This week’s single comes from a performer and label out of the city that I was born and raised in, Chicago.
Ramsey Lewis has had a long and successful career as a jazz pianist, starting his jazz-playing career at age 15 with Wallace Burton’s band, the Cleffs. Aside from serving as his introduction to jazz, this was also the point at which Lewis met drummer Isaac “Redd” Holt, and bassist Eldee Young who would later form the Ramsey Lewis Trio after the disbanding of the Cleffs due to a number of members leaving to fight in the Korean War. After recording their 1965 hit, The In Crowd (single reached #5, album #2 on the pop charts), Holt and Young left the Ramsey Lewis Trio to begin Young-Holt Unlimited, and were replaced by Cleveland Eaton and Maurice White. In 1970, Morris Jennings replaced Maurice White, to establish the final line-up of the Ramsey Lewis Trio (they would actually drop “Trio” at this time, deciding to work under Ramsey Lewis’ name). It is this final line-up of Lewis, Eaton, and Jennings that is credited with writing today’s selection, which was taken from an LP of the same name release in 1971. Ramsey Lewis’ pop success had begun to dwindle by this point in his career as this album only reached #163 on the pop charts, however, this does not mean that he wasn’t still putting out solid material (as exemplified by today’s selection) during this point in his career. I can safely say that although this is the first time that the work of Ramsey Lewis has appeared on this site, it will in no way be the last.
Enjoy this single over the rest of the week and tune in for a new mix on Friday.