Proper soul fans have always had a soft spot for the great DON COVAY. His 60s songs ‘Mercy, Mercy’,’ See Saw’ and ‘Sookie Sookie’ were genuine soul staples. Then in the 70s stuff like ‘I Was Checkin’ Out She Was Checkin’ In’ and ‘It’s Better To Have’ were picked up by the more discerning. Many of that discerning crowd however were probably unaware of DON’S parallel career as a great song writer.
From the 50s and on to the 70s COVAY was a prolific songwriter, penning songs (many hits) for the likes of WILSON PICKETT, SOLOMON BURKE, ARETHA, JOE TEX, ETTA JAMES and many more.
Ace Records latest release in their ‘Songwriter’ series focuses on COVAY the writer and assembles a generous 26 of his songs in versions that range from the obvious to the more obscure and the downright eclectic. There’s stuff like ARETHA’S ‘Chain Of Fools’ and CHUBBY CHECKER’S ‘Pony Time’ cheek by jowl with BILLY FURY’S version of ‘Letter Full Of Tears’ and CONNIE FRANCIS’S take on ‘Mr Twister’. Great too to see that the compilers have dug into the UK’s 60s beat boom archive for material. Most jobbing 60s band featured COVAY material in their sets and here you can enjoy GRAHAM BOND’S version of ‘Long Tall Shorty’ and CLIFF BENNETT’S take on ‘See Saw’ as examples.
Other featured artists include MILLIE JACKSON, DEE CLARK, TINA BRITT, BEN E KING and THE STAPLE SINGERS
‘Have Mercy – the Songs of Don Covay’ is out now on Ace Records.