Song of the Day: Lou Rawls, “A Natural Man”

Singer, veteran, fundraiser, composer, actor, and producer Lou Rawls was born on this day in 1933. Lou was always proud to say that he was from Chicago, and we were all proud that he was. It’s sad that, for all the recording that he did (60 albums in his career), he never got the recognition he so richly deserved. Frank Sinatra once said that Lou had the smoothest voice he ever heard. He worked tirelessly for the United Negro College Fund, holding an annual telethon for them. He was a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division of the US Army, leaving after three years as a sergeant. "A Natural Man" was written by comedian Sandy Baron and singer-songwriter Bobby Hebb (who wrote and recorded "Sunny" in 1966). Lou recorded the song in 1971, and it reached #17 on the Hot 100 and R&B chart and #14 on the Adult Contemporary chart. He won the 1972 Grammy for Best Male R&B Performance for the song.

8 thoughts on “Song of the Day: Lou Rawls, “A Natural Man”

    1. He had a fantastic voice, but he didn’t cross over like the Motown acts did. Berry Gordy made soul and R&B “safe” for white kids, but Lou wasn’t going to go that way, so he rarely showed up on Top 40.

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  1. Hi John – I loved some of his recordings – but this ‘A Natural Man’ is a delight to hear. I also didn’t know his background – sounds like a great guy to have around. Cheers Hilary

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