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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

taty24ny
A legendary song...never grows old listening to it. And the heartfelt voice of Percy is classic!
Yes yes
One of the great voices of the 60's
Great Bump and Grind Music
Hey ladies want to lose weight fast? Check this out! http://e0387 5 m 8 a y g k 4 v 1 n s g 9 g j g o y b 4 . h o p . c l i c k b a n k . n e t /
Need a lady right now
One of the Best!!!
Great singer good dance song.
Great listening pleasure
The man with the plan
jhansford9
Best song ever!
They will still be listening to him in fifty years time - great
Just love his music
Percy's great always -
cboothe78
In 1973 at a live show in Monroe, La at the Reddog Saloon., I danced to this song with my first love...and wife. It will always be my favorite love+soul song. Percy was a master.
My heart swells with love when I hear this song for my baby and me.
josephlois5
Oooooh chills!
'when a man loves a woman' was playing when my son was born.. I;ll never forget that fhining.beau t i f u l moment
saw percy on pbs special - hes still got it - great song when a man loves a woman - yeh
im hopeless xD
I love Percy sledge music?
man i wished i'd listened and took time to know her. oh well sh** happened
all of percy's songs are great
I was very young when he released when a man love a woman. I thought it great then and still loves hearing it today.
Like
I love Percy, but I don't like his rendition of this song. Classic IV took this to a whole other level. When a man, loves a woman is the bomb and that is his signature song. No one can sing it like Percy.
matthewheaps
Perabeth :)
True dat. "Take time to know her".
mhg637
He is great. !!!!!
He's music is alright

I'm
Simple Sensual Soulful.
Percy holds me throughout this song!
I don't like u but I love u..... firme oldie
haller!!hall e r ! ! ! c h e e r s to all a goodnight!!! love your support is such blessing!!!3 3 3 ! ! ! h o p e you pray ask for forgiveness maybe hell let you slide????333 ! ! ! ! !
Percy is The MAN
Still like this song.
Love his music $$$
When A Man Loves A Woman.... #Classic
Always loved this jam. So beautiful and what a voice!
When you done all that you can do,let the little Bird loose see if she comes back to You.9k*978*4 m 1 4 y ~
Remember when it was fresh
Great song.
Percy Sledge was one of the all time great soul artists. I bought his LPs in the 1960s in the UK. I felt the soul before even knowing or seeing anything about most of these guys.
Never heard this. version but. LOVE it! Loved the original version nut Percy puts A hurt in on. It!
His music will always be heard.
Big blue diamonds
Gemela3 Love»»»»»»Lo v e
Don't read this, because it actually works.You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday, by the love of your life.Tomorro w will be the best day of your life. However, if you don't post this, you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading this, don't stop.This is so scary. Post this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done, press f6 and your lovers name will come up on the screen .This is so scary, because it works
4 days ago
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