phone book in the beauty salon or barber shop when our elders were singing along that song.

The Alabama born Sledge had a relatively brief period of intense popularity in the late 60s, fueled in large part by his “When a Man Loves a Woman.” ¬†There are rare moments when singer and song are perfectly matched and never was the pairing more perfect than this. The plaintive song, about the lengths to which a man will go when he is enraptured by a lady, was ideal for Sledge’s unusual, unrestrained Southern Gospel voice. This classic was remade dozens of times by others but the magic of Sledge’s original was never being recaptured by any other artist.

Sledge became a fixture on the oldies circuit for the next several decades and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.

Percy Sledge was a one-of-a-kind singer, whose career highlight will remain an equally bright highlight of the Golden Era of Soul Music.  And for that and more, he will continue to be celebrated. Godspeed, Percy Sledge.

Thanks to Chris Rizik and the crew at Soul Tracks for sharing this information.

 

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