Oh she may get wooly, women do get wooly, because of all the stress...
July 16, 2007 4:33 PM   Subscribe

Try a Little Tenderness. Otis Redding owns the song, but it's had an interesting history. Ruth Etting, Bing Crosby [mp3], and Ted Lewis [Windows Media] recorded the song (with more lyrics) in the early '30s. An instrumental version was the opening theme for Dr. Strangelove. Tennessee Ernie Ford did the song on his variety show. And then there was Jack Webb's deadpan Dragnet-style version [Amazon sample].
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posted by kirkaracha (19 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Mod note: Otis Redding was inspired by early '60s versions by Aretha Franklin Amazon sample and Sam Cooke [Rhapsody]

Drummer Al Jackson Jr. transformed the song by doubling the beat in rehearsal.

Three Dog Night's version [music only; "foggy dress"?] was a minor hit in 1969. Alison Moyet live on David Letterman. Duckie danced to Otis' version in Pretty in Pink (1986). Sixteen-year-old Andrew Strong's version was the high point of The Commitments (1991). Shirley Bassey belted the standards version in 1997 [Caution: contains "zany" comedy bit]. Paul Giamatti and Arnold McCuller teamed up in Duets (2000; Andre Braugher lip-synched).

Tim Robbins mangled the lyrics in Bull Durham (see post title), but I couldn't find it online, and there's a referece to that scene in The Upside of Anger when Kevin Costner's character is upset at a wedding singer messing up the words.
posted by kirkaracha (staff) at 4:34 PM on July 16, 2007

That is so weird. Guess what song I was whistling at work this morning?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:45 PM on July 16, 2007

Thanks for the post, I didn't actually know just how old this song was.

I'm pretty sure I've heard a Rod Stewart cover as well, but I rather dislike Stewart and I'm not gonna go searching the internet for links at this hour of the morning!

Oh and thanks for giving the drummer some with your Al Jackson link. Jackson is quite simply one of the groovingest drummers ever in the history of the drum set.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:48 PM on July 16, 2007

I've listened to the own link a few thousand times over the years as it was done on the Stax Voltl Live in Paris album and though somewhat disappointed it wasn't the version with Carla Thomas, Eddie Floyd, (bad sound) and Sam & Dave joining in at the end, some how I never realized there was a filmed version. Thanks.
posted by mss at 6:09 PM on July 16, 2007

I've always thought that Sinatra's version was the definitive rendition -- probably because I knew the Sinatra version before that of Otis. My aunt used to sing it to me as a very young child.

I prefer Otis's version, but I'll always have much love for Frank's.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:02 PM on July 16, 2007

Coincidentally, I see that I added that first Otis link to my youtube favourites just yesterday, along with Sam Cooke's A Change is Gonna Come
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:04 PM on July 16, 2007

As a big fan of Andre Braugher, it's beyond weird to see him lip-synching to this one.
posted by dhammond at 7:31 PM on July 16, 2007

That is so weird. Guess what song I was whistling at work this morning?
posted by ZenMasterThis

Isn't this sort of thing normal for a Zen master?
posted by homunculus at 7:43 PM on July 16, 2007

These "covers" may surprise you as well:

posted by Frank Grimes at 8:29 PM on July 16, 2007

Otis has a very energetic, spirited live version available on some of his compilations and things. You can almost feel him sweating and jumping around it is so good.
posted by travosaurus at 10:44 PM on July 16, 2007

I am a doofus. I just re-checked, and that's the link you posted. Thanks for finally letting my see it.
posted by travosaurus at 10:49 PM on July 16, 2007

Thanks for this, v. educational!

Yeah, Al Jackson had it in spades. And every other suit.
posted by Wolof at 1:03 AM on July 17, 2007

Y'all forgot Percy Sledge also covered it.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:49 AM on July 17, 2007

I knew about Percy Sledge's version, but didn't post it 'cause the arrangement's similar to Otis' (and I didn't post the Frank Sinatra one because I had the Bing Crosby).
posted by kirkaracha at 7:18 AM on July 17, 2007

And presumably you didn't link to the Three Dog Night version cause they're kinda creepy, but here it is anyway, as long as we're getting all completist here.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:41 AM on July 17, 2007

Oops. Soon as I posted that I saw you did link to it...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:42 AM on July 17, 2007

But I think that's "funky" dress. Funky, as in, old and worn out.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:43 AM on July 17, 2007

I caught the tail end of this song the other day while scanning around on my car radio, and was struck by how much it sounds like he's singing "...a little Internet, a little Internet..."
posted by oats at 3:01 PM on July 17, 2007

Women don't get wooly. No one gets wooly. Women get weary. God, I hate it when people get the words wrong!
posted by psmealey at 6:58 AM on August 4, 2007

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