2019 has begun with the passing of two soul stalwarts – CLYDIE KING and LARRY CUNNINGHAM.
Ms King died on Wednesday, 9th January; she was 75. She was born in Atlanta in 1943 and began her singing career in her own group Little Clydie and the Teens. She was then recruited into the Raelets by Ray Charles but after three years she defected to work with Phil Spector on his classic recordings. Clydie soon became an in-demand session singer working with all kinds of people across all kinds of genres. Amongst the artists she worked with are Humble Pie, The Rolling Stones, Neil Diamond, B.B. King, Steely Dan, Joe Cocker, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Barbra Streisand and even Lynyrd Skynyrd. In a 1971 interview she said; “I don’t remember all the people who I sung for,” while Dylan said: “She was my ultimate singing partner. No one ever came close. We were two soulmates.”
Clydie King also enjoyed her own solo career. Amongst the labels she recorded for were Specialty, Philips, Imperial and Minit. Her biggest solo success was 1971’s ‘Bout Love’ but many of her solo recordings like the lovely ‘Love Now Pay Later’ are revered on the rare soul scene. Proper soul fans also cherish her duets with Jimmy Holiday – ‘We Got A Good Thing Going’ and ‘Ready, Willing And Able’.
It’s reported that King stopped recording in recent years to deal with unspecified health issues, The singer Merry Clayton (with whom Clydie often worked) said “She didn’t take any crap. She knew how to put you in your place, but she was so sweet you didn’t know you were there until a week later.”
“Cancer and my name is Larry, And I like a woman that loves everything and everybody, Because I love everybody and everything” is the verse that LARRY CUNNINGHAM took on the 1977 smash ‘Float On’ by the Floaters. Sadly Larry died, yesterday, Thursday 10th January; he was aged 67. An original member of the Floaters, Larry was born in Detroit in 1953 and he’d reportedly been suffering from health problems for years and was hospitalized in Tucson with chest pains in December.
‘Float On’ was a UK no 1 and reached no 2 in the US charts and was the group’s only major success though in their career they recorded four albums – all now, of course, collectable.