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The Heart of Rock and Soul

Dave Marsh, 1989

42 LONELY TEARDROPS, Jackie Wilson
Arranged and conducted by Dick Jacobs and Milton DeLugg; written by Berry Gordy Jr. and Tyrone Carlo [Billy Davis]
Brunswick 55105 - 1958
Billboard: #7

jackiewilson.jpg

A parable of show business: About 1955, Berry Gordy Jr. went bankrupt running a Detroit record store that reflected his taste (jazz) at the expense of the popular lust (rhythm and blues). As a result. he had to go to work in an auto factory. As a way out, Gordy got together after work with Billy Davis and abandoned art for mammon by writing pop songs. Davis adopted the pseudonym Tyrone Carlo, but was upfront enough about what he was doing to contact his cousin, Jackie Wilson,.who'd recently left Billy Ward and the Dominoes. They immediately came up with "Reet Petite." a song only Wilson. as agile vocally as he was physically, could have sung properly.
The team stayed together for a series of hits, of which "Lonelv Teardrops" is the most splendid. It is the one Wilson arrangement of the fifties sufficiently spare to get every detail right: the Latin rhythm buoyed by pizzicato strings, the female chorus chanting "Say you will," the tambourine backbeat, Wilson's own spectacular vocal flourishes (never knew "home" had four syllables, didja?).
As a result of "Lonely Teardrops," which he probably thought was hackwork, Berry Gordy became both an artist and the richest black man in American history. Twenty years later, Jackie Wilson, who made many hits, some art, but not much money, collapsed onstage while singing the line "My heart is crying . . ." from "Lonely Teardrops."
He never recovered.

Jackie Wilson - Lonely teardrops - the lyrics
Shooby Doo Wop ba baa (hey hey)
Shooby Doo Wop ba baa (hey hey)
Shooby Doo Wop ba baa (hey hey)

My Heart Is cryin',cryin'
Lonely Teardrops
My pillows never dry of
Lonely Teardrops

Come Home, Come Home
Just Say You Will, Say You Will (Say You Will)
Say You Will (Say You WIll)
Hey, Hey (Say You Will)

My Heart Is cryin, cryin
Lonely Teardrops
My pillows never dry of
Lonely Teardrops

Come Home, Come Home
Just Say You Will, Say You Will (Say You Will)
Say You Will (Say You WIll)
Hey, Hey (Say You Will)

Just Give Me Another Chance
For our Romance
Come On And Tell Me
That One Day You'll Return
Cause Everyday That You've Been Gone Away
You'll Know Why My Heart Does Nothing But Burn
CRYING

Lonely Teardrops
My pillows never dry of
Lonely Teardrops

Come Home, Come Home
Just Say You Will, Say You Will (Say You Will)
Say You Will (Say You Will)
Hey, Hey (Say You Will)
Say It Right Now Baby (Say You Will)
Come On, Come On (Say You Will)
Say It Darling Yeah! (Say You Will)
Marsh index 0001.htm


From "The Heart of Rock and Soul, The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made", by Dave Marsh, 1989.
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