Lou Rawls makes debut at Flamingo

Dec 24, 2001 1:33 AM

Legendary is just one of several words that best describes the talents of Grammy Award winner Lou Rawls. He will bring his forte to the Flamingo Las Vegas, Friday and Saturday at 9 p.m. For ticket information, call (702) 733-3333 or (800) 221-7299.

His voice is as distinctive and instantly recognizable. From his early days in gospel to his collaborations with Sam Cooke; from the Dick Clark Show at the Hollywood Bowl in 1959 to the opening for The Beatles in 1962 at Crosley Field in Cincinnati; from his monologues in the Seventies that presaged rap music to becoming a “crossover” artist before the term was invented, there has been one constant in Lou Rawls’ career ””a voice that one critic called “sweet as sugar, soft as velvet, strong as steel, smooth as butter.”

He achieved two Top 20 singles with “Love Is a Hurtin’ Thing” (1966) and “Dead End Street” (1967), and enjoyed further success with a 1969 reading of Mable John’s “Your Good Thing (Is About to End).” While his early 70s work was generally less compulsive, the singer’s arrival at Philadelphia International Records signaled a dramatic rebirth. “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine,” an international hit in 1976, matched the classic Philly sound with Rawls’ resonant delivery, and prepared the way for a series of exemplary releases including “Let Me Be Good To You” (1979).

Since 1980, Rawls has presented a series of worldwide concerts for American military bases co-sponsored by Anheuser Busch, the U.S.O. and the Department of Defense. He continues to perform hundreds of concert dates each year.

In his 40-some years as a recording artist, spanning 60-plus albums, three Grammy wins, 13 Grammy nominations, one platinum album, five gold albums and a gold single, Rawls has epitomized the ultimate song stylist.