Monday, January 10, 2011

Robert Palmer: Respect Yourself

I first heard late Robert Palmer during the summer of 1974. This was between my freshman and sophomore year of college and I was back home working my old job at McDonalds in North Versailles, PA.

I had been hired the year before as the store’s first employee, since heading to Kentucky for my education, I was extended the invitation by management to come back and work college breaks – which I did until 1975.

As part of the closing crew that summer, I was often in the back of the store washing the various utensils used that day. Management allowed those in the back to listen to the radio to pass the time. One night, WDVE in Pittsburgh featured Robert Palmer’s debut LP “Sneaking Sally through the Alley.”

I liked his style, but never did purchase this first album. Several years passed and he had a string of hit singles starting with “Every Kind of People” that showcased the influence of American soul music in his vocal stylings.

Today, we feature Robert Palmer doing a cover of a Staple Singers hit “Respect Yourself.” He is accompanied by The Root Canal on this number for Danish Television. Palmer’s single release of the tune peaked at #45 on the UK charts in 1995.



The Staple Singers Version


Written by the late Luther Ingram and Mack Rice, “Respect Yourself” became a signature hit for the Staple Singers in 1971. Although only peaking at #12 on the Hot 100, the song placed at #2 on the Hot Soul Singles Chart the same year. The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section who played on hits by Aretha Franklin and Wilson Picket were enlisted to play on this classic oldie.


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