It’s been a while since our last Fantastic Foursome, so I’ll remind everybody how it works. I pick a classic song and tell you a little about it, and I usually include the definitive version of the song. Then I present four alternative performances and give you the opportunity to vote for your favorite.
Today’s song is one that has actually had a couple of different lives. Originally showing up in the early 1930s, “Try a Little Tenderness” was a song meant for sweet bands and crooners. In fact, it was first recorded in 1932 by Ray Noble and his orchestra, with vocal by Val Rosing. Just about everybody got around to making a record of it in subsequent years, including singers like Sinatra, Mel Tormé, and Perry Como. (But apparently not Steve Lawrence, who I was going to include below in honor of his long-time wife Edie Gorme’s recent death.)
But a very different take on the song arrived in the 1960s when R&B legend Otis Redding turned it into a soul classic. His style inspired countless others in later years, including Percy Sledge, Three Dog Night, and the amazing 16 year-old Andrew Strong in the 1991 film, The Commitments. Even country blues singer Charlie Rich took a shot at it, and a pretty good one at that.
Take a listen, then vote at the bottom — entirely optional. 🙂
Charlie Rich – Commitments – Perry Como – Ray Noble Orchestra