on image for publication quality photo
LEGENDARY LOU RAWLS ON COLUMBIA THEATRE
STAGE APRIL 29
HAMMOND -- Critics have
called Lou Rawls’ voice “sweet as sugar, soft as velvet, strong and steel,
smooth as butter.” The rhythm and blues icon, whose career spans 60-plus
albums, three Grammy wins and platinum and gold recordings, will bring
his unforgettable voice to Southeastern Louisiana University’s Columbia
Theatre for the Performing Arts on April 29.
Curtain time at the historic
downtown Hammond theater is 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the Columbia
box office, 220 E. Thomas Street, 985-543-4371. Ticket prices are $38,
Orchestra 1 and Loge; $32, Orchestra 2 and Balcony 1; $26, Orchestra 3
and Balcony 2. Box office hours are noon-5 p.m., weekdays. Tickets are
also available online through TicketWeb, www.ticketweb.com.
After more than four decades
and hits such as “Lady Love” and “You’ll Never Find (Another Love Like
Mine),” Rawls continues to epitomize the ultimate song stylist with a musical
identity that is as distinctive and instantly recognizable as any in music.
During his four-decade
career as a vocalist, Rawls has captured fans of a variety of musical genres.
He has also made popular appearances on television series from “Baywatch
Nights” to “Fantasy Island” and in feature films such as “Leaving Las Vegas,”
“Blues Brothers 2000,” and “Everything’s Jake.” The versatile performer
has even done voice-overs for animated hits such as “Rugrats: the Movie,”
“Here Comes Garfield” and “Hercules.”
From his early days in
gospel to his collaborations with Sam Cooke; from the “Dick Clark Show”
at the Hollywood Bowl in 1959 to the opening for The Beatles in 1962 at
Crosley Field in Cincinnati; from his monologues in the 70’s that presaged
rap music to becoming a "crossover" artist before the term was invented,
his distinctive voice has been the constant in his career.
"I've gone the full spectrum--from
gospel to blues to jazz to soul to pop,” Rawls said, “and the public has
accepted what I've done through it all. I think it means I've been doing
something right at the right time."
“Love Is A Hurtin'
Thing” in 1966 shot Rawls to the top and garnered two Grammy nominations.
In 1971 Rawls won the Downbeat magazine poll for favorite male vocalist,
besting perennial champ Frank Sinatra, who had praised him for having "the
classiest singing and silkiest chops in the singing game."
Although he won a second
Grammy for “Natural Man,” Rawls balked at disco. In 1975, while other artists
succumbed to the beat, Rawls moved to Philadelphia International, the mecca
of producers/songwriters Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, and their renowned
Philly sound. His integrity was rewarded the next year when “You'll Never
Find (Another Love Like Mine)” became his biggest hit. The next year he
took home his third Grammy, Best R&B Vocal Performance, for “Unmistakably
In 1976, Rawls became the
corporate spokesman for Anheuser Busch, the world's largest brewery, that
led in 1980 to that company's sponsorship of two events which have continued
to this day. One was a series of concerts for American military personnel
on bases around the world. The other was a telethon whose proceeds, now
more than $200 million, are donated to the United Negro College Fund.
In 1998 Rawls released
his most recent album “Seasons 4 U” on his own newly created record label,
Rawls & Brokaw Records. As always, he continues to tour extensively,
from clubs to jazz festivals, from America to Europe to Asia.
Throughout the years, Rawls
has stayed true to his voice.
"People may not know what
I'm doing," he said of his changing styles, "but they know it's me."
For additional information
about the concert and other events at the Columbia Theatre, contact the
theater office, 985-543-4366, or visit www.selu.edu/columbia.