Magazine article National Urban League. The State of Black America

In Memoriam: Lou Rawls

Magazine article National Urban League. The State of Black America

In Memoriam: Lou Rawls

Article excerpt

Lou Rawls was the ultimate soul singer known for his strong baritone stylings. With a five decade-career, he became just as well known for his charitable efforts as for his music.

Louis Alien Rawls was born on December 1, 1933 in Chicago, Illinois. He was raised on the South Side of Chicago by his grandmother. Inspired by the music he heard as a teenager attending shows at the Regal Theatre, Rawls began singing in a group with schoolmate Sam Cooke, singing gospel. They sang with a couple of different groups until 1956, when Rawls quit to join the Army. After his discharge in 1958, he returned to join Cooke's group on tour. They were in a fatal car accident that left one person dead. Cooke escaped with minor injuries, but Rawls was pronounced dead on the way to the hospital. He was revived, but slipped into a coma for 5 days, suffered memory loss, and took a full year to recover. …

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