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The Soul of O.V. Wright

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Album Review

The Soul of O.V. Wright isn't fancy, but it gets the job done. In that way, this solid 18-track compilation is just like its subject, one of the most underrated deep soul singers of his era. Although the Houston-based Wright had the grit of Otis Redding (minus Redding's occasional tendency to oversing) and the spiritual grace of Sam Cooke's pre-secular work, Wright only managed a couple of major hits on the R&B charts, and not even his best single, 1965's startling, Ray Charles-like ballad "'You're Gonna Make Me Cry,'" crossed over to the pop charts. Regardless, all 18 tracks here are sublime deep soul, from the testifying swing of his first single "'I Don't Want to Sit Down'" to his remarkable work with Willie Mitchell in the '70s. ("'I'd Rather Be Blind, Crippled and Crazy'" is every bit the equal of any of Mitchell's better-known work with Al Green from the same period.) There is plenty more to savor where this came from, but The Soul of O.V. Wright is a terrific introduction to this amazing performer.


Born: October 09, 1939 in Leno, TN

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s

A truly incendiary deep soul performer. O. V. Wright's melismatic vocals and Willie Mitchell's vaunted Hi Rhythm Section combined to make classic Memphis soul during the early '70s. Overton Vertis Wright learned his trade on the gospel circuit with the Sunset Travelers before going secular in 1964 with the passionate ballad "That's How Strong My Love Is" for Goldwax in Memphis. Otis Redding liked the song so much that he covered it, killing any chance of Wright's version hitting. Since Wright was...
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The Soul of O.V. Wright, O.V. WRIGHT
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