Song Of The Day 6/10/2014: William Bell - "Everybody Loves a Winner"


Black Music Month/Memphis Week: Not to give too much away, but my favorite song by William Bell is exactly as old as I am: It was released on the day of my birth. Dovetailing onto the brief discussion we were having about my ready self-identification with Peanuts' Charlie Brown, that kind of casts a pall over my whole life, doesn't it? "Everybody loves a winner / But when you lose, you lose alone." Well, thanks for the homily, pardner! Now when the gumshoes are standing over my chalk outline in the middle of a parking lot in Tacoma, the music supervisor will have his go-to track all ready to go. The Who can't do all the theme music, can they?

Seriously though. William Bell is one of my favorite, vastly underrated singers in the Stax/Volt omniverse. He was a fixture on the R&B charts who only crossed over to the pop Top 40 once, with "Tryin' To Love Two" back in 1976. He also did the original version of "I Forgot To Be a Lover," which was injected with lethal doses of dopamine and covered by Billy Idol in 1986. Bell himself was much more even-handed, with one of those voices that doesn't outsize itself but carries a gentle authority. That's why this song's so effective; it's a quiet mourning, instead of the screaming stabbing I'm lining up for myself in Tacoma.*

*(Note: In consideration of the highly sensitive, immediate nature of internet postings and the frequently unintended responses such postings elicit, the author wishes to emphasize that he is neither planning to stab himself, arranging for any other parties to stab him, nor preparing to have such stabbings occur in the Tacoma area. All things considered, everything is just fine with the author, and he wishes to stress his absolute intent to see his mortal existence through to its termination, which again will not come about via his own staging or actions, but rather through the auspices of either time's inevitable ravages or unforeseen misfortune. The author thanks you in irritating third person.) 


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