THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD
561) Little Johnny Taylor — “Sweet Soul Woman”
“And woman, I will try to express my inner feelings and thankfulness for showing me the meaning of success.” NOT
“My sweet soul woman. She’s a good looking woman. My kind of woman. Whoa, a good cooking woman. Oh, a hard loving woman.” How did this ’70 A-side by Little Johnny Taylor fail to chart? OK, its lyrics might have been a bit dated even in ’70 — I remember my mother wearing a t-shirt that year emblazoned with the slogan “F*ck Housework” — but man does this song cook.
From the Vaults writes that Little Johnny Taylor “was one of the finest practitioners of the style of R&B called soul blues, which merges the vocal approach of black gospel with the blues.” (https://fromthevaults-boppinbob.blogspot.com/2021/02/little-johnny-taylor-born-11february.html) Bill Dahl gives us some more history:
Some folks still get them mixed up, so to get it straight from the outset, Little Johnny Taylor was best known for his scorching slow blues smashes “Part Time Love” (. . . in 1963) and 1971’s “Everybody Knows About My Good Thing” . . . . This Johnny Taylor was definitely not the suave Sam Cooke protégé who blitzed the charts with “Who’s Making Love” for Stax in 1968; that’s Johnnie Taylor [see #191, 320], who added to the confusion by covering “Part Time Love” for Stax. Another similarity between the two Taylors: both hailed from strong gospel backgrounds. Little Johnny came to Los Angeles in 1950 and did a stint with the Mighty Clouds of Joy before going secular. . . . [H]is career didn’t soar until he inked a pact with Fantasy’s Galaxy subsidiary in 1963 . . . .https://www.allmusic.com/artist/little-johnny-taylor-mn0000262183/biography
“All day long, I don’t mind being a hard working man. I got waiting at home my sweet woman on hand. And for that woman, I’ll work in the rain and cold. Now when I get to that woman, she brings sunshine in my loving soul [chorus: “C’mon Johnny Johnny Johnny, c’mon Johnny Johnny Johnny”] Listen, now she treats me good like a good woman should. And I’m satisfied, and it’s well understood with my sweet soul woman [chorus: “sweet soul woman”] Lord, my sweet soul woman [chorus: “sweet soul woman”] She come smiling at the door. Lord, she meets me with her kiss. Got prepared for the table, lord, all of my favorite dish. [chorus: “Help yourself, help yourself.”] She let’s me forget about all my hard days. Listen, she comes on so doggone strong, oh, in her loving way. Now she treats me good, like a good woman should. And I’m satisfied, and it’s well understood with my sweet soul woman [chorus: “sweet soul woman”] My sweet soul woman [chorus: “sweet soul woman”] She’s a good looking woman. My kind of woman. Whoa, a good cooking woman. Oh, a hard loving woman. Well, other women proposition me to show me better things. But they could never take the place of my baby, ’cause she’s a many splendored thing. She’s a sweet soul woman. Lord, I’m talking about my sweet soul woman. Oh, oh yeah. [chorus: “sweet soul woman”] My my my my my sweet sweet soul woman [chorus: “sweet soul woman”] Oh, baby. [chorus: “sweet soul woman”] Oh, baby, baby, baby, baby [chorus: “sweet soul woman”] I’m talkin’ about my sweet soul woman. Don’t you know I love you, baby.”
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