This is the music that you listen to when you are alone. When the highs of the day have already passed you by and now you are somewhat vulnerable. Relaxing with something other than watered down beer. This is when the meaning in the lyrics are so compelling, that you readily identify with them and find your mood is brought in line with the music – and not the other way around as we’re all so used to.
This is what is rightly called “Soul”. Soul with considerable feeling backing it up. Original Soul from the time that when given the label “Soul” meant that it was proud and unquestionably justifiable.
O.V. Wright is another one of those heroes who was taken from us way too soon at age 41 (I believe in 1980). For my two cents, there are only a few who could claim to be his peer in vocal styling and delivery – Otis Redding right away comes to mind. Drugs played a major role in his demise, both physically and commercially. Thankfully, we have his legacy of recordings to remember him by. Associated with Hi Records in the 70’s along with Al Green, we have him to thank for being able to expertly and sincerely mine our emotions and put to words and music what we can only hope to articulate when we feel the fleeting inspiration.
A Nickel And A Nail
Incessant horns and a sponsoring guitar that if nothing else, are the accomplices that cause us to silently and gently nod and close our eyes – allowing a path to be scored directly into our very being. This is the music for being alone and preached to. O.V.’s voice sounds so wounded, so devastated … sincerity brought to fruition. Yes, this is his confessional and pulpit at the same time. He preaches to us almost to the point of where we can cry. Hell, you and I will be crying, given the right moment, mood and personal circumstances.
I want to give due where it’s supposed to be, and it belongs to the good folk at Moistworks for first introducing me to brother O.V. back on 01/24/06 with this very song. Lord have mercy!
I once had love and plenty of money (Oh, yes I did)
Someway, somehow Lord knows I failed (Yes I did)
Now all I have in my pocket (Lord have mercy!)
All I give a count of, is a nickel and a nail
My friends - no, they just don’t know (Lord have mercy)
They still down in their hearts,
They think I’m doing swell (They don’t know)
Call every night dear and I smile and I jingle (Yes I do)
All you hear me jingling, is a nickel and a nail
(That’s all it is)
Now a nickel and a nail
Might save my pride you see
But the need for your sweet love oh baby
Is hammering inside of me
You said a long time ago you think the thrill is gone
(I couldn’t believe it)
You said O.V. I think you better hit that old lonesome trail
(I got to leave)
Oh baby I’m wondering how do you expect for me to make it
(I don’t believe I will)
I can’t make it far with a nickel and a nail
(That’s all I have)
Why Not Give Me A Chance
Unrequited love. Earnest and mournful phrasing that gushes from a breach in the heart. Wishful thinking. Begging for a chance. Tender gesticulations emphasizing the need and white-hot desire expressed in the lyrics.
Are you lonesome and all alone?
You say you got nobody to call your own
Then why not?
Ooo why not
Give me a chance?
If you’re looking
If you are looking for a friend
Who’ll go with you to the end
Oh why not?
Oh why not give me a chance?
I’m begging you baby – I need just one chance.
O.V. Wright: A Nickel And A Nail (30)
O.V. Wright: Why Not Give Me A Chance (39)
From: Soul Classics [197?]
Addendum Feb 25th 2007, 7:00PM EST:
As I think this out, I feel that I would be remiss if I didn't mention other influential individuals who also have turned me on to O.V. Wright. Specifically, as I looked through my archives of O.V. that I've downloaded, I realized that my first tracks were from the always entertaining Tuwa's Shanty and The Roots Canal when I downloaded "Without You" and "Motherless Child" on 11/19/05. Then I downloaded from the fantastic and influential Soul-Sides the tracks "8 Men And 4 Women" and "We're Still Together" on 04/11/06. Finally, Red at The "B" Side, (who I have listed to the right of this site - be sure to visit often) graced me with "Missing You" and "This Hurt Is Real" on 04/13/06.
Red was an early supporter of mine when I was first thinking of starting this site, so I owe the good man for his encouragement, and constant example of of what a good blog should consist of.
BTW - check out the new site I have listed on the right that I just found G.O'D. writes. New, so I can't tell how good it will turn out, but a damn good start for a writer!