Lou Rawls is one of our big artists here at The Beat Chicago.
When I was a little kid I was blessed to be around all kinds of people in the music business. Having a mother who did background vocals and jingles meant I got to meet some of the greatest talents on Earth.
With Lou Rawls it was a little different. My uncle sold him jewelry so whenever I had the chance and my uncle said he was going to meet with Lou Rawls, I begged him to take me with him. Lou was the epitome of class, cool, suave and debonair.
Lou Rawl’s voice was as distinctive and instantly recognizable as any in music. From the music to those unforgettable “When you say Budweiser, you’ve said it all” commercials to his massive his including “Tobacco Road”, “A Natural Man”, “See You When I Get There” and more.
Lou Rawls was born on December 1st, 1933. Early in his career, he worked with Sam Cooke, “The Dick Clark Show” at the Hollywood Bowl in 1959, the opening for The Beatles in 1966 at Crosley Field in Cincinnati, his monologues in the 1970s that presaged rap music to becoming a “crossover” artist before the term was invented.
With over 50 years in the entertainment business, he released 60-plus albums, won three Grammy Awards with 13 nominations, one platinum album, five gold albums, a gold single and a Star on the Hollywood Hall of Fame.
Not only Rawls a consummate professional, but he was also a man who believed in giving back, helping others and making sure the youth had a chance to become productive human beings.
Also known for his work and support for the United Negro College Fund, after Rawls’ death, the Lou Rawls Scholarship Foundation was created. Established in 2007, the mission of the foundation (LRSF) is to provide academic scholarships to qualified minority students and assist these students in obtaining a college education. The objective of the Lou Rawls Scholarship Foundation is to invest in the lives of underprivileged students and encourage their education, as well as their personal and professional development. The Foundation’s ultimate goal is that these students will be equipped with the tools necessary to make a meaningful contribution to their communities and to society. Click here for more details on the foundation.
Rawls passed away on January 6, 2006.
Source: Lou Rawls Website and Sal Amato