The year that formed my musical tastes was 1964. Maybe 1965 was a better year for overall quality of pop music, but in 1964 I was fifteen and the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan, and we had surf music and the folk revival and Motown. The Supremes were all over the charts that year, and it was the first time I heard The Four Tops sing ďBaby, I Need Your Loving.Ē And every time I hear the smooth passion in the voice of Levi Stubbs singing lead on that song, Iím fifteen again.
So I felt a pang of sadness when I heard this morning that Levi Stubbs had died. I remember Edie Adams and Jack Narz, both of whom also died this week, from my childhood, but they were just people on TV to me. I can remember the first time I heard Leviís voice, at an impressionable time in my life. Itís almost as if he, along with Frankie Valli and Mama Cass and Johnny Rivers and Petula Clark and John Sebastian, was singing me along the path to adulthood.
Every time we lose one of them, I lose a bit of what made me who I am. Thank goodness the music never dies, which is why I spend so much time listening to the sixties station on satellite radio. (Which is where I heard about Leviís death, by the way.)