Friday, March 25, 2005


Percy Mayfield, Please Send Me Someone to Love.

One man's loneliness and the bleak condition of the world--can they weigh in the scales? The singer's been reading the papers, lying awake at nights worrying, but he realizes there's not much he can do, and even if the world got burned to a cinder, would it hurt if he got a crumb of happiness before it's all over? Here is his plea.

Percy Mayfield is best known as a songwriter--after a gruesome auto accident in 1952 curtailed his singing career, he became Ray Charles' house composer, writing "Hit the Road Jack" and "At the Club", among other hits. But "Please Send Me" was all Mayfield's own, a modern blues standard--some estimate there have been 2,000 cover versions done of this song in the past half-century.

"Please Send Me", released as Specialty 375 on Art Rupe's Specialty Records (one of the key labels of the '50s, future home to Little Richard), became a number one R&B hit in November 1950, the same month the U.S. government was debating the pros and cons of using atomic bombs in Korea and China.

You can find it on "Poet of the Blues", a fantastic early Mayfield compilation. More on Percy from the Reverend Frost.

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