Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Keeping a promise - anyway

Raggedy featured Sam Dees a while ago and I said I would post a track of his. I've finally got around to it. On reading Raggedy's post again I now realise she mentioned this track in her write up - doh! I missed that on first reading. So this may not turn out to be such a treat for Raggedy as she is evidently already familiar with this track, but hopefully it will be a treat for you.

For those that know, Sam Dees is recognized as one of the jewels in Soul music’s crown. He is probably primarily known as a songwriter – see “S.Dees” in a writing credit and you are pretty much guaranteed a quality song. Sam has also released a number of records as a performer. His 1975 “The Show Must Go On” is recognized as one of the greatest Soul music albums of all time, criminally it has never received a CD release.

After a gap of a few years Sam was back in the recording studio in the late 80s. One of the results was this bitterest of bitter tales of a man finding himself in the divorce courts and in a state of disbelief at the proceedings.

In an old post of mine I featured Roszetta Johnson and two tracks of hers – one written by Sam Dees and the other by Lillian Dees. I described them as man and wife in that post. On checking I cannot find the source of that assertion but, if true, for Soul aficionados that was a marriage made in heaven as Lillian Dees was also a talented songwriter. Cheating – “slippin’ around” – and break ups are a common theme in songwriting and Sam has written his fair share on those subjects throughout his career. He is also adept at writing songs from a woman’s point of view. Part of the songwriters’ craft is to be able to put themselves into a situation and write from that point of view. Maybe that is all Sam Dees was doing when he wrote this song, but listening to this track you have to wonder if he is singing about the break-up of his own marriage.

We have some good friends who would appear to be in the middle (early stages?, near the end? – who am I to say?) of a break-up at the moment. It’s sad to see what appeared to be a happy and cohesive family unit descend into the stuff of soap opera. It happens in real life all too often, I know, and likening it to soap opera might sound like I’m trivializing it. I assure you I’m not, and realise this is a deadly serious business. Maybe – in the long run - it will be for the best if they do break up, but if they do I just hope for their sake it can be an amicable split and the sort of situation portrayed in Sam Dees’ song can be avoided.

Sam Dees – After All 1989


Raggedy said...

Thanks, ((Darcy)), for the shout out! "After All" touches me deep inside every time I listen to it. "... like you had no shame" is the hook for me: some splits I've witnessed were just that -- shameless. Some people only show their true selves in such situations, and no matter how much they may have gained by squeezing the last penny out of their exes, they lost something precious when they shed their integrity: they lost the respect of their friends.
Sam Dees is an outstanding artist who deserves so much more recognition than he gets. Let's hope we bloggers can help change that ...

Robert Cass said...

I'm sorry to hear about your friends, Darcy. Has anyone ever had an easy divorce? Not that I know of.

What strikes me most about "After All" is the late-'80s Hall & Oates feel of it. Dees even sounds like Hall near the beginning of the song. Was RCA still licking its wounds over H2O defecting to Arista?