expand Lou Rawls

Born in the south side of Chicago, Lou was brought up singing in the Mt. Olive Baptist church choir.  By his teenage years he was already singing with Sam Cooke and Curtis Mayfield.  
In 1955 he joined the 82nd Airborne Division and became a paratrooper.  He bounced out as a sergeant 3 years later.  In 1958 he was involved in a car accident while touring the chitlin circuit.  He was officially pronounced dead and was in a coma nearly a week.  It took him months to regain his memory and nearly a year to recuperate.  He considered the event to be "life changing".  
Rawl's first Capitol sides were issued in 1962.  In 1966 he opened for the Beatles at Crosley Field, Cincinnati.  His album 'Live' went gold and he won his first Grammy the following year.  1967 also saw him playing the Monterey Pop Festival.  
Frank Sinatra said Lou had the "classiest singing and silkiest chops in the singing game".  Lou released over 60 albums, sold more than 40 million records, starred in movies and television and was a voice over artist for cartoons.  Lou passed on in 2006.