Sleepy Sunday, Vol. 40

Today’s tune by Sleepy LaBeef, national treasure, sounds dark but really is a love song.

“What Am I Living For,” was written by Fred Jacobson and Art Harris and done first by Chuck Willis in 1958. Willis, just 30, died right after it was released as a single. It’s also been covered by Conway Twitty, Percy Sledge, Ray Charles, Taj Mahal and Van Morrison.

Sleepy’s version has a gospel sound, thanks largely to Terry Gordon’s work on the keyboards. It was recorded on Feb. 5, 1977, at Singleton Sound Studio in Nashville.

Judging from what else was laid to vinyl that day, it’s entirely possible that Sleepy needed to bring it down for a moment. He also cut “Good Rockin’ Boogie,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” “You Can’t Judge a Book By Its Cover” and “Matchbox” that day.


“What Am I Living For,” Sleepy LaBeef, from “A Rockin” Decade,” 1997.


Leave a comment

Filed under December 2007, Sounds

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.