Saturday, October 18, 2008

Levi Stubbs

Levi Stubbs died October 17. I so loved The Four Tops and his baritone voice. My sister and I played their records so much they would have been worn out if they had been CDs. But, of course, their music was produced on vinyl and played over AM radio stations. The Four Tops gave us rhythmic and soulful background for school dances, teen conversations, after-school exercise sessions, homework, sunbathing, and celebrating the times of our youth that are etched in memory and recalled tonight with Stubbs' passing.

Google already has a "Blog posts about levi stubbs died category." I haven't looked at any of them yet but guess that others will surely post videos of The Four Tops in various concerts with handsome Levi Stubbs at the lead looking like he loved singing every minute of every song. The Four Tops' songs will be out there for a long time serving as inspiration for new singers and other artists, among them Clay Aiken who sang I Can't Help Myself and received a standing-O from the American Idol judges. He included a Motown medley in a tour last year that included a concert at Wolf Trap. (I'm linking rather than include them with the videos I selected for this post.)

I'm posting the following two videos to show the far-reaching effect Stubbs' music has had on other musicians and fans in the decades since The Four Tops first gained fame in the 60s. Where Billy Bragg's Levi Stubbs' Tears isn't the cheeriest and Amy Winehouse's Rehab is a dark subject, it isn't my intention to create a somber mood by posting them as my memorial to Levi Stubbs. I actually was inspired by both of them and somehow quite comforted by the echo.

With the money from her accident
She bought herself a mobile home
So at least she could get some enjoyment
Out of being alone
No one could say that she was left up on the shelf
It's you and me against the World kid she mumbled to herself

When the world falls apart some things stay in place
Levi Stubbs' tears run down his face

She ran away from home in her mother's best coat
She was married before she was even entitled to vote
And her husband was one of those blokes
The sort that only laughs at his own jokes

The sort a war takes away
And when there wasn't a war he left anyway

Norman Whitfield and Barratt Strong
Are here to make everything right that's wrong
Holland and Holland and Lamont Dozier too
Are here to make it all okay with you

One dark night he came home from the sea
And put a hole in her body where no hole should be
It hurt her more to see him walking out the door
And though they stitched her back together
they left her heart in pieces on the floor

When the world falls apart some things stay in place
She takes off the Four Tops tape and puts it back in its case
When the world falls apart some things stay in place
Levi Stubbs' tears...

{November 1, 2010... Note: This video is no longer available, but luckily I found "Party Ben's" link where you can listen to it! He offers three versions, the first one being my favorite. Click HERE.

Description at You Tube:

This mash-up was created by Party Ben.
Hope You Enjoy!



distracted by shiny objects said...

I'm right there with you, girl. Love The Four Tops. Love Motown(except for that hussie, Diana Ross).
You may have already seen this, if not I think you'll like it.

Buddha said...

Coming to your blog is allways an adventure. As a immigrant to US I find your posts fascinating! keep them coming!
be loved!



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