Wax Wonders :: RIP Don Covay

As the years march on, it's only inevitable that we lose the musical heroes of days gone by at a steady and sad rate. Our most recent loss is the great Don Covay at the age of 76. While Covay's name was not well known outside of soul aficionados, the songs he had a hand in penning are stamped indelibly into music history. See: "Mercy, Mercy", "Sookie, Sookie" and "Chain of Fools" -- tracks that will forever be etched into the souls of music lovers everywhere.

Covay was a South Carolina native whose church upbringing (his father was a preacher) is obvious in his powerhouse vocal delivery. Beyond that, I've long been struck by the poetic simplicity and directness of Covay's lyrics which make his writing and recordings so appealing. Don's career began when he was just out of his teenage years, as he began working as Little Richard's chauffeur and occasional opening act. As an artist, Covay struggled as a performer and songwriter for six years until "Mercy, Mercy" became his first R&B hit in 1964. Not only did the track become a soul standard, but it is also notable for the appearance of young Jimi Hendrix on guitar in one of his first forays as a session man.

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