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Don Covay

Born Donald Randolph in South Carolina in 1938, Don Covay moved to Washington in the early fifties where he performed with his family’s gospel group, The Cherry Keys and later joined Rainbows who often featured Marvin Gaye and Billy Stewart as guests.

He worked as Little Richard‘s chauffeur before starting his solo singing career, scoring his biggest hit on Atlantic with Mercy Mercy – featuring Jimi Hendrix on guitar – in 1964.

Other songs like Sookie Sookie and See-Saw were 60s soul staples, yet more were covered by Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, Bobby Womack and Solomon Burke, with whom he sang in The Soul Clan.

Post-Atlantic he had 70s soul hits for Mercury, but suffered a stroke in 1992 and released his last LP, Adlib, in 2000.

Covay passed away in 2015.