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Lou Rawls (12.1.35 – 1.6.06)

God has the unmatchable ability to do something no artist, with brush and easel, could ever do: create billions of human faces with few ever resembling another. Yes, two eyes, a nose and a mouth, but no two individuals ever exactly alike. And so it was with Lou Rawls’ voice. God gave him a voice like no other. Upon hearing his very first note, one immediately knew it was Lou Rawls. With this remarkably unique voice he was able to convincingly sing gospel (from where he originally came), blues, pop, jazz and love ballads. It was this ability that slowly brought him to the attention of an international audience.

I knew Lou personally for many years beginning when Capitol Records engaged me to write the arrangements for one of his early albums. I had just moved to Los Angeles from New York City and soon, thereafter, our families became close friends. We even sent our kids to the same private school. His first wife, Lana, from Texas, was an exceptional cook and would often send me pots of tantalizing delicacies through my wife, Bobbie.

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