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Song of the Moment: Tell It Like It Is

Mayoral contender Rahm Emanuel has not only embarked on a so-called Tell It Like It Is listening tour but opened up a Twitter feed using the hashtag #tellitlikeitis.

Too bad, because we'd prefer to continue associating that phrase with the classic R&B song we and so many others have come to know and love over the years.

Recorded: 1965

Artist: Aaron Neville

Released: Nov. 9, 1966

Written By: George Davis and Lee Diamond

Label: Par-Lo Records

Format: 7" single

Length: 4:20

B-Side: "Why Worry?"

Charts: No. 2 on the Billboard U.S. Hot 100; No. 1 on the U.S. R&B.

Covered By: Otis Redding and Carla Thomas; Percy Sledge; Andy Williams; Heart; Billy Joe Royal; Nina Simone; Don Johnson (yes, that Don Johnson).

Wikipedia: Tracy Chapman and Lightnin' Hopkins composed songs with the same name not to be confused with Davis and Diamond's version discussed here. [Editor's Note: Nor the Ludacris song.]

Songfacts: According to the Rolling Stone magazine's Top 500 Songs, Neville was working as a longshoreman when he recorded this plea for true love: "A lot of people come up to me and say, 'That song got me and my wife together, and others say, 'It broke me and my wife up."

The record was issued by Parlo Records, but the hit unfortunately coincided with the label's demise and as a result Neville was unfortunately unable to follow up the song's success. However, in 1989 he teamed up with Linda Ronstadt to record "Don't Know Much," which again peaked at #2 in the US. This gave Aaron Neville the record for the longest period between the first and second top 40 hits in the US.


If you want something to play with
Go and find yourself a toy
Baby, my time is too expensive
And I'm not a little boy

If you are serious
Don't play with my heart, it makes me furious
But if want me to love you
Then, baby, I will, girl, you know I will

Tell it like it is
Don't be ashamed to let your conscience be your guide
But I-I-I-I-I know deep down inside of me
I believe you love me, forget your foolish pride

Life is too short to have sorrow

You may be here today and gone tomorrow
You might as well get what you want
So go on and live, baby, go on and live

Tell it like it is
I'm nothin' to play with, go and find yourself a toy
But I-I-I-I-I
Tell it like it is
My time is too expensive
And I'm not your little boy


Aaron Neville's Original Version


Heart, 1981


Don Johnson, 1989


Betty Swann Outdoing Them All


Comments welcome.


Previously in Song of the Moment:
* Iron Man
* The Story of Bo Diddley
* Teach Your Children
* Dream Vacation
* When The Levee Breaks
* I Kissed A Girl
* Theme From Shaft
* Rocky Mountain High
* North to Alaska
* Barracuda
* Rainy Days and Mondays
* Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?
* Baby, It's Cold Outside
* Man in the Mirror
* Birthday Sex
* Rio
* My Sharona
* Alex Chilton
* Surfin' Bird
* By The Time I Get To Arizona
* Heaven and Hell
* Sunday Bloody Sunday
* Lawless One


Posted on October 7, 2010

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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