I’ll need to get some time and write out my thoughts in some detail after hearing the news that Don Covay has died. I’ve loved Covay since discovering the man behind so many songs I first knew by other artists, thanks to a collection put out by the record label owned by a friend’s brother. My friend E. Pluribus Gergely and I, with whom I argued over who was better, Covay or Joe Tex (he was on Team Tex), went to a soul revue in Atlantic City about 10 to 15 years ago. Lloyd Price took a moment, at one point, to note his friend Don Covay in the audience. He made Don stand up and take a bow. A big guy in a white suit did as instructed. He was about 5 seats down from us. We so wanted to leap over the people beside us and hang with Covay!
Covay was probably the most rocking of R&B guys (see “Sookie Sookie” among songs rockers covered with ease and success) – not in an over-the-top “white” way but in terms of playing guitar-based rhythms that perfectly bridged the slight gap in the ’60s of “white” and “black” music. Graham Parker & the Rumour‘s live cover of “Chain of Fools” comes to mind. His knack for out-Stonesing the Stones continued into the early ’70s, with the amazing song “Hot Blood.” I can’t find it on YouTube just now, but it could easily pass for the best song on Black and Blue. So much great stuff that overcame a degree of hokiness, such as “I Was Checking Out (While She Was Checking In)”. I wish I could crank up “We Can’t Make It No More” right now. Hey, maybe I just took the time I needed to write down my thoughts.