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The Hersch

Joe Tex (1935-1982) - Singer-Songwriter Best Known for His "Country Soul" Sound

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I know it's a little bit hard not to cringe at the complacent sexism of this material, but Joe Tex was one of the greatest soul singers we ever had, and this was probably his definitive recording, "Hold What You've Got", from 1964. And I love it. I never had the pleasure of seeing Joe Tex perform live.

 

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Were you around during his hits or following his career? 

I ask only because I was not.  I knew of him only by the late 70s, when he was kind of a footnote.   The hits he had seemed to pigeonhole the guy into a kind of R rated, adult party record mode - which probably paid the bills but (maybe?) kept him from greater things (somewhat like Clarence Carter).   At least, that's the sense I got from afar.  Am I right?  Too bad - he seemed, talent-wise, like a one-man Sam and Dave. 

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I was around during his hits, and remember "Hold What You Got" and several other records from when they were getting play on top-40 radio, but I didn't really start paying close attention to soul music until about 1970, when Memphis soul lay dying. Always late to the party, the story of my life. It's funny, and probably true, what you say about the R-rated, adult-party-record compartmentalizing of the material he was given to record, especially in light of the fact that he was among the most thoroughly church-gospel inflected of all the Memphis soul singers of his era. But I really haven't studied Joe Tex's career in sufficient depth to answer your question.

Here's a very churchy hit from 1965, "The Love You Save (May Be Your Own)":

On the other hand, and more in line with what you suggest, his last single to chart in the U.S. was the 1977 release "Ain't Gonna Bump No More (with No Big Fat Woman)", but I certainly wasn't following his career at that point

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On 8/29/2016 at 10:51 PM, The Hersch said:

I was around during his hits, and remember "Hold What You Got" and several other records from when they were getting play on top-40 radio, but I didn't really start paying close attention to soul music until about 1970, when Memphis soul lay dying. Always late to the party, the story of my life. It's funny, and probably true, what you say about the R-rated, adult-party-record compartmentalizing of the material he was given to record, especially in light of the fact that he was among the most thoroughly church-gospel inflected of all the Memphis soul singers of his era. But I really haven't studied Joe Tex's career in sufficient depth to answer your question.

Here's a very churchy hit from 1965, "The Love You Save (May Be Your Own)":

On the other hand, and more in line with what you suggest, his last single to chart in the U.S. was the 1977 release "Ain't Gonna Bump No More (with No Big Fat Woman)", but I certainly wasn't following his career at that point

Good stuff - yeah, I know his "Show Me" and "Skinny Legs and All" and both are arguably suggestive or more novelty than average.  But...then again...R&B was kind of like that then.  From Joe Turner to James Brown - at least some of this was kept in the basement away from mom and dad.  :)

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On 8/29/2016 at 2:41 PM, jayandstacey said:

I ask only because I was not.  I knew of him only by the late 70s, when he was kind of a footnote.   The hits he had seemed to pigeonhole the guy into a kind of R rated, adult party record mode - which probably paid the bills but (maybe?) kept him from greater things (somewhat like Clarence Carter).   At least, that's the sense I got from afar.  Am I right?  Too bad - he seemed, talent-wise, like a one-man Sam and Dave. 

Yes, you're right. The only song I remembered by Joe Tex was "I Gotcha," and we all thought it was *highly* amusing when we were in fifth grade; he was much more than that.

I assume you're not familiar with Doug Clark and the Hot Nuts-_-

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On 8/29/2016 at 10:51 PM, The Hersch said:

Here's a very churchy hit from 1965, "The Love You Save (May Be Your Own)":

*Not* to be confused by the song of the same name by The Jackson Five!

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