Good morning my friends! The other night my sister sent me a text asking if I knew the song “I Gotcha” by Joe Tex. Of course I knew the song! I doubt a week goes by when I don’t sing it. It dates back to those days of my childhood when we used to walk around with a little transistor radio listening to KFRC, San Francisco.
Joe Tex was a really interesting soul musician who you may not have heard of because he prematurely retired and then died of a heart attack just five days after his 47th birthday. He was arguably as great as James Brown. In fact, you can hear and see much of each man in the other. I’m not in a position to say what came from whom, but Tex claimed that Brown stole a number of moves from him.
The two had quite a rivalry. This reached a peak in 1963, when Tex opened for a Macon, Georgia homecoming concert for Brown. “Tex, who opened the show, arrived in a tattered cape and began rolling around on the floor as if in agony, and screamed, ‘Please—somebody help get me out of this cape!'” Brown was understandably not pleased, but as much as I admire Brown, that’s funny as hell. Allegedly, James Brown found Tex later and shot at him.
This all was due to the fact that Tex did largely live in Brown’s shadow. Still, he had a great career. He was a consistent hit producer for over a decade up until his retirement in 1978. I assume, had he lived longer, that he would have gone back to performing at some point. Regardless, he left a lot of great music.
Rather than provide just a single song, I’ve put together a playlist of three of his biggest hits: “Skinny Legs and All” (1967); “I Gotcha” (1972); and “Ain’t Gonna Bump No More” (1977). There are a lot more great ones, but I couldn’t find any live performances of things like “A Sweet Woman Like You.” These songs give you a good idea of Joe Tex’s range and brilliance. They are all great: