Throwback: Lou Rawls-Natural Man


Lou Rawls grew-up on the south side of Chicago where he joined his church’s choir by the age of seven. He went to the same highschool as Sam Cooke who he later sang with in the Teenage Kings Of Harmony and The Pilgrim Travelers. After touring the south and making his first recording with The Chosen Gospel Singers Rawls starting singing in clubs around Los Angeles. In 1962 his first solo album the jazz oriented I’d Rather Drink Muddy Water was released by Capitol Records. After nine albums his commercial breakthrough came from 1966’s R&B focused Soulin’ LP with the single “Love Is A Hurting Thing.” The Grammy nominations he earned for that project were fulfilled with 1967’s “Dead End Street” from Too Much one of three albums issued that year. “Natural Man” was written by Gerry Coffin, Carole King and Jerry Wexler and it attained a second Grammy for Rawls in 1971. He is mostly known for his 1976 hit “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine” from the All Things In Time project that also had the minor hit “Groovy People.” Next year he got his last Grammy for Unmistakably Lou and he continued to record amassing seventy albums in his career. Rawls also had an acting career that started with a small role in the 1960 film “77 Sunset Strip” and by 1980 started the successful Lou Rawls Parade Of Stars telethon that raises money for the United Negro College Fund. The pleasure of Rawl’s burnished baritone was not lost on younger generations as he has been referenced by rappers 3rd Bass, The Pharcyde, MF Doom and Naughty By Nature. Rawls died of cancer in 2006 leaving behind a ton of eternally good soul,gospel,jazz and blues music.