I saw Dobie Gray one day here in Nashville. I introduced myself and when I began to tell him about my favorite song of his, he got that look on his face like he’d heard it a million times and I was going to say how much I loved “Drift Away” ! While that is a fine song, it begins to fall in with songs that maybe I could never hear again and be just fine. And while it isn’t quite to the point of lets say “Sweet Home Alabama” or “Stairway to Heaven”, it is getting close ! But the song I had in mind and the song that it pleased me to see the smile on his face is the beautiful and haunting “Loving Arms”. I remember Dobie’s version many years ago and even more so, I remember a mood heavy version Elvis gave at the point of his life when not everything was turning out for the better. What a great song, and like the Dixie Chicks or not, they did a great version.
Dobie Gray has had a wonderful career and his voice like an Al Green or Billy Paul, is instantly recognizable. Born outside of Houston in Simonton Texas, Gray moved to Nashville in the 70’s and has continued as a writer. He has had cuts by some heavyweights like Johnny Mathis, George Jones, Charley Pride, Don Williams and Ray Charles.
Check out “Loving Arms”. They just don’t sing or write ’em that way much anymore !