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Don Covay
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    (March 24, 1938-January 30, 2015)
    Born in Orangeburg, South Carolina
    Birth name was Donald Randolph
    R&B/soul singer
    Recorded the singles 'Pony Time' (1961), 'Mercy, Mercy' (1964), 'See-Saw' (1965), 'I Was Checkin' Out (She Was Checkin' In)' (1973) and 'It's Better To Have (And Don't Need)' (1974)
    He left a family gospel group to sing soul music.
    He started as a protege (and chauffeur) of Little Richard.
    His first records were released under the name 'Pretty Boy.'
    He tried to cash in on the Muhammad Ali-George Foreman title fight with the single 'Rumble in the Jungle' (1974), but Johnny Wakelin got the bigger hit out of the event.
    He wrote songs that became hits for Chubby Checker ('Pony Time,' 1961), Gladys Knight and the Pips ('Letter Full of Tears,' 1962) and Aretha Franklin ('Chain of Fools,' 1968).
    Jimi Hendrix played guitar on his single 'Mercy, Mercy.'
    After he suffered a stroke, Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones organized a tribute album to raise funds for his medical expenses (1992).
    He received a Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation (1994).

Credit: C. Fishel

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