Music News

CRITIC'S CHOICE

Lou Rawls, Friday, April 21, at the Odgen Theater, has been singing for over thirty years, and during that time he's mastered an impressive variety of styles: gospel, R&B, Philly soul, smooth-talking pre-rap, blues, jazz and crossover pop. He got his start at Chicago's Dunbar High School, where he polished his doo-wop chops in the lavatory with classmate Sam Cooke. By the end of the Fifties, with high school and a stint in the army behind him, Rawls got his first taste of fame in the gospel act the Pilgrim Travelers. Shortly thereafter he established himself as a secular solo artist with "Tobacco Road," "Stormy Monday," "A Natural Man" and "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine"--numbers that made his voice among the more recognizable sounds on the charts. Times have been leaner recently; Rawls is probably best known today for providing the singing voice for Garfield, the animated feline. Fortunately, concert audiences understand that he remains one hip cat.

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Linda Gruno