Johnny Adams — “Real Live Living Hurtin’ Man” Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — May 15, 2023


827) Johnny Adams — “Real Live Living Hurtin’ Man”

This ‘ 70 A-side was “ironically written by a pair of female songwriters, Margaret Lewis and Myrna Smith. . . . [It is] classic southern soul.” (The Vintage Soul Machine,

Michael Petitti says that Adams was “an extraordinary voice containing all the pain and joy of human experience.” ( Bill Dahl says:

Renowned around his Crescent City home base as “the Tan Canary” for his extraordinary set of soulfully soaring pipes, veteran R&B vocalist Johnny Adams . . . . was never particularly into the parade-beat grooves that traditionally define the New Orleans R&B sound, preferring to deliver sophisticated soul ballads draped in strings. Adams sang gospel professionally before crossing over to the secular world in 1959. Songwriter Dorothy LaBostrie . . . convinced her neighbor, Adams, to sing her tasty ballad “I Won’t Cry.”* . . . Adams was on his way. He waxed some outstanding follow-ups . . . notably “A Losing Battle” . . . and “Life Is a Struggle.” After a prolonged dry spell, Adams resurfaced in 1968 with an impassioned R&B revival of Jimmy Heap’s country standard “Release Me” . . . that blossomed into a national hit. Even more arresting was Adams’ magnificent 1969 country-soul classic “Reconsider Me,” his lone leap into the R&B Top Ten . . . .  Despite several worthy SSS follow-ups (“I Can’t Be All Bad” was another sizable seller), Adams never traversed those lofty commercial heights again . . . .

* Karl Dallas : “It was when an upstairs neighbour, songwriter Dorothy Labostrie, heard him singing ‘Precious Lord’ in the bathtub and persuaded him to record a song of hers, ‘Oh Why’ . . . that he began to be recognized as a secular singer. (

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