A pivotal figure in the history of Southern soul music, Percy Sledge began his career with the R&B group, The Esquires Combo, playing in bars and clubs throughout the Southern states. He launched a solo career in the mid-60s, scoring a smash hit with the poignant ballad, When A Man Loves A Woman. The song was made by Sledge's stellar vocals which simultaneously soared and sobbed, the single topped the Billboard singles chart in 1966 and remains a landmark of popular music decades later. Despite the quality of Sledge's subsequent output, which includes classic deep soul tracks such as Take Time To Know Her and a wonderfully overwrought version of Love Me Tender, he was unable to repeat the crossover success of his debut.
Followers: Luther Vandross, Teddy Pendergrass, Lionel Richie, Bobby Womack, Michael Bolton
Influenced By: 'Big' Joe Turner, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, Jackie Wilson, Arthur Alexander...