Percy Sledge recorded sporadically, primarily earning his living from live performances since he received no songwriting royalties from his biggest hit. The way soul singer Percy Sledge often told the story, his unexpected entry into pop music immortality came out of a Christmas party performance gone south. Sledge, who had been working as a hospital orderly and was often asked by patients to sing for them, was invited to entertain at a holiday gathering not long after his girlfriend had dumped him and headed to Los Angeles to pursue a modeling career, taking one of his best friends along as her new beau. He told the band working with him to hit a chord, and began pouring his heart out about the pain he was going through. Against the odds, it quickly rose to No.
So the title hits you right off the top. In Hit Songwritingyou learn that there is a craft of writing pop music where you tell a bit of a story, but then you quickly get to the chorus.
Michael bolton on the power of 'when a man loves a woman'
That beginning creates an indelible melody and sets a scene that elicits an emotional response. Oh… This is about a man being in love. During my shows, this is the one moment when I get off stage and actually go out into the middle of the audience to perform the song. All songs remind me of experiences in my life, though not necessarily about one particular person.
And whatever is in my heart at that moment finds its way into delivering the song live. I only finally had large success with Soul Provider in Just when I was about to turn in my album, Tommy Mottola, the president of Sony, came into the studio. But then I got an unexpected response from one executive at the label. I called upon my producer Walter Afanasieff and dragged him out of his family vacation to re-record the song with me … eight more times.
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We worked tirelessly and listened back. My first version was still the strongest.
I went back to the label and insisted, the song stay on the album. It went straight to one, I won a Grammy for vocal performance. It just skyrocketed and drove the album to sell over 16 million worldwide.
When a man loves a woman (song)
Being able to record that song was one of the most important experiences of my life. It was Percy who first brought the song to life.
It was live in Chicago, for VH1—a pared down, invite-only, special guests event. He was so generous and just a wonderful human being. And then he sang it beautifully. Percy far exceeded. Singing with him is forever a moment in my life I remember and carry with me. It was Michael Bolton. at letters time. By Michael Bolton. Be the first to see the new cover of TIME and get our most compelling stories delivered straight to your inbox. Please enter a valid address. Please attempt to up again.
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