Friday, December 16, 2005

Another singer I appreciate...and his struggle with lung cancer

Sudiegirl sez: You know, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Lou Rawls. He has a grin that makes me melt, and (as my mother, sister and I might say), his voice "would make a good woman leave home". He's been a constant presence in the American music scene and is also quite philanthropic (you'll see when you read the article). That's why, when I read this, it broke my heart. Why is it that the "good ones" seem to go before we're ready for them to go? Then again, everyone's view on who's a "good one" is different, so maybe that's it...some kind of karma roulette thing. Anyway, the article is below, and I will make a few comments of my own and try to be respectful...

(PS: Photos from and

Lou Rawls Being Treated for Lung Cancer
Fri Dec 16,10:07 AM ET

Singer Lou Rawls is being treated for lung cancer, and his estranged wife said he also has brain cancer and suggested his condition is dire. (Wow...that's scary if his cancer moved that quickly.)

"Don't count me out, brother," Rawls said Thursday night from his room at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "There's been many people who have been diagnosed with this kind of thing, and they're still jumpin' and pumpin'." (Yep...he's right. Between my dad hanging in when docs gave him 18 months to live and he lived an extra 6 or 7 years, and many others, one never knows what's going to happen. Attitude makes a difference...don't care what you say.)

Rawls, in the interview with the Arizona Republic, said he has received alternative and traditional medical treatments for lung cancer. He said he quit his regular smoking habit 35 years ago. (Wow again. Just goes to show that quitting smoking isn't necessarily a guarantee, but at least it held off for a while.)

The lung cancer was diagnosed a year ago and the brain cancer in May, his estranged wife, Nina, said during a marriage annulment hearing Thursday in Arizona. (Is it just me, or does this woman seem...not trustworthy?)

"By his doctor's admission, he is not expected to live much more," she said.

Rawls' attorney, Robert L. Schwartz, attended the annulment hearing, but did not discuss the singer's prognosis. (Interesting...sounds like there's more here than meets the eye?)

Rawls, who has lived in Scottsdale, Ariz., since 2003, said in court papers that he is trying to annul his two-year marriage and protect hundreds of thousands of dollars of assets that his wife "absconded with." (Oh boy...when the words "absconded with" are used, that's NEVER good.)

His estranged wife, who has worked as Rawls' manager since 2003, says she transferred nearly $350,000 into an account that she solely controls to prevent one of Rawls' two adult daughters from seizing the money. (Oh boy again...wonder what the daughters have to say about this? Are they really as bad as she says or is she just creating a smokescreen?)

Rawls, 70, has sold more than 40 million albums and won three Grammys during a career spanning more than four decades. (Wow yet again. I know, thanks to a biography about Marvin Gaye, that Rawls beat Marvin for a Grammy once. I'll have to double check that info, but I think it's right.)

His voice has been described as "sweet as sugar, soft as velvet, strong as steel, smooth as butter." (Don't'd make a good woman leave home.) His hits include "Love Is a Hurtin' Thing," "Dead End Street" and "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine." (They forgot "Groovy People"! AAGGGHH!)

He has also appeared on television shows and in movies, including "Leaving Las Vegas" and "Blues Brothers 2000." ( "Leaving Las Vegas", he played a cab driver that drove Elisabeth Shue's character home. They also forgot to mention that he co-wrote many of the songs for the various "Garfield" specials...and that he was a guest on The Muppet Show!)

His charitable work has included telethons that helped the United Negro College Fund raise nearly $200 million. (He's been doing those for years, I know that much.

Sudiegirl sez:
I doubt that Lou Rawls will read this, but if he does, all I can say is that my prayers are with you. I hope you conquer cancer, and know that many people truly appreciate all you have done for music and charities. Hang in there, man!

Post script - and a sad one indeed: This just came over the AP wire today, and I am sad about this. RIP, Mr. Rawls...

LOS ANGELES - Lou Rawls, the velvet-voiced singer who started as a church choir boy and went on to sell more than 40 million albums has died at age 72. He won three Grammy Awards in a career that spanned nearly five decades and a range of genres.

Rawls died early Friday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was hospitalized last month for treatment of lung and brain cancer, his publicist Paul Shefrin said. His wife Nina was at his bedside when he died, Shefrin said.

The family and Shefrin said Rawls was 72, although other records indicate he was 70.