Lou Rawls

Lou Rawls, who died on January 6, 2006, had one of the most distinct baritone voices in contemporary music. A musical icon, he had recorded and performed nearly everything - from blues, jazz, swing standards and pop, to soul, rhythm and blues and even disco. Although he had a few big hits on the pop charts, Rawls is best known for the soulful classic "You'll Never Find A Love Like Mine."

He began his career with another R&B legend,Sam Cooke, in the 1950s with the Pilgrim Travelers, a gospel group. He left for a stint in the army in 1955 in its 82nd Airborne Division, before receiving an honorable discharge in 1958 and returning to the Pilgrims.

While on tour with the gospel group, he was injured in a near fatal car crash (Sam Cooke was in the car but escaped serious injury), and was actually pronounced dead on the way to the hospital. In the emergency room, he was revived, and after being in a coma for a week, awakened with a fresh attitude and a new lease on life. His recovery took a year, but when it was over, he embarked on a solo career.

He saw considerable success through the 1960s, working all over in both the mainstream tours like the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars Tour and in the R&B driven Chitlin' circuit. In 1964 he even opened for The Beatles in Ohio. In 1975, he was signed to the Gamble/Huff label, Philadelphia International. It was there he recorded "You'll Never Find A Love Like Mine," which topped the charts around the world. After that success, he launched an annual telethon for the United Negro College Fund, which continues today. In his later years, he had become more of a Vegas icon, performing mostly classic standards (such as his version of "All The Way," featured here).

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