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Percy Sledge

Percy Sledge will forever be associated with "When a Man Loves a Woman," a pleading, soulful ballad he sang with wrenching, convincing anguish and passion. Sledge sang all of his songs that way, delivering them in a powerful rush where he quickly changed from soulful belting to quavering, tearful pleas. It was a voice that made him one of the key figures of deep Southern soul during the late '60s. Sledge recorded at Muscle Shoals studios in Alabama, where he frequently sang songs written by Spooner Oldham and Dan Penn. Not only did he sing deep soul, but Sledge was among the pioneers of country-soul, singing songs by Charlie Rich and Kris Kristofferson in a gritty, passionate style. During the '70s, his commercial success quickly faded away, but Sledge continued to tour and record into the '90s.

While he worked as a hospital nurse in the early '60s, Sledge began his professional music career as a member of the Southern soul vocal group the Esquires Combo. On the advice of local disc jockey Quin Ivy, he went solo in 1966. Ivy fancied himself a record producer and he agreed to help shape Sledge's song "When a Man Loves a Woman" into a full-fledged single, hiring Spooner Oldham to play a distinctive, legato organ phrase. Ivy released the single independently and quickly licensed it to Atlantic Records, who quickly bought out Sledge's contract. "When a Man Loves a Woman" became a huge hit in the summer of 1966, topping both the pop and R&B charts. It was quickly followed that year by two Top Ten R&B hits, "Warm and Tender Love" and "It Tears Me Up," which were both in the vein of his first hit. Although few of his subsequent singles were hits -- only "Take Time to Know Her" reached the R&B Top Ten in 1968 -- many of the songs, which were often written by Dan Penn and/or Oldham, were acknowledged as classics among soul aficionados.

Despite his strong reputation among deep soul fans, Sledge's sales had declined considerably by the early '70s, and he headed out on the club circuit in America and England. In 1974, he left Atlantic for Capricorn Records, where he surprisingly returned to the R&B Top 20 with "I'll Be Your Everything." Instead of re-igniting his career, the single was a last gasp, as far as chart success was concerned. Over the next two decades he continued to tour, and in the late '80s, "When a Man Loves a Woman" experienced a resurgence in popularity, due to its inclusion in movie soundtracks and in television commercials. Following its appearance in a 1987 Levi commercial in the U.K., the single was re-released and climbed to number two. Two years later, he won the Rhythm and Blues Foundation's Career Achievement Award. Sledge was able to turn this revived popularity into a successful career by touring constantly, playing over 100 shows a year into the '90s. In 1994, he released Blue Night, his first collection of new material in over a decade, to uniformly positive reviews. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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Love you Percy, rip
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We MISS u, Percy!!!!!!! ! ! :'(:'(:'(:'( : - ) :-) :-) :-) :'(
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vero83.vs52
What a beautiful song r.i.p.
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RIP! You will never be forgotten.
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easyturbo9
Bless his soul. RIP. You were the best!
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This is a very beautiful song may Percy r I p
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We All Love You Percy !! Never actually had a chance to meet you in person , but you will be truly missed and never forgotten !!
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Saw him at cypress bayou casino in Baldwin Louisiana 4 or 5 years ago
Great show
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Martes 04/21/15

Bellas sus canciones,di o s lo tenga en la gloria del cielo.Descan s e en paz.Nadie muere del todo,cuando se le recuerda con cariño.
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prncess_tna
oldies are forever! ��❤️
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prncess_tna
r.i.p ����❤️
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Rest In Peace Mr. Sledge. Your voice will always be cherished like a delicate flower.
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I have always wrap you in my warm tender love; rest in peace and thank you for bringing beautiful music to my ear...
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I have been listening to this music all night long & I just love it.
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Rest n peace,, Ur music continues on forever ��
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R.i.p
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Rest In Peace Mr. Sledge. Keep on singing up in the Heavens.
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stewartcal62
I remember hearing Mr. Sledge in 1969 and never stop listening since. The passion in his songs will be unforgettabl e and miss! May the Lord continue to bless his family because his passing leave: A LITTLE PAIN IN ALL OUR HEARTS
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R.I.P. Good memories, Thks !!!!!!!!!!!!
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We're going to miss my brother. Thanks for the great tunes
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R.I.P. Mr. Sledge.
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HE WILL BE MISSED
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RIP Buddy
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Rip...smoky &poppe..dark alley
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I still remember the first time I heard 'When a man loves a woman whebn he initally recorded it.. ......and baby, that was a long tie go! Great voice and emotion!
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Rest in peace, friend, and thank you for the great music.
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RIP u we always b missed
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Rest in Paradise
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RIP Percy
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RIP
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RIP Percy....a true legend :')
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Loved you dearest
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RIP music genius
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Rest In Haven
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dbronx137
Heavens got to be a cool place now. RIP Percy
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RIP
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shera09314
Rest in peace
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Will miss you Percy
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candiceyoung 1 5 3
RIP
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RIP
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RIP WILL BE TRULY MISSED
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He will be miss r.I.P
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RIP
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RIP
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RIP
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RIP Percy. A legend...
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I love all of Percy. Too hard to pick a favorite !
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One of my favorites... t h a t ' s the way it ought to be
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I've Been Loving You Too Long....favo r i t e song by Percy
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HEY U GUY'S OF THIS WORLD TODAY PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF THIS SONG ALSO TO US LADYS BE THE BACK BONE ..
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