Hello readers,

Welcome back to our tribute to Black music month.

Last time we paid tribute to the great falsettos in classic Black music.

This time I want to focus on the great bass singers in R&B.

What would dynamic soul music be without the rich baritone voices that have been the inspiration and backdrop to some of our greatest love affairs?

One of my favorite bass singers was Melvin Franklin of the Temptations.

I remember the temptations’ rendition of Silent Night when I was a child. Melvin’s deep vocals on the track made the song distinctive and memorable.

Because of Melvin’s contributions, I felt that African Americans could claim Christmas as a holiday of our own.

I remember on Papa Was a Rolling Stone-perhaps one of my favorite Temptations’ songs of all times-Melvin’s addition of “Now That Aint Right.”

Although Dennis Edwards without a doubt owned the song from start to finish, without Melvin’s part, the song would have appeared incomplete.

For me, Melvin was immortalized in the Temptations’ reunion song Standing on the Top when he sang “We Want the Funk”.

This song was a testament to the staying power of the soul and tenacity of R&B.

I t was the last time when the original members would perform together again.

Lou Rawls…….

Lou was the ultimate natural man!!!!

Lou Rawls first came into my consciousness when I was a pre-adolescent with the hit You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine.

This song was Lou’s signature hit that identified him across generations.


Because of the lasting longevity of this song, I presumed that this was his breakout hit.

I knew that he had a long singing career.

I didn’t know that preceding this song, he had best sellers such as Natural man and Tobacco Road.

My favorite Lou Rawls song is I’ll See You When I Get There.

I love the intro when he makes a call to his lady love: How you’re doing, I hope that you’re fine. Did your day take you through changes and mess up your mind.

Out of Sight……

This is one of those easy listening mellow grooves that you can swear was just recorded yesterday.

Lou Rawls was definitely a master of the grown and sexy.

And, speaking of grown and sexy, Isaac Hayes was definitely one of its progenitors.

Brother Isaac…….

Soul man # 1 was the force behind such hits as the theme song Shaft, By the Time I Get to Phoenix, Do Your Thing, I Stand Accused…..

Readers don’t laugh…..

One of my life’s fantasies includes being serenaded by Isaac while he sings Dionne Warwick’s classic Walk on Bye.

Isaac’s soul drenched version conjures a man steeped in pain over the loss of a lady he loves very much. He is in so much pain, that he forbids her to acknowledge him.

Probably more than falsettos, bass singers have the power to project the most raw of human emotions.

Especially when it comes to romance.

When it comes to Romance,

Barry White, the maestro of love, has no peers.

I repeat- no peers!!!!

Barry has produced such a vast corpus of seductive love ballads that I don’t even know where to begin…….


Honey Please….

I Got So Much to Give….

I can’t Get Enough of Your Love Babe….


Love Serenade….

Staying Power…..

Never Gonna Give you Up……

Let the Music Play…

Baby Blues….

Love Making Music….

You Turned My Whole World Around…..

You’re the First, the Last, My Everything…..

Practice What You Preach…..

See, I told you readers.

Pick a favorite Barry White song.

Imagine this song without Barry’s lush and seductive baritones.

Pick say for instance-Never Gonna Give You Up.

Remember when Barry sings….Whatever you want, girl you got it. And whatever you need I don’t want to see you without it.

The sexual and emotional impact of this song demands that strong rich Black texture to make it come alive and be the bedrock of which fantasies are made.

Barry’s Love Serenade is one of the most sex engaged songs that I ever heard.

It sends shivers down my spine even now when Barry sings..

Take it off. Baby take it all off. I want you the way you came into the world. I don’t want to feel no clothes. I don’t want to see no panties and take off that brassiere my dear.

Eric Benet, Keith Washington and other contemporary balladeers seem like generic carbon copies compared to Barry.

One often overlooked but noticeably trait of Black Bass singers is well-their Blackness.

Whether by fate or design, the richness of the vocals of Black bass singers matched with the deep richness of their complexion makes for a powerful combination in the recorded history of classic Soul/R&B.

Join me next time readers when we explore the richness of Blue Eyed Soul.

Until Next Time…..