This song of the year also serves as a tribute to a woman, a legendary gospel singer Marie Knight, who passed away this September at the age of 89. What most don’t know is that after her legendary gospel career in the 1940s and 1950s, in the late 1950s she went secular (along with recording Gospel) and in the early 1960s, in her early 40s… decidedly became the wisest, most mature voice recording Girl Group style numbers for the musicor label.
My personal favorite is the Vandellas flavored “You Lie So Well” (1965)
It’s a perfect “odd” Girl Group classic. In the sense that a 45 year old Knight is singing a song in what was a “youth” forMat (a Motown Girl Group Soundalike)… but with a very adult subject line… being ok with a constantly cheating philandering man, and getting so used to the lies that the lies are totally excusable for the benefits (the good orgasm? lets be honest)… while most girl group songs sung by women 20 years her junior were filled with worry, fret and self doubt (think about how hazily anxious Diana Ross sounds in comparison on “Stop! In The Name of Love” in comparison). Marie, appropriately (for the times at least) is a mature women… not fretting anymore…. the whole song is a big “so what if you lie, cause when you get home you still handle business…
And the song parties.. from the intro horns, to, gawd, the command and flexibility of her voice… although other examples of her Secular power exist… like her “make yourself at home” “I Don’t Want to Walk Alone” and “That’s No Way to Treat a Girl”
So, thank you Marie for your 89 years of life, 60 years of blessing us with you voice, and providing us with joy. You’ll sorely be missed.