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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Farewell to Percy Sledge, singer of the most inappropriate wedding song of all

Soul songs used to be just like country songs. They were about something. They had plots, moments of jeopardy, shattering climaxes as a result of which the singer learned important lessons. Usually too late to do anything but write a song about it.

Percy Sledge, who has just died at the age of seventy-three, played the part of the cuckold. His signature hit, "When A Man Loves A Woman", is about a man who is so blinded by love that he can't see what a bad lot he's just married. Given that, it beggars belief that people still regularly ask for this record as the first dance of a newly-married couple.

Percy repeated the trick with "Take Time To Know Her". In this song he takes his new love to see his mama. She tells him not to rush into things. To take time to know her, in fact. Does he listen? What do you think?