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After-School Special: Bob Dorough

RJ Smith, Village Voice, The, 24 March 1998

I KNOW THIS couple who think Lou Rawls is the shit. You can look in the books on soul music and find little reference to Rawls and maybe less respect. And my friends could care less. Their devotion isn't built on his place in the Hall of Fame, isn't established by his skills. It isn't even about his hits: they like the Christmas album best. What they like about Rawls – if I may tender a guess – is that while he isn't necessarily the best, he brilliantly evokes the experience of being up really, really close to the best. He does a hell of a job selling a majesty he doesn't quite own, summing up what a man in his niche is called upon to do, and acting it out with goblets of gusto. You suddenly realize, hey, he's a fan too.

Total word count of piece: 928

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