Percy Sledge -- You gotta have nothing but love for somebody like Percy Sledge. Here is a brotha who tours the country year after year, an old-school R&B icon, dubbed the Golden Voice of Soul, beheld as music royalty in Europe, and what's the only song drunk-ass yuppie thirtysomethings scream for every night? That's right, "When a Man Loves a Woman."
That's just wrong. The brotha has done some fine work. What about "Warm and Tender Love" or "Sunshine" or "Take Time to Know Her" or "Cover Me"? Oh, you don't know those songs? You just know "When a Man Loves a Woman" because you heard it in a Levi's commercial or at the beginning of The Crying Game, and you just fell in luhhhhhve with it. If anything, we should immortalize Sledge -- like his home state did in 1993, when it inducted him into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame -- for being one of the sweetest soul brothas to make begging and pleading look and sound good. If it weren't for him, we wouldn't have Keith Sweat or the dozen or so other brothas on the radio doing the whole down-on-my-knees-begging-you-please spiel. At least Sledge did it with some grace. Percy Sledge performs Friday, June 30, at The Hop, 2331 West FM 1960. Admission is $10, $25 for reserved seating. The show starts at 10 p.m. For more information, call (281)444-8989 or (281)587-8335.