LOU RAWLS

Vocal Jazz / Blues / Soul Jazz / RnB • United States
Jazz music community with review and forums
LOU RAWLS picture
Louis Allen Rawls (December 1, 1933 – January 6, 2006) was an American soul music, jazz, and blues singer. He was known for his smooth vocal style: Frank Sinatra once said that Rawls had "the classiest singing and silkiest chops in the singing game".Rawls released more than 70 albums[citation needed], sold more than 40 million records[citation needed], appeared as an actor in motion pictures and on television, and voiced-over many cartoons. He had been called "The Funkiest Man Alive".

Lou Rawls, who learned of gospel music through his grandmother in Chicago, became a successful singer, primarily from the 1950s through the 1980s. He was a high school classmate of music giant Sam Cooke, and they sang together in the Teenage Kings of Harmony, a '50s gospel group.

After graduating from Chicago's Dunbar Vocational Career Academy, Rawls enlisted in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. He
read more...
Thanks to EZ Money for the updates

LOU RAWLS Online Videos

See all LOU RAWLS videos

Buy LOU RAWLS music

More places to buy metal & LOU RAWLS music

LOU RAWLS Discography

LOU RAWLS albums / top albums

LOU RAWLS Stormy Monday album cover 3.76 | 3 ratings
Stormy Monday
Blues 1962
LOU RAWLS Tobacco Road album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tobacco Road
Blues 1963
LOU RAWLS Black and Blue album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Black and Blue
Vocal Jazz 1963
LOU RAWLS Nobody but Lou album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Nobody but Lou
Vocal Jazz 1965
LOU RAWLS Lou Rawls and Strings album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Lou Rawls and Strings
Vocal Jazz 1965
LOU RAWLS The Soul-Stirring Gospel Sounds of the Pilgrim Travelers album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Soul-Stirring Gospel Sounds of the Pilgrim Travelers
Vocal Jazz 1966
LOU RAWLS Carryin' On! album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Carryin' On!
Blues 1966
LOU RAWLS Soulin' album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Soulin'
Vocal Jazz 1966
LOU RAWLS Too Much! album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Too Much!
Vocal Jazz 1967
LOU RAWLS That's Lou album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
That's Lou
Blues 1967
LOU RAWLS Merry Christmas Ho! Ho! Ho! album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Merry Christmas Ho! Ho! Ho!
Vocal Jazz 1967
LOU RAWLS Feelin' Good album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Feelin' Good
RnB 1968
LOU RAWLS You're Good for Me album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
You're Good for Me
Vocal Jazz 1968
LOU RAWLS The Way It Was: The Way It Is album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Way It Was: The Way It Is
Vocal Jazz 1969
LOU RAWLS Your Good Thing album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Your Good Thing
Vocal Jazz 1969
LOU RAWLS Close-Up album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Close-Up
Blues 1969
LOU RAWLS Bring It on Home album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Bring It on Home
Vocal Jazz 1970
LOU RAWLS You've Made Me So Very Happy album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
You've Made Me So Very Happy
Vocal Jazz 1970
LOU RAWLS Natural Man album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Natural Man
Soul Jazz 1971
LOU RAWLS Silk & Soul album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Silk & Soul
Soul Jazz 1972
LOU RAWLS A Man of Value album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Man of Value
Soul Jazz 1972
LOU RAWLS She's Gone album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
She's Gone
Vocal Jazz 1975
LOU RAWLS All Things in Time album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
All Things in Time
Vocal Jazz 1976
LOU RAWLS Naturally album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Naturally
Vocal Jazz 1976
LOU RAWLS When You Hear Lou, You've Heard It All album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
When You Hear Lou, You've Heard It All
Vocal Jazz 1977
LOU RAWLS Unmistakably Lou album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Unmistakably Lou
Vocal Jazz 1977
LOU RAWLS Let Me Be Good to You album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Let Me Be Good to You
Vocal Jazz 1979
LOU RAWLS Sit Down and Talk to Me album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sit Down and Talk to Me
Vocal Jazz 1980
LOU RAWLS Shades of Blue album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Shades of Blue
Vocal Jazz 1981
LOU RAWLS Now Is the Time album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Now Is the Time
Vocal Jazz 1982
LOU RAWLS When the Night Comes album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
When the Night Comes
Vocal Jazz 1983
LOU RAWLS Close Company album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Close Company
Vocal Jazz 1984
LOU RAWLS Love All Your Blues Away album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Love All Your Blues Away
Vocal Jazz 1986
LOU RAWLS Family Reunion album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Family Reunion
Vocal Jazz 1988
LOU RAWLS At Last album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
At Last
Vocal Jazz 1989
LOU RAWLS It's Supposed to Be Fun album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
It's Supposed to Be Fun
Vocal Jazz 1990
LOU RAWLS Portrait of the Blues album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Portrait of the Blues
Blues 1992
LOU RAWLS Christmas is the Time album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Christmas is the Time
Vocal Jazz 1993
LOU RAWLS For You My Love album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
For You My Love
Vocal Jazz 1994
LOU RAWLS A Merry Little Christmas album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Merry Little Christmas
Vocal Jazz 1995
LOU RAWLS Seasons 4 U album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Seasons 4 U
Vocal Jazz 1998
LOU RAWLS Swingin' Christmas album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Swingin' Christmas
Vocal Jazz 2000
LOU RAWLS I'm Blessed album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
I'm Blessed
Vocal Jazz 2001
LOU RAWLS Christmas Will Be Christmas album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Christmas Will Be Christmas
Vocal Jazz 2001
LOU RAWLS Oh Happy Day album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Oh Happy Day
Vocal Jazz 2002
LOU RAWLS Rawls Sings Sinatra album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rawls Sings Sinatra
Vocal Jazz 2003

LOU RAWLS EPs & splits

LOU RAWLS live albums

LOU RAWLS Live! album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live!
Vocal Jazz 1966
LOU RAWLS Live at the Century Plaza album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at the Century Plaza
Soul Jazz 1973
LOU RAWLS Lou Rawls Live album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Lou Rawls Live
Soul Jazz 1978

LOU RAWLS demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

LOU RAWLS re-issues & compilations

LOU RAWLS Classics album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Classics
Vocal Jazz 1984
LOU RAWLS The Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Collection
Vocal Jazz 1989
LOU RAWLS Legendary album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Legendary
Vocal Jazz 1991
LOU RAWLS Portrait of the Blues album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Portrait of the Blues
Vocal Jazz 1992
LOU RAWLS Love Songs album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Love Songs
Vocal Jazz 1995
LOU RAWLS Ballads album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ballads
Vocal Jazz 1997
LOU RAWLS The Best of Lou Rawls - The Classic Philadelphia Recordings album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of Lou Rawls - The Classic Philadelphia Recordings
Vocal Jazz 1998
LOU RAWLS Let Me Be Good To You / Lou Rawls Live album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Let Me Be Good To You / Lou Rawls Live
Vocal Jazz 1999
LOU RAWLS Anthology album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Anthology
Vocal Jazz 2000
LOU RAWLS Finest Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Finest Collection
Vocal Jazz 2003
LOU RAWLS I Can't Make It Alone: The Axelrod Years album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
I Can't Make It Alone: The Axelrod Years
Vocal Jazz 2004
LOU RAWLS When You Hear Lou, You've Heard It All / Live album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
When You Hear Lou, You've Heard It All / Live
Vocal Jazz 2005
LOU RAWLS All Things in Time / Unmistakably Lou album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
All Things in Time / Unmistakably Lou
Vocal Jazz 2005
LOU RAWLS Black and Blue and Tobacco Road album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Black and Blue and Tobacco Road
Vocal Jazz 2006
LOU RAWLS The Very Best of Lou Rawls: You'll Never Find Another album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Very Best of Lou Rawls: You'll Never Find Another
Vocal Jazz 2006
LOU RAWLS The Best of Lou Rawls: The Capitol Jazz & Blues Sessions album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of Lou Rawls: The Capitol Jazz & Blues Sessions
Vocal Jazz 2006
LOU RAWLS The Very Best of Lou Rawls album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Very Best of Lou Rawls
Vocal Jazz 2011
LOU RAWLS The Very Best Of album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Very Best Of
Vocal Jazz 2014

LOU RAWLS singles (0)

LOU RAWLS movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

LOU RAWLS Reviews

LOU RAWLS Stormy Monday

Album · 1962 · Blues
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Chicapah
I have no problem placing Lou Rawls in the same category of pioneers such as Ray Charles, Louis Armstrong and Nat King Cole when it comes to black jazz vocalists who were able to crossover into the mainstream at a time when the United States was still a very segregated and color-biased country. It seemed easier to do that if you were appealing to the young baby boomers through the magic of rock & roll as Chuck Berry, Little Richard and others were doing. But the adult contemporary scene in the early 60s was much more exclusive and hard to crack. It took more than comical duck walks and wild-eyed wails to coerce many in the white community to overlook their ignorant racism and accept artists like Rawls as being not just marginally acceptable but worthy of respect. Lou’s rich baritone was simply too enticing and pleasing to ignore, however, and he became a household name in American society over a relatively short span of time. None other than Frank Sinatra once said that in his prime Rawls “had the classiest singing and the silkiest chops in the singing game.” Lofty praise, indeed.

Born and raised on the south side of Chicago where his gospel roots were sown, he eventually relocated to Los Angeles in the mid 50s. After a stint as a paratrooper in the Army he toured the south with Sam Cooke as a member of the Pilgrim Travelers. He was almost killed in a bad automobile accident while on the road but he made a miraculous recovery, later saying that the near-death incident changed his outlook on life drastically. He went back to California and started appearing in hip nightclubs like the Troubadour where he was discovered by Capitol Records and signed to a contract in 1962. After a single failed to chart Lou talked the label into letting him record an album of jazz and blues standards with Les McCann Ltd., a local trio he’d heard and was impressed with. The result was this, Rawls’ debut LP. One of the advantages of attending a university with a reputable jazz program like North Texas State was the plethora of cheap vinyl cutouts for sale in the student union building. In the early 70s I made it a priority to thumb through the stacks of one-dollar discs two or three times a week and many of my most treasured jazz-related albums hail from that era. “Stormy Monday” is one of those shiny gems.

There is something so incredibly refreshing about the simplicity of a great singer backed with only piano, upright bass and drums for accompaniment. The opener, “(They Call It) Stormy Monday” by T. Bone Walker, will tell you everything you need to know about this record. The band’s swinging, up-tempo version of this classic is highly satisfying as Lou’s voice and Les’ tight combo proved to be a wonderful match of talents. By stretching his upper register in the latter half of the track Rawls clearly reveals his strong soul and R&B foundations and both influences run deep. “God Bless the Child” is next. Most vocalists can’t seem to help themselves and they end up overreaching terribly when taking on this fine Billie Holiday standard but Lou displays tasteful restraint and the result is a joyful indulgence for your ears. McCann’s delicate piano runs are exquisite. “See See Rider” follows and it’s a fairly uneventful take on Ma Rainey’s blues mainstay but Les’ flawless technique in tickling the ivories is well worth hanging in there for a listen. Ann Ronell’s nostalgic, sappy “Willow Weep for Me” was never anything to write home about but in the hands of this experienced crew it transcends its own limitations. Their sultry rendition creates an intoxicating mood and I detect a hint of Brubeck in McCann’s playing, adding an intriguing ingredient to his bluesy point of view. Rawls’ vocal is tantalizingly expressive. “I’m Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town” is another jazzed up slice of traditional blues wherein Lou shows off his cool, breezy falsetto.

For their cover of Leroy Carr’s “In the Evening (When the Sun Goes Down)” they begin with Lou crooning with only Leroy Vinnegar’s slinky bass for company and it makes for a splendid and timely change of pace. It’s an excellent track for the listener to hear why Capitol was so excited about Rawls’ massive potential. Percy Grainger’s saucy “’Taint Nobody’s Biz-ness If I Do” is next and it’s a great version of a great song. Nothing fancy about it, just a smooth-as-glass groove that’s perfection in motion motoring underneath Lou’s smug, defiant singing. “Lost and Lookin’” is a bluesy ballad written by Louis Jordan in which Rawls’ emotional delivery conveys a palpable, touching sadness. Les’ piano work is deliciously dream-like from start to end. Eddie Miller’s “I’d Rather Drink Muddy Water” follows and it sports a freewheeling blues shuffle complete with a playful attitude supplied mainly by McCann’s coy attack on the 88s. “Sweet Lover” serves as the closer and it has the kind of rolling feel that Les would exploit marvelously on his live project with Eddie Harris, the landmark “Swiss Movement” LP, some years later. Lou lets the raspy side of his captivating voice loose on this cut, proving that he had a considerable amount of power in reserve behind his usually-mellow style.

What I really love about this album is how it makes me feel like I’m sitting in a cozy jazz establishment at eleven on a Friday night, just soaking in some high-class sounds with some friends at my table and on the intimate, dimly-lit stage. Rawls, McCann, Vinnegar and drummer Ron Jefferson aren’t trying to fool anybody with clever shortcuts or slight of hand shenanigans on this record. This is the kind of jazzy blues music they knew how to play with blindfolds on and the authenticity they captured in these unadorned sessions is difficult to come by. Lou Rawls had a special voice that made people pay attention to him and, by showcasing it on some of the classiest tunes around in ‘62, he demonstrated that he deserved a chance at stardom. When you realize that when he passed away in 2006 he had over 70 albums in his catalogue of recordings and had amassed a tally of over 40 million units sold worldwide in his career you have to agree that he made the most of his opportunity. This humble but extremely enjoyable debut LP was just the start of something truly admirable.

LOU RAWLS Stormy Monday

Album · 1962 · Blues
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
This is Lou Rawl’s first LP and possibly one of his jazziest too. This is an interesting one time pairing with Lou’s modern RnB flavored vocals matched with Les McCann’s gospel flavored soul-jazz piano and a minimal accompaniment of stand-up bass and trap set. The tunes chosen for this outing are well known blues classics and have been played as everything from hard rock to retro jump blues. Lou and Les opt for a classic swing feel making this album a perfectly balnced and even blend of jazz and blues that was a purposeful anachronism at the time of its recording. Their goal was something similar to early 50’s RnB and to that end they succeeded, classic swing vocal crowd pleasing bar jazz also comes to mind when hearing this record. These are the blues tunes that the jazz band will break out when the crowd gets more aggressive late at night.

Lou’s vocals are great as always, and Les and his band are up for the occasion, but I can’t help but wonder what this recording date would have sounded like if they had approached this with a more contemporary sound. Rawls has a very powerful voice and I’m not sure if a mere acoustic trio is enough to provide the power to support that big vocal delivery of his. It would have been nice to hear this set with McCann on an electric piano plus electric bass with a stronger mix for the drums, now that would have really rocked.

If you like blues played with a classic swing jazz feel, this one is for you.

LOU RAWLS Movies Reviews

No LOU RAWLS movie reviews posted yet.

LOU RAWLS Shouts

Please login to post a shout
No shouts posted yet. Be the first member to do so above!

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
A Love Supreme Post Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
CHARLES MINGUS
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

Benny's Crib Hard Bop
BENNY GREEN (PIANO)
Buy this album from MMA partners
The Latin Jazz Project Afro-Cuban Jazz
SPANISH HARLEM ORCHESTRA
Buy this album from MMA partners
Sunshine Seas Dub Dub/Ska/Reggae
NEW ZION TRIO
Buy this album from MMA partners
A Day In The Life Fusion
QUENTIN COLLINS
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

Moving Forward
HOWES3
js· 15 hours ago
All In Love Is Fair
10000 VARIOUS ARTISTS
js· 15 hours ago
Raw Poetic & Damu the Fudgemunk- Moment of Change Full Album Audio
DAMU THE FUDGEMUNK & RAW POETIC
js· 1 day ago
"A Lot of Livin' to Do" - Benny Benack III
BENNY BENACK III
js· 1 day ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Jazz News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us